Dell Monitor Entering Power Save Mode (6 Fixes!)

Dell has a great lineup of home office monitors, but they do come with a few challenges. One such challenge commonly reported by users working from home is that their Dell monitor keeps entering power save mode. Here’s how to fix it.

Dell Monitor Entering Power Save Mode

To fix the Dell monitor entering power save mode issue, turn off and unplug the monitor and your computer. After 30 seconds, power on the monitor first, followed by your computer. If the issue persists, ensure the correct input and display resolution settings are selected and all cables are securely connected.

In some cases, your PC is the culprit and as a result you may need to adjust your RAM sticks and/or CMOS battery.

Ultimately, there are 6 common troubleshooting steps you should try. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, some of these fixes involve troubleshooting the display directly, while others involve troubleshooting your PC.

I strongly recommend you follow these steps in order.

We will start with the most common fixes and then work our way towards less common, more involved troubleshooting steps.

Display Troubleshooting

Step 1: Unplug And Restart The Monitor And PC

Before trying anything else, turn OFF and unplug your monitor and your computer. After 30 seconds plug everything back in and turn ON the monitor FIRST, followed by the computer SECOND.

I know, I know. You didn’t come here to be asked “Did you try turning it off and turning it back on again?”

Humor me. The sequence is IMPORTANT – so again, turn on the monitor FIRST, then computer SECOND.

Countless users have indicated that after trying everything else, this simple solution worked for them.

So you’ve tried unplugging and rebooting the devices without any luck?

No need to worry just yet – continue on to step 2.

Step 2: Change The Monitor Input Setting

It is important to make sure your monitor is set to the correct Input.

To do this, you need to first know what kind of input cable you are using.

Dell monitors most commonly support 4 different kinds of cables: HDMI, DisplayPort (DP), DVI and VGA. Identify which cord you have using the image below.

HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA and DVI display cables

Once you have identified the cable you are currently using, locate the Source or Input button.

The Source/ Input button will either be located in the middle or right-hand side of your monitor. It will either be on the backside of the display or towards the bottom.

Dell monitor input source menu

For some models, you will first need to use the Menu button and then navigate to Input.

Once you press the Input and/or Menu button, options will appear on your monitor. Toggle the input options until you identify the input that matches your input cable.

Step 3: Inspect The Display Cables

Now that we are sure your monitor is set to the correct Input, let’s check your display cable connections.

First and foremost, make sure that the connection is firm on both ends.

A number of different failures, including audio issues and the no signal error, can be caused even if the connection is slightly broken on either end.

See that tiny space you see in the image below between the HDMI and the HDMI port in my laptop?

Loose display cable connection

You guessed it – that was enough to cause the error.

Next, make sure there are no issues or obstructions with the cable itself. Check for any signs of visible damage.

Finally, try using a different input cable than you are currently using.

If you are specifically using HDMI, try swapping it out for a DP, DVI or VGA cable and vice versa.

When you try a new cable, be sure to follow the process in step 1 again and adjust the display Input accordingly.

If using a different display cable solves the issue, a faulty display cable was likely to blame.

Step 4: Adjust The Monitor Resolution Settings

Your display has a range of possible resolutions that it can relay back to your PC.

It is likely that your computer’s graphic card is currently set on a display resolution that is higher than what your monitor can handle.

The easiest way to fix this is to hook your PC up to a different monitor and then adjust your resolution settings to the lowest level.

Navigate to Settings Display and scroll down to Display resolution.

How to lower the display resolution

Alternatively, if you do not have a second monitor to use, try rebooting your computer using Safe Mode. 

In Safe Mode your computer will automatically use a lower display resolution than normal use.

This will allow you the opportunity to go into your computer’s resolution settings and select a lower standard display resolution.

Not sure what resolution your monitor can support? You have two options:

  1. Find your serial number on the back of your device and locate it in the Dell monitor user manual lookup.
    Dell monitor model number location
  2. Play around using some trial-and-error. Start at the lowest resolution and incrementally increase it. Wait approximately 30 seconds between each update and see whether the error message pops up.

PC Troubleshooting

Before troubleshooting your PC, try using your monitor with another device.

This can be another laptop, desktop computer, game console, etc. If your monitor display works, then you know your monitor is working properly and your computer/ hardware is the culprit.

First, a few disclaimers. Steps 5 and 6 below require you to open and manipulate your laptop or desktop computer.

If your hardware is company property, it is best to leave these steps to your company’s IT support.

If your computer/ hardware is personally owned, you can also consider bringing it in to a local computer repair shop.

However, if you do plan to proceed make sure you have done proper research. At a minimum you should know how to properly ground yourself to avoid destroying your computer with electrostatic charge.

Step 5: Remove, Reorder, and Reseat The RAM Sticks

It is possible your Dell monitor keeps entering power save mode because your RAM (Random Access Memory) sticks are not making a proper connection. This is particularly the case if you notice the issue occurs immediately upon bootup.

To fix this, first power the computer off and remove the power cord from the outlet.

Next, properly ground yourself, open your PC unit and fully remove each of your RAM sticks.

Lastly, reorder the sicks and reinsert them back into their respective RAM seats.

RAM sticks location

Step 6: Reset Or Replace CMOS/BIOS Battery

CMOS stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor.

The CMOS battery in your laptop or computer powers the BIOS firmware. BIOS stands for “Basic Input/Output System” and it manages the essential functions of your computer.

Resetting your BIOS sets it back to its previous configurations and can often fix a lot of different issues. 

Once again make sure your computer is powered off, the power cord is removed, and you are properly grounded.

Next, remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard. Then, hold down the power button to drain all excess remaining power.

After about a minute, reinsert the CMOS battery back into your PC.

Finally, Reboot your computer and check to see if your display is working. If it is not, you will need to replace the battery entirely.

CMOS battery location


If your Dell monitor keeps entering power save mode, don’t stress. Try one of these 6 fixes and be back up and running in no time.

Dell Monitor Entering Power Save Mode – Top 6 Fixes

  1. Unplug and restart monitor and PC
  2. Change monitor to the correct input
  3. Inspect display cables
  4. Check monitor resolution settings
  5. Remove, reorder, and reinsert RAM sticks
  6. Reset or replace CMOS/BIOS battery

If you’ve tried all of these fixes, and you’re still having monitor issues, you can contact Dell consumer & member purchase sales support at 1-877-717-3355 or chat with a representative live.

You can also check out your Dell warranty policy.

Were you able to fix the error? If so, let me know how in the comments section below!

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