Have you ever experienced having your monitor turn black in the middle of an activity? It can be very frustrating when you can’t see anything to even type in commands and run a diagnosis.

A blackout monitor happened to me several times. It can happen randomly or turn black completely and never recover. I had to try several troubleshooting steps to identify the problem. Below I’ll share the things I did to resolve the issue.

black monitor

Your monitor goes black randomly

If your monitor goes black randomly while in the middle of working, gaming, or any other activity, whether online or offline, here are the possible reasons and what you can do:

Loose computer power cord

A loose power cord is one of the first things you should check when your monitor suddenly goes black. Tighten the power cord by pushing it up in its socket. The power cord is located behind your monitor. While you’re at it, check if the other cables connected to the monitor are loose.

Defective video cable

If you don’t know what a video cable looks like, it’s the one behind your monitor that’s rectangular and has pins and two screws on the sides. Try to disconnect and reconnect it again, making sure to tighten the screws. If this doesn’t work, you need to test if your video cable is defective.

Try it on a different monitor to test your cable and see if the screen opens up. If the monitor is still black, your cable is defective and needs replacement. The problem could be with your video card or other computer components if the cable works.

Defective video card

Another reason for a monitor blackout is the graphics processing unit (GPU). It is also commonly called a video card or a graphics card. It makes high-resolution graphics run more efficiently.

Open up the central processing unit (CPU) and locate the graphics card if you’re using a desktop. Remove the card and clean the dust off carefully before placing it back in the slot, ensuring it is tight and properly inserted.

If cleaning and reinserting the graphics card doesn’t work, you need to test it on another computer to see if it’s still working. However, you need to find another computer with the same PCI Express slot as yours to accommodate the video card.

If your video card fails to work on another computer, it could be the culprit and needs replacement.

Your monitor goes black permanently

If doing all the tests above proves your other components are working, but your monitor is still black, then it’s time to suspect that the problem is the monitor itself. Monitors have a lifespan of about five years or between 30,000 to 60,000 hours of use. Check and recall how old your monitor is, and maybe it’s time for a replacement.


If your monitor blacks out but you’re sure that the CPU is still running, the problem could be with the video card, video drivers, power cable, video cable, or the monitor itself could be damaged.

It’s always prudent to keep extra monitor cables around for troubleshooting purposes. If you don’t have an extra monitor or computer to do tests, ask for help and bring it over to a friend’s or family’s house and test it on their computer unit to save on repair costs. If nothing works, head to the nearest computer repair shop to have it fixed.


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