What is Input Signal Out of Range? Causes and Best Fixes

By John Adebimitan

The “input signal out of range” error is one of the most common when you are either using dual monitors or when trying to change the resolution of a monitor.

The first time we got an “input signal out of range” error was when we had two monitors, one with a resolution of 1280 x 1024, we tried changing the resolution to around 1920 x 1080 (never recommended) and we started to see the error. Trying to change the monitor resolution back and even going as low as 800 x 600 in resolutions continued to show this error.

From our case, you’d be able to guess that a part of the problem was we changing the resolution to a level that was probably outside the range allowable by the monitor. So there are a couple different things that we could either knowingly or unknowingly do that would result in an “input signal out of range” issue on a monitor. Let’s explore these and some working fixes.

What Is Input Signal Out Of Range? – What It Means

So what does “input signal out of range” mean? “Input signal out of range” means that your monitor is receiving videos signals that it doesn’t understand from the computer. Basically, the computer is trying to tell you that the combination of frame rate and resolution that you selected produces a pixel clock rate that is beyond what the monitor can comfortably digitize. In most cases, reducing the resolution of the video or image in question, or reducing that plus the frame rate fixes the “input signal out of range” error.

So the cause of the “input signal out of range” error in our case was that we increased the resolution beyond what the monitor was able to run comfortably, and that is the cause of this issue for most people.

For others, it would be that the GPU of the computer is the culprit, and one thing to do would be to adjust the resolution that the GPU is sending out to be able to match with that of the monitor.

Sometimes, the HDMI you connected is the issue, and you would need to work on your settings so your computer and monitor can work together via HDMI.

Fix 1: Disable “extend these displays”

You would want to be sure that your “input signal out of range” error isn’t being caused by you setting the dual monitors to “extend these displays”. Try to have this set to “duplicate these displays” so that the screen will be identical on both monitors. Generally, what this does is forcing the setup to use the default resolution of both monitors.

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Fix 2: Adjust from the NVIDIA Control Panel

If you use NVIDIA on your machine, you would need to have your resolution set from inside the NVIDIA Control Panel to have your new resolution stay unchanged.

Fix 3: Update your Display adapter

Updating your Windows or Mac display adapter has fixed the “input signal out of range” error on many of our monitors. If you have a dedicated driver and/or a native graphics card, have these drivers updated. You can always go to the official website of your PC manufacturer to download the latest display adapters.

To update the display adapters and clear the “input signal out of range” error, press F8 as your PC is starting up to enter safe mode >> right-click on the Windows logo in the bottom left corner of the screen >> select Device Manager >> look for Display Adapters and Monitor >> remove these drivers >> restart your PC and it should have them reinstalled automatically.

Fix 4: Adjust Refresh Rate

To do this, take note of the recommended refresh rate shown on the “input signal out of range” error message >> click to enter the Start menu >> search for Change Display Settings >> scroll through and click on Advanced Display Settings >> here you will see the connected monitor as Display 2 >> go to the Display Adapter Properties for the connected monitor (Display 2) >> when the Configuration Settings open, click on the Monitor tab >> under the Screen Refresh Rate, adjust to the recommended refresh rate that was shown in the error message.

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Fix 5: Adjust with Safe Mode

You would want to start your Windows PC in safe mode first. Here is how to do it >> once in safe mode, click the Start button >> click Control Panel >> go to Appearance and Personalization >> click on Adjust Screen Resolution >> click the dropdown that is next to Resolution >> adjust the slider to the resolution that’s appropriate for your monitor >> click on Apply >> then click on Keep (this is to have the resolution you just set transferred to your regular Windows) >> restart PC and check if the monitor works.

Fix 6: Check for Hardware Issues

If your video card is damaged, and/or you have a damaged monitor or incompatible and/or damaged cord (likely issues with ports) the fixes we just discussed might not clear the “input signal out of range” error.

To know if any of these is the issue, connect your monitor to another computer, if it displays well without the error, chances are that the video card or the connecting cord is bad. You also want to connect your computer to another working monitor to see if the computer is the issue or if it just wasn’t compatible with the former monitor.

You also want to swap the HDMI or any other cords and ports you are using for different ones to be sure these are not the issues.

The principle here is trying to pinpoint the issue, and understanding that any part of your setup could be the problem. It could be the monitor, the PC, or some of the physical connections and ports.

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