If your monitor randomly loses signal, you might have to do some minor configurations on your OS. When a monitor loses signal randomly, it’s not a big issue most of the time. However, you have to take a good look at your PC.
Is it burning hot? When was the last time you updated your drivers? You need to consider these factors before trying to resolve the issue. Today, we will present to you 12 reasons why your monitor randomly loses signal, what it means, and 13 ways to solve it!
Why does your monitor randomly lose signal?
From hardware issues to malware, from resolution settings to a damaged video card, there are various reasons why a monitor randomly loses signal. If a monitor loses signal when gaming, you might need to do some configurations on your PC.
Here are the 12 most common reasons your monitor randomly loses signal when gaming, or in general:
1. Faulty drivers
When a monitor randomly loses signal when gaming, it’s most likely due to your drivers. These files may be corrupt, outdated, or worse, malfunctioning.
Though it sounds frustrating, it’s easy to fix your graphic drivers, whether from Nvidia or AMD, and solve the issue regarding the loss of signal.
2. High GPU temperature
A common reason why a monitor keeps losing signal is due to high GPU temperatures. Your graphics card can overheat, which is caused by various reasons, such as room temperature, a covered PC fan, dust particles, or viruses, especially crypto-mining malware.
Note that a GPU standard temperature is between 65°C and 85°C, including the temperatures when gaming. Anything above the 85°C mark might be a cause for concern.
3. Malfunctioning cables or faulty outlets
Sometimes, you might just have the wrong cables, therefore your monitor shuts off when playing games. If you play at 60 Hz or 244 Hz, your monitor might lose signal once in a while.
Your HDMI cables might be too old, or they are malfunctioning. If you are trying to get 120 Hz on your gaming TV from your PC/laptop or similar combinations, your cables might not have the power to support that, and you will need different ones.
Suppose your monitor goes black while gaming; it might be due to faulty outlets. If the outlet isn’t working, there won’t be any power transmitted to your monitor. When a monitor’s lights are on, yet the screen is still black, it’s usually caused by the data cable.
4. Defective UPS
A defective UPS or surge protector can make your monitor randomly stop working from time to time.
This might be caused by too many devices connected to the UPS, software issues, or other overloading and power-related situations.
5. Not enough space on SSD
Insufficient space on your SSD might make your monitor cut out while playing games.
This issue is quite rare and not so well understood; however, many PC users reportedly resolved their monitor issues when they cleared up their space on their SSD.
6. Hardware issues
A failing hardware component might cause a monitor to randomly lose signal.
If you have Other Devices or Unknown Devices on your Device Manager list, they might be a clear sign of hardware failure. Your PC might simply not detect your monitor due to software bugs, glitches, or errors, caused by a lack of updates.
7. Malware or virus infection
If your monitor keeps losing signal, you may have a malware or virus infection on your PCs. Malware and viruses work in various ways, and they can take control of your display or even shut off your whole system.
For example, crypto-mining malware on your PC can get your GPU levels very high, resulting in high temperatures, which might lead to your monitor’s randomly losing signal.
Viruses and malware don’t need to mess up with your GPU to mess with your monitor, and they can do so directly if programmed.
8. Failing OS
Your operating system might have some problems which cause your monitor to randomly lose signal. This can be caused by faulty apps, viruses, corrupted programs, and other configurations.
Luckily, there are two ways to fix this, and if you suspect this is the reason for your monitor problems, skip below to the how to fix monitor chapter.
9. Damaged video card
Old graphic drives might interfere with your monitor, and too much thermal paste or foreign chemicals might damage your video card. A little bit of cleaning from time to time will usually prevent this.
However, if you don’t do it, it might result in your monitor randomly losing signal.
Similarly, if you have neglected your PC, then it might be too late. Your graphics card might already be broken, and a monitor not receiving a signal is sometimes a clear sign of a damaged video card.
10. Resolution or refresh rate issues
Suppose your monitor goes black while gaming. It might be because your PC uses a resolution or refresh rate outside its comfort or supported range.
Manufacturers often overestimate their FreeSync range, and when PC users take their frame rates below the FreeSync range, it results in signal loss.
11. Motherboard problems
When a monitor randomly loses signal, it’s typically related to your video card, CPU, or motherboard. If you have established that the CPU and video card aren’t the culprits, then it’s undoubtedly the motherboard.
A blown, bulged, leaking capacitor on your motherboard will make your monitor randomly lose signal. Bent pins on the side of the CPU or a bad capacitor are also likely causes.
You should also test your motherboard with specialized software to determine if it’s dying or has any other damages.
12. Internal monitor damage
Remember when Pentium computers were all the rage? Well, people definitely loved to kick their PCs back then.
Luckily, computers were far more sturdy back then. If your monitor randomly loses signal, then it might be because it has suffered some internal damage, or you bought a faulty monitor in the first place.
How to fix a monitor that randomly loses signal?
There are so many reasons why a monitor randomly loses signal. Luckily, there are just as many ways to fix this issue. If your monitor shuts off when playing games, or your monitor keeps losing signal in general, here are 13 ways to fix it!
1. Update drivers
One of the first steps you should take if your monitor randomly loses signal is to update your drivers. Press the Windows Key and type Device Manager. Click on Device Manager and go to Display Adapters.
Right-click on them and select Update Driver. After you finish, go to the Monitors section, and do the same with the drivers there. Check to see if any drivers need updates in the Sound, Video, and game controllers.
You can use software such as Driver Easy to update all your drivers. You can also uninstall your drivers and reboot your PC. Windows will automatically reinstall the latest version.
If your GPU is from Nvidia, you can manually install the GeForce Experience software, or if your GPU is from AMD, search online for the AMD Radeon software.
If you moved from a 60Hz to a 240Hz display or higher, you need to update the video card as this can cause monitor issues. To prevent further glitches, make sure you uninstall your old graphic drivers using the DDU tool.
2. Cooldown CPU
Suppose your monitor loses signal while gaming; it’s most likely due to overheating. Something might block your cooler. You have too many applications on, viruses, or dust accumulation might be blamed.
If your monitor cuts out when playing games, it might be because that game’s requirements are too high, and thus your CPU is in high demand, resulting in overheating. You can lower your game settings or buy better PC hardware.
However, if your monitor loses signal when gaming despite changing the in-game graphic settings, then you need to open up your task manager. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL, and select Task Manager.
On the Performance tab, check to see how your GPU usage is. If it is too high, go to the Process list and see which applications are straining your GPU—Right-click on these applications and select End Task.
After this, check your GPU usage and try playing your game again. If the problem persists, make sure your room temperature is adequate and nothing is blocking your cooler. A GPU standard temperature is between 65°C and 85°C.
You can use software such as Core Temp, Temp Monitor for macOS, or SpeedFan for Windows, to determine your PC’s temperature. If the temperature is too high, you might need to open up your PC/laptop; just make sure you have the suitable screwdrivers.
Clean up your cooling fan if dust particles are present and check up on your thermal paste. To check up on your thermal paste, you should search for a video guideline on your respective device.
To clean up your cooling fan, you can use a compressed air/blower and a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol. If you are using a compressed air can, be sure to hold your fan blades as they are fragile.
Stay a couple of inches away from your internal hardware, and use short bursts of air. Use the cotton swab with alcohol to rub the fan blades. If you suspect your CPU fan has other issues, read more about optimizing it.
3. Replace monitor cables and outlet
If your monitor loses signal when playing games despite the right CPU temperatures, it might mean that either your monitor cables or the outlet are faulty. Additionally, you might need more powerful cables.
For example, if you want to get 120Hz on your gaming TV from your PC, your cables might not support it. You may confront errors such as “monitor not receiving signal.” Check out the proper cables online for your desired usage to solve this.
Before throwing your cables away, make sure they are correctly plugged in and in the proper ports. If they’re not, then this is why your monitor randomly loses signal. Lastly, if your cables are too old, they might have some damage, or they are simply used up.
The best thing to do is to replace them with the proper monitor cables. Check your outlet and ensure that it is working. Replace your outlet if the issue is here.
4. Check UPS and surge protector
A UPS or surge protector can be defective. This can cause your monitor to lose power randomly.
Connect your monitor/computer directly to the wall outlet and disconnect the UPS. If your monitor no longer randomly loses signal, then it means that your UPS is overloaded, has too many devices connected to it, or faced other power situations.
5. Clear up files on SSD
Some Windows users reportedly fixed their monitor loses signal when playing games issue once they’ve cleaned up their SSD’s. It’s not clear why this happens. However, you can try it out and see if it works.
Remove unnecessary files from your SSD until you consider that there is enough free space on it. Check to see if the problem persists.
6. Update all drivers and OS
If your monitor keeps losing signal, you should make sure that your OS software is also up-to-date apart from updating your drivers. Some outdated software can cause problems with your monitor.
Go to Start>Settings>Update & Security and check if any updates are available for your Windows. Once the updates are completed, reboot your PC. If this didn’t solve your monitor issues, then buggy devices might have something to do with it.
Press the Windows Key and type Device Manager. Here, search for Other Devices. If you find the Other Devices category and a yellow circle with an exclamation mark, then these devices are conflicting with your other hardware.
Right-click on all these devices and select Uninstall. Reboot your PC and wait for Windows to install them again. Check again in Device Manager to see if the Other Devices section is gone. If it isn’t, download the latest drivers manually and install them.
If a red X mark is present near a device, it means it was either removed, disabled, or can’t be detected, and it might interfere with your monitor. Click on these devices, click on the General tab, and select Use this device (enabled), which is under Device usage.
If the devices were enabled, delete them, reboot the PC, and check if they are correctly installed. If the devices aren’t enabled, a downward arrow will appear next to them. Select the devices, click on the Driver tab, and click Enable.
If you spot the Unknown Devices list in your Device Manager, you need to update or reinstall them. If you have missing devices, they are not compatible with your OS and need to be deleted and replaced with the proper devices.
7. Perform antivirus check
A monitor losing signal randomly might be a sign of virus or malware infestation. Crypto-mining malware can put a strain on your CPU levels, resulting in issues such as your monitor randomly losing the signal.
Other malware or viruses can intentionally target your display. Perform an antivirus checkup with a professional tool, get rid of the threats, and reboot your PC.
8. Restore or reinstall Windows
Some OS problems can make your monitor randomly shut off. You need to enter either the CMOS or BIOS setup to check this. Reboot your PC and try one of the following keys to enter these systems:
Once you enter the BIOS or CMOS setup, leave your computer alone. If your monitor doesn’t randomly lose signal, you have an OS problem. You need to either restore your OS to a previous date when you weren’t facing these issues, or you need to reinstall your OS.
Go to Start>Settings>Update & Security> and choose Backup if you created one, or select Recovery. On the Reset, this PC option, click on Get Started and follow the instructions. You may have some settings and drivers changed after this.
You can also type “Create a restore point” in the Windows search box. When System Properties pop up, go to the System Restore tab, click on System Restore. Click Next, click on Show more restore points, and choose an option.
9. Replace or clean the video card
If your GPU is on board, skip this step. You might need to reset your video card to eliminate the error about the monitor randomly losing signal. Turn off your PC, open it up, and remove the screws from your video card.
Remove the video card from the expansion slot with care, and clean all the heat sink grease from it. Use a small brush and a bit of alcohol to remove the excessive thermal paste and other chemicals.
Wait for the alcohol to evaporate from your card, or use compressed air to speed up the process. Put back your video card and reboot your PC. Search for online disassembly videos of your PC model to get it right.
You might need to replace your video card if all options fail since it might be defective. To check if it is, connect your monitor to another PC or connect your video card to another PC and see if the problem persists.
If it does, you need to replace the video card. Use your warranty if possible.
10. Adjust the different resolution and refresh rate
Your monitor might not support the resolution or refresh rate that you’ve set it to, causing it to randomly lose signal. You can use CRU (Custom Resolution Utility) to edit your monitor’s settings and check the FreeSync range.
Install CRU, open CRU.exe, and click on Edit. Increase the lower end of the FreeSync range by 1 Hz. Confirm and restart your device with the restart64.exe. If the problem persists, increase your range by another 1 Hz.
11. Check motherboard
You need to check your motherboard if your monitor loses signal when gaming. Open your PC up, and if you see a leaking capacitor, blown or bulged, that is the reason for your problems. You need to replace it.
If you don’t find such an issue, check your CPU for bent pins on the side. You can bend them back but proceed with care.
If you don’t want to open up your PC, use tools such as Intel Processor Diagnostics Tool, AMD, or the Ultra-x collection hardware and/pr PC-Doctor to test your motherboard.
12. Replace the monitor
If all the issues above didn’t fix the losing signal issue of your monitor, and you believe your monitor isn’t compatible with your PC, then the best thing to do is to replace it.
Make sure you purchase the right type of monitor for your system specifications and the games that you want to play.
13. Go to service
If you still want to give your monitor a chance, then it’s time to call in the professionals. This especially stands true if your monitor was recently dropped or faced other types of damages, and thus you have a monitor not receiving signal.
Thank you for reading our article. We hope your monitor doesn’t randomly lose signal anymore, and you can enjoy your games once again. If you also face mouse stuttering problems while playing online games, here is how you can solve them!