Laptop Screen Not Working But External Monitor Does (10 Best Ways To Fix This Issue)

No doubt, working on a project with a laptop screen not working, but an external monitor does, is annoying. It is even more aggravating when you can’t detect why the screen is not functioning.

If you are lucky to have a product warranty on your laptop still, you can get the screen easily fixed by the manufacturers of your laptop model. But if that is not the case, what do you do? You can fix the issue in any way I’ve discussed below. 

What Causes Laptop Screen Not Working But External Monitor Does?

Reasons that could cause your laptop’s internal display not to work, but an external monitor does, are your graphic drivers’ files are corrupted, issues with the screen’s LCD unit, and the memory modules. Furthermore, examine the brightness levels of your laptop’s screen and check if the battery and the display cables are well seated in their compartments.

10 Best Fixes For Laptop Screen Not Working But External Monitor Does

10 Best Fixes For Laptop Screen Not Working But External Monitor Does

Remove The Battery And Power Supply

If you have plugged in your laptop and the screen is blank, one way of finding out why it happened is to remove the battery after unplugging it from a power source. You can perform this reset by taking the following steps:

  • Disconnect the power cord.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Press the power button for 30 seconds to eliminate excess static electricity.
  • Put the battery back and connect the power cord.
  • Turn on the laptop.

The laptop should power up with the screen displaying the operating system usually. 

However, if this does not work, you can also take these steps:

  • Leave the battery and charge it fully while the system is powered up.
  • Press on the power for up to 30 seconds to dispel static electricity.
  • Connect the power cord and power up your laptop.

Update Display Drivers

Another way by which you fix a blank laptop screen that works well with an external monitor is to check if the graphics display driver files are outdated. If they are, it could affect the proper functioning of the LCD unit. 

I recommend downloading the new update of the graphics driver files to get it working. You can update the driver files of a laptop’s graphics card by taking these steps: 

  • Right-click on the Start menu button, then select Device Manager.
  • Click the Display Driver Option.
  • Right-click on HD graphics, and select Update.
Update Display Drivers

The new graphics drivers update should have your laptop screen displaying usually. 

Perform A Hard Reset For Your Laptop

When you notice that your laptop screen is not displaying, a simple way to fix it is to perform a hard reset of your system. You can do this by first disconnecting the laptop from a power source. Then you remove the battery and hold down on the power button for over 20 seconds to drain your laptop of dormant power. 

Put back the battery and plug in the power source to power up your system. The screen should work as usual.

Reinstall Windows Without Deleting Any Of Your Personal Files

If your laptop screen fails, you can reset your system by reinstalling the Windows OS. Not to worry; this procedure will not affect any of your personal files. To carry out the Windows reinstallation process without deleting your stored files, follow these steps:

  • Hold the Windows and L keys, which will display the login menu.
  • Press the Shift key and click on the power button in the lower right corner of the screen.
  • The Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is activated.
  • Select the Troubleshoot option to reset your system.
  • Untick the box option to delete your personal files.
  • Follow the prompt actions to continue with the reinstallation process.

The Windows reinstallation process should fix any issues with your blank laptop screen.

Reseat Battery And Cables For Laptop Display Problem

Another way to fix a blank laptop screen is to check if the battery and the display cables are well seated in their compartments. A slight shift in the display cable modules or the battery not sitting well in its compartment could cause the screen to go blank when you turn on your laptop. 

To go about this reseating process of the battery and cables, take these steps: 

  • Shut down your laptop.
  • Disconnect the power cord.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Use a soft cloth to clean the battery metal tray free from dirt.
  • Put the battery back in its compartment.
  • Reseat the cables by removing and reinserting them to their ports.
  • Power up your laptop to test the screen.

Another way to reseat the display cables is to check if they are firmly connected to the motherboard after your system falls heavily. The impact from the fall could damage the display cables that transmit signals from the motherboard to the screen, resulting in the screen going blank.

You can also replace display cables that are worn out or have broken wires inside, which could make the screen not display. 

Restart Your Laptop

This is the simplest way of fixing a blank laptop screen, especially for Windows 8 and above laptops. All you do is turn it off and on your laptop. 

Apart from having the laptop screen working, it also helps repair any issues related to updating the operating system or the graphics card driver files on your laptop. More often than not, this simple approach works. 

Connect Laptop With External Monitor To Test The Display

A quick way of knowing if there is a problem with the laptop screen is to test it by connecting your laptop to an external monitor. You can attach a VGA, HDMI, DVI, or any other display cable available. 

This test method is helpful when you notice your laptop is running well but the display unit is not showing anything. To attach your laptop to an external monitor, take these steps: 

  • Connect a display cable from your laptop to the external display unit.
  • Press F4 if the external monitor remains blank until it shows the Startup logo.

If the external monitor displays perfectly, you know there is an issue with your laptop screen. You can check whether it is a damaged LCD screen or corrupted graphic drivers. 

Reseating The Memory Modules

A laptop screen may not display anything if there is an issue with the memory modules. It could result from memory modules not making firm contact with the motherboard.  

You can remove and reinsert the memory modules of your laptop to fix the issue of a blank laptop screen. You can reseat the memory modules by taking the following steps: 

  • Turn off your laptop, then unplug the power cable.
  • Remove your laptop’s back cover to access the memory modules.
  • Remove the memory modules, then reinsert them tightly.
  • Test the laptop screen by plugging in the power plug to power up your system.

Reset Your Display Mode

It is possible you dimmed the brightness levels of your laptop screen to the lowest levels, which could make it go blank when you turn on your system. Some laptop brands have brightness-level features allowing the screen to go blank. A simple resetting of the screen’s brightness levels could be required to return your laptop screen to a normal display. 

Contact Your Retailer If Your Laptop Is Under Warranty

When you have tried all of the above ways of fixing by yourself the issue of a laptop screen working, but the external monitor does, you can get it repaired by the manufacturers if your laptop still falls within the warranty period. It is a cheap way of fixing a malfunctioning laptop screen. 

The manufacturers will replace the faulty laptop screen when you return it to them. The important thing to note here is not to tamper with the screen within the warranty period so you do not render the warranty invalid. This will prevent you from incurring additional costs to repair the screen by manufacturers or another competent computer technician.


Why Is My Laptop Screen Black But My Second Monitor Works?

It could be from corrupted graphic driver files, a burnt LCD bulb, or a broken screen caused by a heavy fall.

Why My Laptop Is On But Not Displaying Anything On The Screen?

This could result from a damaged laptop screen or the graphics driver files needing to be updated to a newer version for proper functioning. 

Why My Laptop Screen Is Not Working, But The External Monitor Does Flickering?

This could be from the HDMI or VGA cable of your laptop not being firmly connected to the visual socket of the external monitor. Removing and reinserting the display cable will stop the external monitor from flickering.

Why Does My Laptop Only Works With An External Monitor?

Corrupted graphic drivers, low brightness levels of your laptop’s screen, improperly seated battery and display cables, issues with the laptop screen’s LCD unit, and the memory modules. All these things can cause you the problem where your laptop only works with an external monitor.


Your laptop screen not working but functioning well with an external monitor is caused by a damaged screen or the graphics driver’s files being infected by a virus.

Working with a laptop without a functioning screen but working well with another monitor can be a frustrating experience.

You can now try any of the methods I have discussed above to fix the issue whenever a laptop screen is not working but an external monitor does.

If the ways mentioned above do not work out, you can get your laptop screen fixed by a competent technician.

I hope your query about the laptop only working with an external monitor is solved, and you are satisfied; if not, comment below your query, and I’ll gladly assist you.

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