If you are on a PC and your second monitor goes black when playing a game, then you are in the right place. There are times when a monitor is physically connected to a PC just fine, but for whatever reason, the screen is just black or there is a message like ‘No Input’ or ‘Cable Not Connected‘
There are several reasons why a PC display may show a black screen or go blank. It could be something as simple as a setting in your Windows graphics properties, or it could be something as complicated as a bad video card.
In this article, we will go over all the different reasons why this might happen. Usually, all it takes is the right software settings to get things up and running again. In more serious situations, you may have an issue related to a piece of hardware like your video card, monitor, RAM, or even your motherboard. If you are lucky though, it may just be a cable.
The second Monitor Goes Black When Playing a Game
Method 1: Check Power
This may seem basic, but overlooking the basics happens a lot more often than you think. Simply put, check to make sure the monitor is powered on. This is, of course, usually indicated by some sort of light on the device itself.
If your monitor powers on, but nothing is showing up on the screen, then press the menu button on the monitor and see what happens. If it is able to bring up the monitor’s built-in controls, then chances are your monitor is ok.
If you still have a blank screen, however, then this could indicate that there could be a problem with your monitor. Remember, even when you don’t have any input connected, you should still be able to bring up the monitor menu. So, if you can bring up the menu, then try a different monitor if you have one.
If another cable works, then you know that was your problem. If swapping out the cable does not do the trick, then try a spare monitor if you have one lying around.
Also, check to make sure that your PC is properly powered up. Make sure to check for any sort of warning or diagnostic lights or unusual beeps that may be coming from your PC when you power it on.
If the power button is red or orange, then that generally means that something is wrong. Also, if your PC beeps several times when turning on, this is usually indicative of an issue.
If the power is on and appears to be in working order, but you are still not able to get anything on your display, then it could be something as simple as your computer is in standby or sleep mode and, for whatever reason, cannot be woken up. So, try to press keys on the keyboard or move the mouse.
If none of that works, then hold your computer’s power button for 10 seconds and then release it. After that, press it again and see if your computer boots up as normal.
Method 2 – Check Cables
The next thing to do is to check all the cables. Whether you are using DVI, VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort, just unplug it on both ends. Cables can sometimes become detached and dust can sometimes creep in between connectors and adapters. This is even more true for cables that are not screwed in.
So, make sure to check all the connections on the PC and monitor end. Don’t just check the video cables, check the power cables too. Another thing to note is that if you have more than one video card or even more than one video output on a single video card, then you need to be mindful of how you connect the monitors.
If you have a dedicated graphics card, then you are going to want to make sure that the monitor is connected to the graphics card and not connected to a video connector that may be on the motherboard. By default, most motherboards will disable its built-in graphics solution if a dedicated graphics card is detected. There are some cases, however, in which this will not occur.
If you accidentally connect your monitor to the motherboard video connector, it may work right when you turn the PC on, but it will more than likely go blank as Windows boots up.
Method 3 – Check Source And Resolution
There are times in which you may accidentally set the resolution in Windows higher than what the monitor supports. With this happens, you can get a distorted screen or it will simply go blank. To fix this, you can start Windows in VGA mode.
Once you have your machines into safe mode, just follow the instructions here on fixing the blank screen issue because of screen resolution.
You will find that in most modern versions of Windows, the operating system will actually revert back to the original screen resolution within 30 seconds. That is, of course, unless you click on the Keep Changes button. Also, these days, Windows will automatically detect the highest resolution that your monitor is able to support. Using this information, will only show you those options.
So you will generally only run into this problem if you are using an older version of Windows or you have a very, very old monitor. You could also end up in a situation where you have a blank screen when there is a secondary display or projector connected.
This is something that can normally be fixed pretty easily if you are using a laptop. There is usually a function key at the top of the keyboard that will enable and disable the laptop’s auxiliary video output.
Also, you should make sure that the input source selection on your monitor is set to the appropriate input. Most PC these days will auto-detect the input source and automatically select the correct one. There are times, however, where this feature becomes disabled or stops working.
So, press the buttons on your monitor to bring up the options menu. Once you do that, find something called input or source and use that menu to switch to the correct input.
Method 4 – Recovery Options And BIOS Settings
If you are able to see the initial boot screen when you first turn on your computer, but then after that, it goes blank once it starts to boot into Windows, then most of the time that means that you have some sort of software problem with Windows itself.
If Windows has one or more corrupt files that are preventing it from booting, then your option is going to be to boot into safe mode. Once you do that, you are able to try to repair Windows either using System Restore/Automatic Repair or using the Reset or Refresh My PC feature.
A good thing to try first would be system restoration or even automatic repair first. Then after that, if neither of those options works, then you might have to reset your PC.
If you reset your PC, it will preserve all your programs and data, but reinstall the system files related to Windows 10.
Method 5 – Check Your Hardware
The very last step is to take a look at your actual hardware. Before you do anything further, make sure that you disconnect all peripherals and devices that you may have connected to the computer.
Things like your keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, speakers, printers, scanners, etc.
Sometimes, if you have some issue with another piece of hardware, it can cause your PC display to go blank. If that doesn’t help at all, then continue reading this article for further information.
There are, of course, times when the cable is not properly removed from the port and it ends up bending the video port on the computer. If this happens, it’s of course a hardware issue and it’s not good news.
On other occasions, people are known to attempt to insert a cable into a connection that doesn’t match, and that can end up damaging the gold or silver connectors that you see inside the port.
Here, there are several options but you are going to have to roll your sleeves up a bit. If you are not one to get your hands a little dirty, then you will end up having to take your machine to a computer repair shop in order to fix the bent or damaged ports.
Most of the time, they are just going to tell you to replace your graphics card.
If you fortunate enough to be technically savvy, then you can open your machine and check to make sure everything is connected or seated properly. A good thing to do would be to release and re-attach your graphics card. Honestly, while you are in there, it’s a good idea to do that with the RAM too.
You see, these connections have hundreds of fine-pitch pins. Sometimes, dust and debris can get down in there and cause all sorts of odd problems.
The only problem that it could be at this point is your motherboard or power supply. We are going to discuss all kinds of options to fix these things so just scroll down to continue!
In this article, we went over all the different reasons why a second monitor might go black while playing a game. Usually, it’s just a software setting that is not configured properly. Sometimes, however, it comes down to a failed hardware component such as a video card, monitor, or motherboard.
There are many different reasons why a second monitor goes black when playing a game. Every single one of them cannot be covered in a single article, but we gathered the most common fixes and we hope it helped you out. Thanks for reading!