Seeing a “monitor out of range” error can be frustrating.
This usually happens when your monitor and graphics card are not syncing properly due to unsupported display settings.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can try to resolve this issue quickly.
To fix the “Monitor Out of Range” error, adjust the screen resolution or refresh rate settings in your operating system to match your monitor’s capabilities, or boot into Safe Mode to reset the display settings.
What Causes the Monitor Out of Range Error?
Some common causes include:
- Your graphics card settings being changed to exceed your monitor’s capabilities. This can happen after a graphics driver update or making manual adjustments.
- Using a new monitor that has higher resolution/refresh rate capacities than your old display. Your PC may be sending the new settings to the monitor before drivers are updated.
- Issues with the graphics card or monitor preventing them from communicating and syncing correctly.
- Damage to the monitor or graphics card hardware.
Steps to Fix Monitor Out of Range
Here are some step-by-step tips to troubleshoot and fix an out of range monitor:
1. Check Your Monitor Resolution Settings
The monitor out of range error often appears when your PC is sending a higher resolution signal than your display supports.
Use the buttons on your monitor to access the settings menu and check the current resolution.
If the resolution is set higher than your monitor can handle, use the monitor menus to lower it to a compatible setting like 1920 x 1080.
2. Lower Graphics Card Resolution
If adjusting the monitor itself doesn’t work, you’ll need to lower the resolution being output by your computer’s graphics card.
- Go to your Windows Display settings (right click desktop and select Display Settings)
- Lower the resolution to 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080
- Restart your PC and see if the monitor out of range error appears again at the new resolution.
- Go to System Preferences > Displays
- Select the Scaled option and pick a lower resolution
- Restart your Mac and test if the error still occurs
3. Update or Reinstall Graphics Drivers
Outdated, corrupt or missing drivers can prevent your graphics card and monitor from communicating properly.
Updating to the latest graphics drivers from AMD, Nvidia or Intel can often resolve out of range errors.
You can update drivers automatically via Windows Update or your GPU manufacturer’s auto-detect software. For a manual driver reinstall, use these steps:
- For Nvidia – download drivers from Nvidia’s website
- For AMD – get drivers from AMD’s website
- For Intel – download Intel graphics drivers
- Uninstall your current drivers via Programs & Features or Device Manager
- Reboot into Safe Mode
- Run the new driver installer
A clean install of fresh drivers will overwrite any corrupted files that could be causing problems.
4. Test with Another Monitor
If updating drivers doesn’t resolve the issue, try connecting another monitor to your PC.
Make sure it’s one your graphics card is known to support.
Does the out of range error appear on the second monitor too? If so, then the graphics card is likely the source of the problem.
You may need to replace it if under warranty or use a different video output like motherboard VGA instead.
If the second monitor works fine, then you know the issue is isolated to settings/compatibility with your main display.
You may need a newer monitor that can handle signals from your dedicated GPU.
5. Reset CMOS Settings
Resetting your motherboard’s CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) will clear any corrupted BIOS settings that could affect signal output to the monitor.
Here’s how to reset CMOS:
- Shut down and unplug the PC
- Open the case to access the motherboard
- Locate the CMOS reset or clear jumper on the board
- Move the jumper from pins 1-2 to pins 2-3 for 10 seconds
- Move the jumper back to pins 1-2
- Close up PC, plug back in and see if error is fixed after reboot
This will restore CMOS settings to default and can resolve any conflicts preventing a video signal.
6. Test Graphics Card in Another PC
If you still can’t fix the monitor out of range error, remove your graphics card and install it in a different PC if possible. See if the problem persists.
If the card works fine in the second system, then there are likely still hardware conflicts with your original PC.
You may need a motherboard BIOS update or new components for compatibility.
However, if the monitor out of range happens with your graphics card in other PCs, then the GPU itself is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about the monitor going out of range:
Ques 1: Why does my monitor say out of range when I turn on my PC?
Ans: This error occurs when your PC graphics card sends a signal the monitor can’t handle on startup.
Try lowering resolution in Safe Mode and updating your display drivers.
Ques 2: How do I fix monitor out of range without access to display settings?
Ans: Restart in Safe Mode (repeatedly press F8 while booting), then change resolution using msconfig.
Or, reinstall graphics drivers from Safe Mode to default settings.
Ques 3: My monitor was working fine yesterday. Why the out of range error now?
Ans: Often a graphics driver update, Windows update, or new monitor connection changes settings that your display can’t handle.
Reverting resolutions or reinstalling drivers usually fixes it.
Ques 4: Can a corrupted graphics card cause monitor out of range?
Ans: Yes, corrupted driver files or GPU hardware damage can trigger an out of range error.
Try updating drivers, testing the card in another PC, or replacing it if faulty.
Ques 5: If my second monitor works, do I need a new main display?
Ans: Maybe – if you can’t resolve the error by adjusting graphics settings, it likely indicates your original monitor can’t handle signals from the dedicated GPU.
Upgrading the monitor may be needed.
With the right troubleshooting steps, you can usually resolve monitor out of range errors fairly easily.
Start by checking resolution settings in Windows and your monitor itself.
Reinstalling clean graphics drivers, resetting CMOS and testing hardware across multiple PCs can also help isolate the cause.
Getting both your GPU and display syncing properly again will have you up and running smoothly.