Chances are that you will have a problem with your computer monitor at some time or other. Fortunately, most problems are minor and simple to solve. Some problems may seem to be caused by the monitor itself, when in fact it’s the graphics card or the display settings that are to blame. Use these quick tips to troubleshoot computer monitors.You’ll solve your problem with a minimum of time, effort and frustration.

1. Pull out your computer so that the back panel is visible. Check the connection of the monitor to the video device. If you have a graphics card installed, make sure that the monitor cable is not plugged into the onboard video. Make sure that the monitor power cord is plugged in, both at the power source and at the back of the monitor.

2. Consult the manufacturer’s documentation to find out how to configure the monitor. Access the monitor menus to adjust the brightness, contrast, zoom, size, position and color.

3. See if your CRT monitor has a “degauss” menu setting. This is helpful if your monitor has begun to display colors incorrectly, which may happen if it has been exposed to a strong magnetic field. If you’re experiencing color problems with your monitor and it doesn’t have a “degauss” function, disconnect the monitor from the power, then wait at least a minute before plugging it back in again.

4. Select Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Display. Select the “Settings” tab. Ensure that your settings are optimal for your monitor. Click “Advanced.” Click the “Monitor” tab. Under “Monitor type” ensure that the monitor model displayed matches your monitor. Check your monitor’s documentation to find the optimal refresh rate. Select the correct refresh rate for your monitor under “Monitor settings.”

5. Click “Properties” under the “Monitor type” tab. Check the “Device status.” Click the “Troubleshoot” button if you are still experiencing problems. Select the description in the window that best describes the problem you’re having. Click “Next.”

6. Run a monitor diagnostic program if the Windows troubleshooter fails to solve your problem. Check a trusted site such as Download.com for free and trial software. If possible, see if the manufacturer provides a free diagnostic utility. Run a full diagnostic on both your monitor and on your graphics device.

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