How to fix HDMI output problems in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The HDMI port is an important hardware component of any PC, since it allows the device to connect to external peripherals, such as monitors, video projectors, TVs, and more.
  • Hardware issues as well as driver incompatibilities can cause your HDMI output to stop working, and that's precisely the problem we will be troubleshooting below.
  • This articles is just one of many included in our dedicated hub to fixing Windows 10 issues, so make sure to bookmark it since these type of issues can arise at any moment.
  • For more great troubleshooting guides, check out our specialized Fix page.
windows 10 hdmi cable no sound

HDMI is a popular high quality connection method for both video and audio output, so it’s no wonder that so many people are using it. Speaking of HDMI, many Windows users reported various HDMI output problems.

These HDMI PC problems affect all Windows versions, including Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Here are some quick examples of how these issues can manifest:

  • HDMI won’t work on laptop
    • In most cases, TV fails to recognize your laptop.
  • HDMI audio won’t play
    • Oftentimes, video is available but audio won’t play, as this user reports:

I have my desktop PC connected to a Samsung TV using an HDMI cable. Video and sound have been working for months with no issue. Not sure if this is related, at some point I muted my desktop, when I duid unmute after some time, I still had no sound ..

  • HDMI image is too big for screen
    • Fortunately, installing the latest graphics driver updates should fix this problem within minutes.
  • HDMI video is choppy
    • This usually happens when a second monitor is connected via HDMI.

The most common problem with HDMI is that audio or video is missing and in most cases, that’s caused by driver incompatibility, but there are a few things that you can do to fix this problem.

If there’s no sound, video is missing, or simply your HDMI port is not working on PC, follow the steps listed below to refresh your audio and video drivers.


How can I solve HDMI output problems in Windows 10?

  1. Check your hardware
  2. Make sure that your HDMI device is the Default Device
  3. Rollback to the older driver
  4. Update your drivers
  5. Install drivers in compatibility mode
  6. Set your secondary display
  7. Run a full system scan
  8. Repair your registry
  9. Update your OS
  10. Clean your temporary files and folders
  11. Remove recently installed software
  12. Run System Restore
  13. Replace your cable

1. Check your hardware

Before diving into complex troubleshooting steps, first check your hardware. Make sure that the HDMI cable is inserted correctly and all the connections are fully functional.

Here are the steps to go through:

  • Make sure that the HDMI connection didn’t slip out. Unplug and then plug the cable again. To make sure that the cable is well connected to your HDMI port, you can also buy HDMI locks.
  • Turn on your HDMI TV or HDMI speaker and only then boot your PC. Then turn off the TV or speaker, unplug the devices altogether, wait for one minute, plug them back in and turn them on again.
    • Now that you refreshed your HDMI connection, follow the steps listed below.

2. Make sure that your HDMI device is the Default Device

  1. Right-click on the volume icon on the taskbar.
  2. Select ‘Playback devices’ > in the newly open Playback tab, simply select Digital Output Device or HDMI.fix HDMI issues playback devices
  3. Select Set Default > click OK.
    • Now, the HDMI sound output is set as default.

First things first, if your HDMI device is not set as the default device, the HDMI output is unavailable. Also, make sure that the ‘Show disconnected devices’ option is enabled, so that your PC can display all the devices connected to it.


You can’t find the HDMI device in the Playback Devices? Check out this simple guide.


3. Rollback to the older driver

Open Device Manager and find the driver that is giving you trouble. Usually, it has an exclamation mark next to it.  Right-click it and select the Roll back driver option.

This will install the previous version of the driver. This feature is available on Windows 7 and can help you to quickly fix this problem, as this user reports:

I fixed this last night by installing the Intel HD Display drivers for Win 8.1. It then allowed me to select “Sony TV” as an audio output option.

On Windows 10, you need to click on Properties and go to the Driver tab in order to find the Roll back option. However, it is usually greyed out, as you can see in the screenshot below.

fix HDMI issues PC device manager drivers

Sometimes, it’s better to use the default driver in order to avoid compatibility issues. To use the default driver, you’ll need to uninstall the current one and the default one will install itself. To uninstall the driver, do this:

  1. Open Device Manager and find the buggy driver.
  2. Right-click it and choose Uninstall.uninstall display driver wind8apps uninstall gpu driver
  3. Check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
  4. Restart your computer.

Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.


4. Update your drivers

4.1 Update drivers automatically

Sometimes, all you need to do to fix these issues is to install the latest drivers. Just visit your graphics card or motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers from there.

You can also update your video and audio drivers using the Device Manager. Simply right-click the drive that you want to update and select Update driver.

fix HDMI bugs PC update gpu driver

If you’re using a laptop, it’s better to download the drivers from the laptop manufacturer instead.

We also have to mention that in certain cases, old drivers can work better, so if the latest drivers aren’t working for you, follow the steps from the previous solution to uninstall them and download older version of the drivers.

If you want the latest GPU drivers, bookmark this page and always stay updated with the latest and greatest.


The majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.


4.2 Use a third-party driver updater

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.
      1. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates.
      2. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.driver updater diagnozing
      3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC.
      4. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
        • To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name.
        • Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
          driver updater scan finished

Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Users can certainly update device drivers on their PC manually by going to each device manufacturer’s website and searching there or on the web for the right driver to match their device type and model.

However, besides being time-consuming, this process carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions.

The safer and easier way to update drivers on a Windows computer is by using an automatic tool such as TweakBit Driver Updater. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus.

After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.


5. Install drivers in compatibility mode

Windows 10 still has compatibility issues with drivers, so sometimes it’s best that you install them in compatibility mode.

      1. Right click the driver setup file and choose Properties.
      2. Then go to Compatibility tab.
      3. Check Run this program in compatibility mode and choose Windows 7 from the list.
      4. Click Apply and OK.
      5. Run the setup file.

On Windows 10, you can also run the dedicated Program Compatibility Troubleshooter.

      1. Go to Settings > Update > Troubleshoot
      2. Under ‘Find and fix other problems’, select the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter > run the tool.

If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.


6. Set your secondary display

If you’re using HDMI to connect a second display to your PC, try setting it over in NVIDIA’s Control Panel. If you use an AMD graphics card, use its control Panel instead. The process is the same for both cards.

      1. Open Nvidia Control Panel.
      2. Go to Set up multiple displays.
      3. If your HDMI connected display isn’t showing ,try checking and unchecking the other ones on the list.

This sounds like an obscure solution, but some users reported that it helped them to enable the HDMI display.


Can’t open Nvidia Control Panel on Windows 10? Take a look at this article.


7. Run a full system scan

      1. Go to Start > type defender > double click Windows Defender to launch the tool
      2. In the left-hand pane, select the shield iconscan for malware
      3. In the new window, click the Advanced scan optionwindows defender advanced scan
      4. Check the full scan option to launch a full system malware scan.

full system scan

Malware may cause various issues on your computer, including HDMI connection issues. Perform a full system scan in order to detect any malware running on your computer.

You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.


Want to know more about how to scan your system with Windows Defender? Check out this useful guide.


8. Repair your registry

  1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administratorcmd admin
  2. Now type the sfc /scannow commandsfc
  3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer.
    • All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot. Once the process completes, check if your HDMI connection is available.

The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool, such as CCleaner or Wise Registry Cleaner. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.

You can also use Microsoft’s System File Checker to check for system file corruption. The utility verifies the integrity of all protected system files and repairs files with problems when possible.


scannow has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.


9. Update your OS

fix HDMI check for updates

Make sure that you’re running the latest Windows OS updates on your machine. As a quick reminder, Microsoft constantly rolls out Windows updates in order to improve the system’s stability and fix various issues.

To access the Windows Update section, you can simply type update in the search box. This method works on all Windows versions. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.


Having trouble updating your Windows 10? Check out this guide that will help you.


10. Clean your temporary files and folders

  1. Go to Start > type Disk Cleanup > launch the tooldisk cleanup
  2. Select the disk that you want to clean > the tool will them tell you how much space you can free updisk cleanup
  3. Select Clean up system files.

Problems deleting all your junk files? Follow this guide to solve Disk Cleanup issues.


Here’s how to use Disk Cleanup on Windows 7:

  1. Go to Start > type Disk Cleanup > open Disk Cleanup.
  2. In Disk Cleanup’s description section, select Clean up system files and select the drive that you want to clean up > click OK.
  3. On the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete > click OK > select Delete files.

The simplest and quickest manner to delete your temporary files and folders is to use Disk Cleanup. As you use your computer or browse the Internet, your PC accumulates various unnecessary files.

These so-called junk files may affect your computer’s processing speed, causing apps to respond slowly and may also trigger HDMI audio and video issues.


11. Remove recently installed software

Go to Start > type Control Panel > select the program(s) recently added > click Uninstall.

control panel

If you recently installed new software on your computer, try uninstalling it. Sometimes, newly installed software may trigger compatibility issues and various connection problems, including HDMI issues.

Then restart your computer, and see if the issue has been solved.


You can’t open Control Panel on Windows 10? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.


12. Run System Restore

Windows 10 offers a series of advanced recovery option that allows users to clean install the OS. If you’re a Windows 10 user, you can also use ‘Reset this PC’ recovery option.

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > click on Recovery under the left pane.
  2. Click on Get Started under Reset this PC > choose to Keep your files.recovery
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset.

If the problem started recently, run System Restore. If this issue occurred after you installed new software on your computer, this tool helps you remove recently added apps and programs.

The System Restore option allows you to restore the previous well-performing system configuration without losing any files, except for a few customizable features and settings.

If System Restore is enabled, follow the instructions listed below (Windows 7 and 8.1):

  1. Go to Search > type system properties > open System Properties.
  2. Go to System Protection > click on System Restore.
  3. Click Next > choose the preferred restore point in the new window.
  4. Once you’ve select your preferred restore point, click Next > click Finish.
  5. Your PC will restart and the restoring process will start.

After the procedure has been completed, try to see if the problem still persists.

If you’re interested in more info on how to create a restore point and how would that help you, take a look at this simple article to find out everything you need to know.


System Restore isn’t working? Check this useful guide and set things right once again.


13. Replace your cable

Also, there might be situations when your problem is hardware-related. In this case, we recommend you have a look at some of these highly-rated products that you could buy to make sure HDMI output works great on your Windows 10 devices:


That would be all, we hope these solutions helped you to fix your HDMI output problems.

As always, if you come across other solutions to fix HDMI issues on PC, you can help the Windows community by listing the troubleshooting steps in the comments below.

Also, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, use the same comment section to contact us. Don’t forget to tell us which solution worked for you.

If you have any other PC-related issues, you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • This worked for me (mind you, there are many issues with Win10 and HDMI, so you may need to continue searching for the answer that works for you).

    Locate the driver/GFX adapter in Control Panel -> Device Manager. Right click and disable it (don’t worry, the default driver will take over and you will not lose your display). Make sure your display is powered on and connected (something in the Skylark mobile CPU that recovers only if the display is connected – I do not know if it is necessary for other hardware) and re-enable to driver. Depending on the cause for loss of HDMI operation, you may now need to go to the “Project” and reconfigure for extended / duplicate / second screen only.

    Windows 10, without my permission, keeps installing new drivers on the background and every bloody time the Intel GPU driver is updated, HDMI dies again. You will notice the GFX driver installation from a quick screen flash and generally you also get that Windows system sound when a new device is connected. Most of the time the laptop’s native screen auto-brightness gets screwed up as well and you need to to the display settings and toggle the auto-brightness off and on (maybe even twice, like just now, for whatever reason).

    Sad state of affairs that you cannot prevent driver installations and especially that they cause this kind of issue. …and this may not even help you. It depends on what of the numerous Win10 HDMI problems you are currently fighting with. Good Luck!

  • Forget about it~!
    If You want to use HDMI go back to windows 8.1. this is just another attempt at scamming You out of Your money….thinking You’re going to fix this, without a computer geek charging a fortune to do what, is going to take, You an hour to do, at most~!
    Get rid of Windows 10 it’s a farce; it’s no improvement over, 8.1, but at least the HDMI hookup worked~!

  • i’ve tried the compatibility way and when i run the setup file od driver it say’s this computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for installing this device. and yet it’s allready installed wtf?

  • I tried the rollback idea and that fixed my problem. I have a amd display adapter and they updated in September 2016, I rolled back to the November 2015 update and it’s now working fine.

  • I constantly have issues, and have done all suggested steps above, but it only works for a little while, then stops working again. I found the quickest way to get it working is to go to Device Manager, sound devices, and disable then re-enable to AMD device. It’s a pain, and I have to do it nearly daily, but I haven’t found a long-term solution yet and this is the quickest short term solution.

    • Yeah, I was lucky to be able to get back to Windows 7. I use my laptop with VGA hook up to my 39 inch tv to watch netflix and youtube….could not believe Windows 10 would not detect TV. If I plugged in VGA and turned computer on,it would go straight to tv so I thought that was good enough but then my Netflix only had two large black stripes and I could not adjust resolution or figure a way to have full screen Netflix. Only took about 10 minuts to switch back to Windows 7 so I got lucky. Should not try fixing something that aint broken!!!

    • have your tv turned on and set to pc. have hdmi cable hooked to tv and pc. turn on your pc and give it a bit to start and it should go straight to tv disply…at least mine did. I could not get Netflix to play right so I switched back to Windows 7 and have all monitors detected with full picture controls!!!