7 Projector Display Problems and Fixes You Should Know

Too often we plug in our projector for a presentation, only to get what we were not expecting. You might be seeing your presentation on your laptop, but the projector won’t show the presentation or the presentation is not of the best quality.

Maybe you’re even on the other side of this problem, where you’re trying to present from your computer but the projector is doing something weird. We take your concerns with great importance, and that’s why we have come up with a guide to assist you in the process of fixing these problems. So, let’s get started!

Common Projector Display Problems

The issues you are experiencing are the symptoms of the issues/ problems in your projector. They can give you a clue of what could be the problem with your projector and the most effective way to fix it. We will go through these problems and explain to you the solution to each problem. Without any further delay below are the common projector display issues:

No Display Even When Your Projector Is Turned On

You are pretty confident that your computer is on and working perfectly. However, when you look at your presentation/screen there is no image displayed. The first thing to do is check the power indicator. If the indicator shows a blank then it means that the projector has not had enough power to run.

Additionally, check and verify that all the cables are connected correctly. This can be your VGA or HDMI depending on what you are using. If everything seems okay, then the problem is somewhere else.

Check if you have removed the lens cap and that there is no obstacle between the projector lens and the screen. Another reason you are not getting any display is an incompatible source file or source device. For the latter, choose an adapter that enables the two machines to work together. If the file type is the issue, then change the file type (.ppt, .pdf, etc.) to an accessible one. The manual indicates the type of files your projector can or cannot display.

If all of the above are correct, ask yourself whether you are using the right input. You can easily find out that you have connected your device using an HDMI cable and yet you have selected VGA as your input option. Therefore, ensure you have chosen the right option.

Poor Quality Image

The image quality could be so poor to the extent of being unwatchable. Characteristics of poor image quality include faded and dull images, visible dots and lines, and shadows.

For faded images, the first thing to do is check the environment where you are using your projector. Ensure that it is well-lit. Also, check whether you have the right lens for the job. This will help in capturing more light.

If that is not the case, then it could be the wrong optimization settings. Check the settings on your projector and make sure you have selected the correct one. Check the brightness, zoom, color configuration, and contrast settings. This will ensure that you are using the correct contrast ratio and brightness for the screen size. A simple adjustment can correct the issue of poor image.

For dots, lines, and shadows, check to see whether you are using the right lens for the job. If there are some distorting lenses, then you should remove them.

Also, check that there is no dust or debris on your projector lens. In some cases, the issues of dot lines and shadows could be because of a faulty connection between your projector and the source device. Ensure that the connections are secure. If the problem persists, consider replacing the projector lamp.

Projector Light Is Flickering

Nothing irritates more than when you are watching your favorite movie and then you see that the image is flickering every few seconds. The projector light is flickering due to high temperature and can be corrected by letting the projector cool down.

However, if the light is dim, then this could mean that your lamp has a low bulb life. In most cases, buying a replacement bulb will correct the problem. Nevertheless, everything could be okay and the blinking light is telling you that your projector is on standby mode and working.

Partial Image Is Being Projected

If you are not seeing the full image, it could be because of a few reasons. This problem could occur because of the improper alignment between the lens and your screen. Make sure that you have properly aligned the projector lens with your screen. Check that there are no barriers between them and that they are properly connected.

It is also possible that you have selected the wrong input. Make sure that the input you have selected is compatible with your source device. The manual will mention all these including how to change the resolution. If that is not the case, then change the setting on your projector.

You might also experience this problem if there is a screen glare. In this case, move your projector slightly to project on a darker surface. Moreover, it might be because you are zooming in too much. Choose a lower zoom level to correct this.

Finally, the problem could be because of a software issue. If this is the case, it might be best to restart your computer.

Color Concentration on the Edges of Your Images

This is another common problem that you may experience. The problem originates from the image being projected to a small area. The image is focused over a smaller area, therefore there are areas scattered in different colors. To solve this, make sure that you are selecting the correct resolution for the room you are in. This can be adjusted by moving the zoom of your projector lenses.

Additionally, the issue could be lying in the image processor of your projector. The image is not focused properly and this will result in a dark image on the edges of your screen. You can resolve this problem by adjusting the contrast and brightness settings on your projector.

Desktop Icons Missing on Your Projector Screen

Whether you are a professional or not, this is a very common problem. To fix this you will have to find the settings on your projector. The problem originates from the setup of your computer’s settings.

You will have to look for the desktop icons and make sure that these are enabled on your screen. Choose a dual or multiple display clone from your computer to solve this issue.

Distorted Color on the Projected Image

This happens a lot when there is lots of light in the room. This might make you decide to dim your lights but even then the color will not be correct. The reason for this is that the setting on your projector could be affecting your video source. This is easily solved by adjusting the color settings on your computer.

Furthermore, the issue could be the cables. If your cables are loose and there is some movement, then this could become a source of distorted colors. Also, if the cables are damaged, replace them.

Other Projector Issues and Their Solutions


This is a problem you will most likely experience during the lifespan of a projector. If the temperatures of your projector get too high a warning message pops up on your screen. The next thing that might happen is your device shutting down without warning to caution the internal components from damage.

Signs that indicate your projector is overheating include:

  • A too loud fan. If you hear a high-pitched sound from your projector, it means that it is working too hard to cool the components inside. This could be due to the lamp being too hot. To solve this problem, turn off your projector and let it cool down.
  • Hot projector lamp. If you notice that your projector lamp is hot then you might be experiencing a problem. There are a few possible issues that could be causing this problem such as the lamp being too close to the projector or some loose components.
  • The air exhaust port is hot to touch. This happens when the parts inside the projector are unable to cool down. Either its fan is not working or the air exhaust port is not efficient enough to keep your projector cool. Check that your projector has been charged for some time and use it without any issues. If that is not the case then it might be a good idea to consult a technician.

If your projector is too hot, shut it down and try to fix it. But you have to wait until the machine is completely cool before trying to fix it. Move your machine from direct sunlight to a dark room. This could be the main reason your fan is overheating.

Next, open your projector and clean the vital internal components. Dust and gunk could be the reason why your machine is not working properly or rather overworking resulting in overheating.

Projector Not Turning On

When your projector does not turn on after a few tries, this could be a couple of issues. First, check if the main power connection is tight. The smaller the cable, the more likely that it will lose connection. Furthermore, make sure that it has not been unplugged accidentally.

Next check if the power supply of your projector is damaged. The power supply board is one of the most sensitive pieces in your projector. It is possible that you have bumped it or caused a short circuit in the process.

Lastly, check for loose screws and connectors. Sometimes this type of issue is caused by the projector becoming damaged. There are a few small parts in your projector that are important to access with ease. If you lose these, then it could be the reason why your projector does not turn on.

Some problems are hard to notice. For instance, your remote batteries could be the reason why your projector is not turning on. Check that the batteries are not fully drained because no matter how many times you try to turn them on, the projector will not turn on until the batteries are replaced.

Projector Turning On and off Immediately

This is another situation that you might encounter as a user. The issue could have come from your projector being unable to produce enough heat to light the lamp or this could be because the lamp is old. Check and see if you have been using your projector for a long period and if the lamp is almost burned out.

But, before you make this call, check whether the fan is the issue. If the fan is not rotating, your machine will overheat and eventually shut down to prevent damage to internal components. If the fan is the issue, clean it so that it can spin more effectively and freely.

Projector Not Turning Off

When your projector is on, there is nothing you can do to make it turn off. This is because we cannot use the power switch. Even if you unplug your projector, it will only turn off when the device runs out of power or the batteries are drained out completely.

However, in the case that your machine is not turning off, there are a few possible issues that could be causing this. First, check if your projector has overheated. If it is, then the components inside have been damaged and need to be replaced.

Next, check the air exhaust port and make sure that it’s calibrated. This is to avoid dust and other particles from entering the machine. It will be good to not only clean it but also to clean the other parts that could be causing your projector not to turn off.

Lastly, check loose screws and connections. This may be caused by a component that you have already replaced because it is not tight enough or was too loose. Refer to the replacement part guide if you cannot fix your problem.


Overall, the issues you may encounter with a projector could be minor. Or, it could cause your machine to crash and ruin the rest of your presentation. That is why it is better to know the different problems you could encounter then to fix them purposely. Now that you know these issues, you can better prepare yourself for them and prevent them from happening. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

However, if problems occur, with the above information, you can fix them yourself by following the guidelines above. The issue you encounter with your projector may not be an easy fix. You can also seek help from a technician who specializes in these issues or ask your friends or family for advice.

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