Does your external monitor turn off randomly? Here’s the fix

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
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  • When you are working on your computer and feeling really productive, then suddenly the screen goes black, this can be really annoying. 
  • At times, it could be a loose connection or possibly the internal energy-saving circuit. Try changing your wall outlet and see if it works. 
  • If it does not work, then it is a problem with the computer monitor and you need to do advanced troubleshooting to continue with your work.

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Often computers will often have issues that aren’t serious but can be frustrating. Other times they might be a warning sign of some underlying issues happening, like a major hardware problem. 

If your computer suddenly goes black, the first thing to check is whether the computer is set to enter sleep mode, which turns off the monitor. 

To fix this problem, you have to determine if it is coming from your computer or your monitor. It may be helpful to hook up another display so that you can isolate the problem.

It could be a problem with the hardware, or it could be a problem with the software. It could also be a problem with the internal wiring of the monitor, or a problem with something connected to the monitor.

Why does the external monitor turn off randomly?

This is a problem in which the display randomly turns off and on. The display can be on for a few seconds to several minutes, then turn back off. 

There are many possible reasons for this. Some include:

  • Screen issues – One of the most common problems is that there is something wrong with the screen itself. If you notice that your screen turns off when it gets hot, then it’s likely that there’s an issue with the cooling system in your computer. It, therefore, shuts down to minimize the risk of damage.
  • Faulty power switch – Your monitor may be turning off randomly because of a faulty power switch on the back of the monitor. The power supply unit in your computer’s case could be failing to send enough power to the monitor, causing it to shut off. Check that your computer is plugged into an outlet that works.
  • Loose connection – Another possible reason why your computer monitor randomly turns off could be due to a loose connection between the computer and the monitor. Make sure that all cables are plugged in properly. If you have any doubts about whether a wire is connected properly, unplug it and then plug it back in again to see if it fixes anything. 
  • Faulty GPU – If your graphics card drivers are out of date, it can cause crashes, video playback and display issues, game performance problems, and other related issues. Updating your graphics card drivers can make the difference between a great experience and a not-so-great one that is full of random shut downs.

Fixing this problem is not as difficult as you might think. In most cases, you can use a few simple troubleshooting steps to figure out why your computer monitor randomly turns off and fix it.

What can I do if my external monitor randomly shuts down?

1. Disconnect the monitor

  1. Unplug the monitor and allow it to cool down for a few minutes.
  2. If possible, blow over the vents using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust.

2. Unplug and plug the cables

  1. Find the cables (Power and Display) connecting the monitor to the CPU and unplug them.
  2. Plug them back in firmly.
  3. Check if the problem persists.

3. Update the graphic drivers

  1. Press the Windows key, type Device Manager in the search box, and click Open.
  2. Navigate to Display adapter and expand.
  3. Find your driver (In this case Intel), right-click and select Properties.
  4. On the Driver tab, select Update Driver.
  5. Check if the problem persists.

You will be able to solve this problem quickly and easily by following the instructions we have just provided. However, if you don’t want to manually go through all the steps, there is an alternative solution for you.

Driverfix is a great option since it has been proven to be more than efficient in fixing such issues from finding, downloading, and installing missing drivers.

4. Turn off energy-saving mode

  1. Hit the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run window. 
  2. Enter powercfg.cpl in the dialog box. 
  3. Check Balanced or High performance under Power Options.
  4. Next, click Change plan settings.
  5. Select Never under Turn off the display and click Save changes.

What can I do if my external monitor turns off randomly in extended mode?

An extended desktop is great for multitasking, especially if you use multiple programs simultaneously or need more space while working with a single program.

However, things are not always rosy and you may find yourself with a switched-off screen from time to time.

Expert tip:


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We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
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One of the most common reasons is that your computer is running out of memory. If this is the case, it might be shutting down the monitor to free up a little more memory.

This way, the computer can keep the CPU and hard drive running so the program you are using can do the work it needs to do.

If this is your problem, you may be able to resolve it by adding additional memory to your system.

The video drivers could also be outdated and just need an update. Simply visit your official manufacturer’s website and download the updated version (In this case, Intel).

Your CPU may also not be able to handle multiple monitors. The CPU is the brain of your computer system, and can only perform so many tasks at once.

When running multiple monitors, it’s possible that your current CPU can’t handle the load and thus causes the computer to crash. Try unplugging all the monitors and restarting your computer.

If you’re lucky, your computer will work again. If not, you’ll need to replace some hardware or consider a new monitor altogether. Should this be the case, consider one from our pool of recommended monitors both for work and home purposes.

As a safety precaution, you should also consider installing performance monitoring software on your PC to detect any problems early in advance and manage your system.

If you enjoy dual monitor setups, feel free to check out our guide on how to successfully set it up.

Also, in case you run into any problems, we have workarounds if your system cannot detect the second monitor.

We hope that our solutions were able to help solve the annoying problem and you can now carry on with your tasks uninterrupted.

Be sure to let us know what solution worked for you in the comments section below.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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