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Fixing Display or Video Issues on a Dell Laptop

Display issues with your Dell laptop can be frustrating but don't worry. You can take several steps to troubleshoot the problem and get your screen working correctly again.

This guide will explain everything you need to fix display or video issues on a Dell laptop. Here are some indicators of potential LCD or video issues:

  • Blank or black screen

  • Color fading

  • The image appears fuzzy, blurry, distorted, or stretched

  • Geometric distortions

  • Light leakage or bleeding

  • Flickering

  • The presence of horizontal or vertical lines

  • Light or dark patches

  • Dead or bright pixels

  • "Display driver stopped responding" error

  • Video unresponsiveness

Fixing Display Or Video Issues On A Dell Laptop

Key Takeaways

  • Learn to recognize indicators like blank screens, color fading, or flickering, which may signal LCD or video problems.
  • Start with simple checks, such as enhancing computer performance with SupportAssist, to diagnose and resolve issues efficiently.
  • Determine if the problem lies with the monitor, GPU, or computer settings by connecting to a known-good external monitor.
  • Check for physical damage to display cables or the screen itself, as it can cause various display abnormalities.
  • Utilize built-in diagnostic tools on Dell monitors to identify and troubleshoot screen abnormalities effectively.
  • Reset your Dell monitor to factory defaults via the on-screen display menu to address certain display issues.
  • Take advanced steps like performing a hard reset, verifying monitor functionality, and restoring BIOS settings if basic methods fail.
  • Remember to keep drivers updated, maintain system cleanliness, and seek professional assistance if issues persist despite troubleshooting efforts.

How to Fix Display or Video Issues on a Dell Laptop: Basic Checks and Troubleshooting

How To Fix Display Or Video Issues On A Dell Laptop: Basic Checks And Troubleshooting

It might sound simple, but it's important to start with the basic checks and then fix them using this knowledge.

Solution 1: Enhance Computer Performance with SupportAssist

Updating device drivers and BIOS ensures your Dell monitor operates optimally. Utilize the SupportAssist application to enhance video performance and troubleshoot common video-related issues effectively.

Here's how to access and run SupportAssist:

  1. Press and hold the Windows key (Windows Button), then press the q key.
  2. Type "SupportAssist" in the search box.
  3. Choose SupportAssist (App) from the search results. Note: If SupportAssist isn't listed, visit the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page for download and installation guidance.
  4. Click "Start Now" to initiate the tests. Note: You can also select specific tests by clicking the down arrow; however, Dell recommends running a comprehensive computer test to diagnose LCD or video issues.
  5. SupportAssist conducts tests sequentially, providing detailed results and recommended actions.

Solution 2: Fix Display or Video Problems with an Alternate Monitor

To pinpoint whether your issue lies with the monitor, GPU, or computer settings, it's crucial to test with a known-good external monitor or TV. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your computer to a reliable external monitor or TV using an appropriate display cable (e.g., S-video, VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, or Thunderbolt 3).
  2. Ensure the cable is securely connected to the computer's video port and the monitor.

If the problem persists on the alternate monitor, it's likely related to the GPU or video settings rather than the monitor itself. Move on to the next troubleshooting step.

Solution 3: Assess the Physical Damage

Issues in display performance can arise from physical damage to display cables or the LCD screen itself. Symptoms of such damage may include the screen not functioning, intermittent operation, color discrepancies, flickering, or the appearance of horizontal/vertical lines.

If you observe any physical damage, we recommend contacting Dell Technical Support for insights into available Dell Laptop repair services in your area. If no damage is evident, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Solution 4: Performing Hardware Diagnostics on Dell Monitors

Dell monitors are equipped with self-test features such as Self-Test Feature Check (SFTC), Built-In Self-Test (BIST), or Built-In Diagnostic (BID) tools. These tools can identify whether screen abnormalities stem from the Dell monitor, video card (GPU), and computer settings.

It's recommended to isolate the monitor when encountering screen issues like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, color fade, fuzzy or blurry images, or the presence of horizontal/vertical lines. To run a diagnostic test on your Dell monitor, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article: "How to Perform a Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor.

Solution 5: Restoring the Monitor to Default Settings

Resetting a Dell monitor to its factory default settings is achievable through the on-screen display (OSD) menu, accessible via the monitor's buttons or joystick. To initiate this process, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Dell Manuals website.
  2. Locate your Dell monitor model using the model number or Service Tag and click Search. Alternatively, navigate through Browse All products > Electronics and Accessories > Monitors and Accessories > Select your Dell monitor.
  3. In the Manuals and Documents section under the Documentation tab, access the User Guide by clicking View PDF.
  4. Explore the Operating the Monitor section of the User Guide for guidance on using the On-Screen Display (OSD) Menu.
  5. Follow the OSD menu instructions to locate and execute the Factory Reset option, as the User Guide details.

Solution 6: Fix Display or Video Problems in Windows Safe Mode

Utilizing Windows Safe Mode can help pinpoint whether the issue stems from the operating system, video settings, device drivers, or third-party software. To access Safe Mode on your Dell computer, refer to the relevant Dell Knowledge Base articles based on your operating system:

  • For Microsoft Windows 11 or Windows 10, refer to the specified Dell Knowledge Base article.
  • For Microsoft Windows 8 or 8.1, consult the respective Dell Knowledge Base article to see the Dell knowledge base.

If the problem persists in Windows Safe Mode, proceed to the next troubleshooting step. Otherwise, continue performing a Windows System Restore to help resolve issues on a Dell monitor.

Solution 7: Update the Microsoft Windows Operating System

Regularly updating your Windows OS is crucial for maintaining system functionality, addressing specific issues, enhancing security against cyber threats, and introducing new features, which could include updates for your Dell monitor driver.

Here's how to update Windows on your respective operating systems:

For Microsoft Windows 11:

  1. Right-click Start and select Settings.
  2. Navigate to Windows Update in the Settings panel.
  3. Click on "Check for updates" on the right panel.
  4. Restart your computer after downloading and installing the updates.

For Microsoft Windows 10:

  1. Right-click Start and choose Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security in the Settings panel.
  3. Click on Windows Update in the left panel.
  4. Click "Check for updates" on the right panel.
  5. Restart your computer after downloading and installing the updates.

Advanced Troubleshooting to Fix Display or Video Issues on a Dell Laptop

Advanced Troubleshooting To Fix Display Or Video Issues On A Dell Laptop

Be mindful of going in with the advanced troubleshooting because a simple misstep can cause you your laptop.

Solution 1: Performing a hard reset

A hard reset is essential to address power issues caused by static electricity. Here are the steps to carry out a hard reset:

  1. Power off the computer.
  2. For desktops, disconnect the power cable; for Dell laptops with removable batteries, disconnect the AC adapter and remove the battery.
  3. If your Dell laptop's battery is nonremovable, refer to "How to Reset Real-Time Clock (RTC) to Recover Your Dell Laptop." Consult your user guide for battery removal instructions for laptops with removable batteries.
  4. On select Dell Latitude laptops, refer to "How to Use Forced ePSA to Recover from a POST or Boot Failure."
  5. Disconnect all peripheral devices except keyboard and mouse, USB drives, printers, webcams, and media cards.
  6. Press and hold the power button for 15 to 20 seconds to discharge residual power.
  7. Reconnect the power source (for desktops) or the AC adapter and battery (for laptops).
  8. Power on the computer.

Solution 2: Verify Monitor Functionality

If your computer boots up but the screen remains blank or black, follow these steps to check your monitor's functionality and verify display or video issues on a Dell monitor:

  1. Ensure the monitor is powered on by checking the power light.
  2. If the monitor is off, unplug it and reconnect its power cable.
  3. Test using a known-working power outlet.
  4. If the monitor functions correctly but the display problem persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting step. However, If the monitor still doesn't turn on after these attempts, contact Dell Technical Support or expert Dell Laptop Repair services at iFixScreens for repair options.

Solution 3: Re-establish a Video Connection 

A loose or faulty connection between your monitor and computer can lead to display problems. Follow these steps to reconnect the video cable and troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Power off both the computer and the monitor.
  2. Disconnect the video cable linking the monitor and computer.
  3. Inspect the video ports on both devices and the cable for damaged or bent pins. If everything appears fine, reconnect the monitor to the computer and ensure the monitor driver is correctly installed. Alternatively, if you have a spare video cable, try using it to connect the devices. Avoid using a docking station initially to rule out its impact on the display problem. Note: Refer to the user guides of your monitor and computer to confirm compatible video cable types.
  4. Power on the computer to check if the display problem is resolved.

Solution 4: Restore BIOS or UEFI to Default Settings

Incorrect boot configurations within the BIOS or UEFI can lead to boot-related problems. Consulting your Dell user guide might assist. Restoring these settings to their factory defaults can often resolve such issues. Refer to this video guide for instructions on resetting the BIOS or UEFI to factory defaults.

Solution 5: Performing a Display Hardware Diagnostic

Troubleshooting display issues often involves running diagnostic tests tailored for specific devices like monitors and laptops. Here's how to proceed:

Running Built-in Diagnostic Tests on Dell Monitors, Dell monitors feature a comprehensive Built-In Self-Test (BIST) tool to assess screen functionality.

  1. Navigate to Dell's support website at Dell.com/support/manuals.
  2. Locate your Dell monitor using its model number or Service Tag.
  3. Access the monitor's user guide under the Documentation section.
  4. Follow the Troubleshooting guidelines to execute the Built-In Diagnostics outlined in the manual. This may include resetting your computer to factory defaults, as your Dell user guide suggested.
  5. If the diagnostics reveal no abnormalities, the display is deemed functional. Otherwise, contact Dell Technical Support for repair assistance to help resolve any persisting monitor driver issues.

Conducting LCD Built-in Self-Test on Dell Laptops: Dell laptops come equipped with an LCD Built-In Self-Test (BIST) mode for screen diagnostics.

  1. Power off the laptop and disconnect external devices.
  2. Connect the AC adapter and ensure a clean LCD screen surface.
  3. Press and hold the D key while powering the laptop to enter LCD BIST mode.
  4. Observe color bars and screen transitions for abnormalities, which might indicate issues on a Dell monitor.
  5. Exit BIST mode by pressing Esc.
  6. The display is functional if no anomalies are detected; otherwise, contact Dell Technical Support for repair guidance.

Final Thoughts

Troubleshoot Display Or Video Issues On A Dell Laptop

Following these steps, you should be well-equipped to tackle your Dell laptop's most common display and video problems. If the issue persists after your best efforts, don't hesitate to contact Dell service for further assistance. Remember, keeping your drivers updated, maintaining a clean system, and performing occasional hardware checks can go a long way in preventing display problems in the first place.

If nothing works, you can refer to your trusted technicians at iFixScreens for Dell Laptop Repair Services. At iFixScreens, we handle numerous laptop repairs annually across our stores, ensuring top-notch quality and service. Our certified technicians take pride in delivering consistent quality when performing laptop repairs.   

Happy troubleshooting!


Q. What standard display or video issues can occur on a Dell laptop?

A. Standard display or video issues on a Dell laptop include screen abnormalities, horizontal or vertical lines on the screen, and incorrect video settings.

Q. How can I troubleshoot issues on a Dell laptop's monitor?

A.  You can troubleshoot display or video issues on a Dell laptop's monitor by checking the video cable connection, running diagnostic tests, and verifying the LCD or video settings.

Q. How can I contact Dell technical support for assistance with Fix display or video issues?

A. If you need further assistance with display or video issues on your Dell laptop, you can contact Dell technical support online or you can visit any local iFixScreens.

Q. How can I address screen abnormality on my Dell laptop?

A. If you are experiencing screen abnormalities such as flickering or distorted images, try adjusting the LCD settings and updating the video drivers on your Dell laptop.

Q. How do I perform a diagnostic test to identify the cause of display issues on my Dell laptop?

A. You can run a diagnostic test provided by Dell to help identify the root cause of any display issues you are experiencing and determine the appropriate solution.

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Issues on a Dell, Video Problems on Your Dell Laptop, Display or Video Issue, Fixing Display Issue on Your Dell Laptop

Ravi Shah

About the author

Ravi Shah

Ravi is the head of Content Strategy at iFixScreens Corporate. With over a decade of experience writing technical content for his readers, Ravi has helped thousands of readers with helpful content, tips, and tricks. He mainly writes content related to gadget repairs, such as iPhones, Smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Question? Send me an email info@ifixscreens.com