You will find some video connection ports on a classic Windows computer. That said, the HDMI interface is one of the best ways to connect a PC to an external monitor or TV. What to do if your Windows computer cannot detect a monitor or TV via HDMI? We have compiled a final list of fixes for this problem in this post.
But first, run a few basic troubleshooting routines before you get started with our solutions. You need to check if the HDMI cable is properly inserted (on your PC and monitor / TV). Disconnect the HDMI cable from your computer / TV, restart your computer and reconnect the cable. You should also check that the HDMI ports (PC and monitor / TV) are not covered with debris or dirt. Also use a soft bristle brush to clean these ports.
If your PC still fails to establish an HDMI connection to the monitor or TV even after these checks, go to our solutions listed below.
1. Manually detect the display
If you try to connect an old monitor or TV to your PC, Windows may have a problem detecting it automatically. Fortunately, the Windows 10 operating system has a “ detection switch ” that allows you to have your PC manually check secondary / multiple screens. Follow the steps below to start this.
Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu and select System.
2nd step: In the left pane, select View.
Step 3: Scroll to the Multiple Displays section and press the Detect button.
Now check if your PC detects the connected HDMI monitor. If that does not resolve the issue, continue to the next troubleshooting method.
2. Change the projection options
Windows 10 is designed to allow users to project visuals to a second monitor in different ways. With your PC connected to your HDMI television / monitor, use the keyboard shortcut Windows + P to launch the Windows menu “Project on a second screen”.
Alternatively, you can also type project in the Windows search box and select the “Project to a second screen” option.
Before continuing, here is a brief overview of Windows 10 projection options.
- PC screen only: Choosing this option will ignore the second monitor / TV and display the output only on your computer screen.
- Duplicate: This option will project (the same) content onto your PC screen and connected monitors.
- To expand: When this option is selected, some of the content is displayed on your computer while the remaining section is projected on other connected monitors.
- Second screen only: It’s quite simple. The content will be displayed / projected only on the connected monitor (s).
Note: The projection options mentioned above apply to all video connectors on your Windows desktop or laptop – HDMI, VGA, DVI and Mini DisplayPort.
Now, if your computer does not detect your HDMI TV / monitor, or maybe it does not project correctly on your secondary monitor (s), check that the projection setting is not defined on the “ PC screen only ” option. If the content of your PC screen still does not project onto your secondary monitor, proceed to the following patch.
3. Update the display / graphics driver
Running an outdated graphics driver can also prevent your Windows 10 computer from detecting monitors via HDMI. To resolve this issue, update your PC graphics driver and restart your computer. Follow the steps below to do so.
Step 1: Use the Windows + X keyboard shortcut to launch the Windows quick access menu.
2nd step: Select Device Manager.
Step 3: Double-click Graphics Cards or simply tap the drop-down icon to display the display / graphics driver for your device.
Step 4: Right-click the graphics driver and select Update Driver. If your PC has a dedicated graphics card, also be sure to update the driver.
Step 5: Select “Automatically check for updated driver” to instruct Windows Device Manager to find and install the latest graphics driver for your PC from the Internet.
Note: You must have an active Internet connection to update your display driver in step 5 above.
Step 6: You can also switch to Microsoft’s basic graphics card. Just select the “Browse my computer for driver software” option.
This is recommended if your PC’s current display driver is up to date or if you do not have access to an Internet connection.
Step 7: Then select the option “Let me choose from a list of drivers available on my computer”.
Step 8: Make sure the “Show compatible hardware” box is checked. Now select “Microsoft Basic Display Adapter” and click Next.
After installing Microsoft Basic Display Adapter, restart your PC, reconnect the HDMI monitor and check if your PC recognizes the TV or monitor.
4. Change the operating mode of several screens
If the above fixes do not work, you can manually change the “Multi-screen operating mode” of your PC using the Intel Graphics Control Panel. Follow the steps below to do so.
Step 1: Right-click on an empty space on your PC desktop page and select Graphics Properties from the context menu.
This will launch the Intel Graphics and Media control panel.
2nd step: Then select Basic mode and press OK.
Step 3: In the Display section, select Multiple views.
Step 4: Press the Operating Mode drop-down button and check if the Intel Graphics Control Panel detects your HDMI monitor. If so, you should see options to duplicate or extend your screen.
If your PC has a dedicated graphics card (NVIDIA or AMD), make sure that the latest version of the graphics card driver is installed. In addition, update or install the latest version of your graphics card’s control panel on your device from the Microsoft Store or the graphics card manufacturer’s website. For NVIDIA users, you can install (or update) the NVIDIA Control Panel from the Microsoft Store and use it to manually force detection of your HDMI monitor or TV.
For AMD users, the AMD Radeon settings can be used to force detection of an HDMI monitor on your PC. Before that, however, make sure the driver for your AMD graphics card is up to date.
Point: Be sure to check if you are using the correct HDMI cables compatible with the HDMI port versions of your computer and your monitor / TV.
Are you tempted to obtain a multi-screen configuration? The 9 tips in the linked article below will help you get the most out of multiple monitors in Windows 10.
Last updated June 6, 2020
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