The high definition multimedia interface (or HDMI) is a proprietary video and audio technology that transmits uncompressed video to a high definition (HD) or 4K display. Simply put, an HDMI cable is the typical cable used to connect third-party devices to a TV or PC monitor.
PCs and laptops often come with an HDMI port that allows you to branch out to a second monitor or enjoy TV and movies on a larger screen. This depends on whether the HDMI port actually works; if it doesn’t, you will have to fix the problem.
If HDMI isn’t working in Windows 11, you can try some of these common solutions to get it working again.
Why isn’t HDMI working in Windows 11?
There are several things that can cause HDMI to stop working in Windows 11. The biggest indicator is a lack of sound or video on the external display. You may get sound without video, video without sound, or neither, all pointing to a problem with your HDMI connection.
If you are very unlucky, you may see (or hear) your content, but it may appear distorted, or you will see an error, etc. Whatever the case, try one of these solutions.
1. Clean the HDMI port and reattach the cable
Before you panic, try one of the most basic steps to troubleshooting HDMI problems in Windows 11: unplug the cable and plug it back in.
Before reconnecting, be sure to blow the dust out of the port manually or better yet with compressed air. You should also visually inspect the cable for damage. If there is, replace the cable, as it is probably the cause of your problems.
Once done, reset the cable at both ends.
2. Try a different HDMI port
Trying to connect your Windows 11 PC to HDMI but see two or more HDMI ports? This is probably a sign that you are using a graphics card and your cable is in the wrong port.
Some computers come with integrated graphics that include an HDMI port connected to the motherboard. If you have a graphics card, make sure you have connected the cable to the HDMI port on the graphics card and not to the HDMI port on the motherboard.
Hopefully that will fix the problem. Also, if your GPU has multiple HDMI ports, try another.
3. Change your HDMI cable
The HDMI cable does not need to show visible signs of wear for it to stop working. It could just be luck – a bad cable can break without warning.
If you continue to have problems, replace your current cable with a new one. If it works with a new cable, you can keep the cable plugged in or buy a new one if necessary.
Things can get even more complicated if you use adapters, like USB-C or DVI to HDMI. Mileage with these can vary, and you may need to replace them if you find that your TV or monitor is still not working.
4. Restart your PC
As soon as you connect an HDMI cable to your PC, Windows 11 should kick in and show something. However, sometimes Windows may not recognize that the port is active right away.
If this happens, try restart Windows 11 with the cable connected. During reboot, Windows should recognize the port and (if necessary) install the correct driver.
5. Try another type of output
If your video card and external display have different outputs, like DVI, DisplayPort, or even VGA, try them.
This will help you narrow down the cause of your problem. For example, is your graphics card failing? If another port works, the problem may be with the TV or monitor.
If you can use a different output, you may want to continue using it while you troubleshoot the HDMI connection.
6. Check for Windows updates
It is essential to keep your system up to date, as there could be an update that contains a “fix” for HDMI not working on your Windows 11 PC.
You can manually update Windows 11 opening Beginning and clicking on Setting. From there, click Windows update and then the button Search for updates.
If necessary, restart your PC or configure Active Hours so that Windows restarts when you are not using the PC.
You’ll also want to check for optional updates. This is the section of Windows Update that will display additional feature, quality, and driver updates. You can check it by going to Settings> Windows Update and clicking on Advanced Options.
Then scroll down to the section Additional options. You should see the number of optional updates available (if any). If updates are available, click Optional updates to install them.
7. Update display drivers
In addition to Windows updates, you will need to make sure your graphics card drivers are up to date. For example, a new graphics card might see updated graphics card drivers to fix stability issues like this one.
To update the display drivers, right-click the button Beginning and select Device administrator on the menu.
Then scroll down and expand Display adapters. Next, right-click on your graphics card and select Update driver.
Please select Automatically search for drivers and Windows will search for an updated driver. Keep in mind that your screen will flicker a couple of times during the process.
When you’re done, you should receive a message that Windows has successfully updated its drivers.
If that doesn’t work, or if you’ve downloaded an updated driver from the manufacturer’s website, you can install it manually.
To do this, right-click on the graphics card in the Device administrator and select Update driver. Instead of Windows searching for the driver, select Find drivers on my computer.
Navigate to the location of the driver you downloaded and continue with the onscreen instructions. You will have to restart your PC to see if the HDMI works afterwards.
Alternatively you can try installing the driver Microsoft Basic Display Adapter. This is a basic controller that should work in an emergency.
Instead of searching for a driver, select Let me choose from a list of drivers available on my computer.
Be sure to check the box Show compatible hardware. Please select Microsoft Basic Display Adapter and click Next. Restart your PC after installing the driver.
8. Check if the OEM software is up to date
Depending on the make, model, and manufacturer, your PC may include a manufacturer’s OEM upgrade tool. You will usually find the update tools in a folder named after the manufacturer in the Start menu, such as Dell, Lenovo, or HP.
You can also find OEM applications by searching for the first letter of Start menu. For example, we search in the letter D and we find the utility of Dell update on an XPS laptop.
Run the OEM update utility and you will probably see updates that Windows 11 did not find. These are typically OEM software updates and more importantly driver updates.
If you have a GPU driver update, be sure to install it. Hopefully the HDMI will work once you’ve updated your system.
9. Check the resolution and refresh rate
When connecting the HDMI cable to the PC and external display, you should select the correct resolution and refresh rate. However it is not always so. A blank screen may appear on the external monitor, which may be due to a display error. resolution or from no signal.
To fix the problem, go to the Windows 11 display settings to make changes (you’ll need to make sure you have access to a monitor that still works). First, right-click on an empty area of the desktop and click Screen settings in the context menu.
Then select the screen you want to modify. If you don’t see it, click the button Identify. Scroll down to section Scale and layout and use the drop-down menu to adjust the Screen resolution for the external monitor.
After setting a resolution, scroll down the same section and click Advanced display in the section Related settings. Select at the top the monitor for which you want to change the refresh rate.
Adjusts the screen refresh rate in the section Choose a refresh rateor. You can consult the user guide of your monitor or television to know the maximum frequency you should use here.
10. Check multi-monitor mode
If you’re using HDMI for a second display, the multi-monitor settings are worth checking out. If the settings are wrong, the PC could completely bypass the HDMI TV or monitor.
To check, right-click on an empty area of the desktop and click Screen settings.
You will need to select the appropriate option from the Display menu.
You can choose between Duplicate these screens, Extend these screens, Show only in 1, or Show only in 2. If you have more than two monitors, you will see additional options.
11. Run the SFC or DISM scan
If the above options don’t work, the problem could be system file corruption. You can use the tools SFC and DISM to check the local drive for corrupted system files and replace them.
To run these tools, right-click the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Administrator). If the UAC, click Yes.
In the Terminal window, enter the following command:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Allow time for the DISM tool to complete. Once you’re done, type the following:
These tools can take a while to run, so you may want to have a coffee. Restart your PC and see if the HDMI works once the SFC tool finishes its scan.
How to fix HDMI problems in Windows 11
The steps above should help you if your HDMI doesn’t work on a Windows 11 PC, whether you’re connecting it to an external monitor or a TV.
Generally, you won’t have to dig deep into troubleshooting. HDMI problems are usually caused by a bad cable, a loose connection, or an incorrect display setting. If you have problems, these solutions should solve the problem.
Do you have other problems with your Windows 11 PC? Don’t panic – there are tips to fix these, whether it’s a failed update or a malfunctioning keyboard.