Dell docking station not detecting external monitors when connecting monitors via HDMI or USB-C cables is a common issue with models like the Dell WD19, WD15, and D6000 docking stations.

To Fix the issue, you just have to disconnect the monitor and laptop from your docking station and keep it idle for about 1 minute and then reconnect your devices back to the docking station.

Dell Docking Station Not Detecting Monitor Image

This article will walk you through several other steps to help get your dual monitor setup working properly if the above fix does not work.

We’ll be covering quick fixes, manually detecting displays, restarting hardware components, updating drivers, and when to reach out to Dell support. Follow these troubleshooting steps and you should soon have your external display detected through your Dell dock.

Quick Fixes

Before diving deeper into troubleshooting, try these quick and easy fixes to get your external monitor detected through the Dell dock:

  1. Disconnect all cables from both the dock and monitor, wait 1 minute, then reconnect everything. Sometimes simply reseating connections will fix display issues.
  2. While cables are disconnected, check them thoroughly for any damage. Try swapping for a different HDMI or USB-C cable if available. Damaged cables can prevent proper signal transfer.
  3. Confirm your laptop is plugged into the correct USB-C port on the Dell dock. There may be multiple ports, but only one supports display connectivity. Refer to your dock’s manual if uncertain.
  4. Check that the monitor’s input source is correctly set to the port you have connected the Dell dock through, e.g. HDMI1 or USB-C. Toggle through inputs to detect the correct one.
Dell Dock connecting cables and power cables

These simple steps only take a few minutes and may save you from more complex troubleshooting. If the monitor is still not detected, don’t worry – keep following the tips below.

Manually Detect Display

If your external monitor is still not being detected, try manually initiating a display detection through your operating system’s settings:

On Windows 11:

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Click on “System”
  3. Select “Display” from the sidebar
  4. There you have to find the “Multiple Displays” option and in that you will have the option to manually force system to detect the monitors

For Windows 10:

display settings on Windows 10
  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Click on “System”
  3. Choose “Display” from the main settings window
  4. Click on “Detect” to make Windows 10 check for new displays.

On macOS:

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences
  2. Open Displays preferences
  3. Hold down the Option key on your keyboard which will reveal an additional “Detect Displays” button
  4. Click Detect Displays while still holding Option to initiate monitor detection.

Running through these steps activates a manual refresh to scan for any attached displays Windows or macOS may have missed on initial connection. Hopefully this will now allow successful external monitor detection from your Dell docking station.

Restart Docking Station

If display detection is still unsuccessful, restarting the Dell dock may clear any software errors preventing external monitor connectivity:

  1. Fully power off your laptop and disconnect all cables from the docking station (power, USB, display cables).
  2. Press and hold the power button on the dock for 1 full minute. This will discharge any residual electricity.
  3. Reconnect the power cable first, then USB and display connections. Power your laptop back on.
  4. Check that the dock power button blinks 3 times upon restarting. This indicates a successful reset sequence.

Restarting the dock reboots the whole system which often resolves temporary glitches. Hopefully this will provide a fresh start for getting your external monitor detected properly.

Restart Laptop GPU

Still having no luck? Attempt restarting your Windows laptop’s graphics processor using a handy keyboard shortcut:

  1. Close any open programs and windows.
  2. Press the Windows key + Ctrl key + Shift key + B key all at the same time.
  3. This will restart the GPU, essentially performing a graphics driver reset.

Cycling the GPU can clear up software and display configuration issues without needing to fully reboot the operating system. It essentially functions as a refresh to make Windows re-detect monitors and output devices. Very useful for troubleshooting!

Update Graphics Drivers

An outdated or buggy graphics driver can also cause display detection issues. Updating to the latest video drivers improves compatibility and resolves bugs:

On Windows:

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select “Device Manager
  2. Expand the “Display adapters” section
  3. Right-click your GPU driver > Select Update driver
  4. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software

You can also visit Dell’s support site to manually download the newest graphics drivers for your specific Dell laptop model. Keeping Windows and GPU drivers up-to-date is key for proper performance.

Additionally, make sure you have installed the latest firmware and drivers for your Dell docking station itself. Outdated dock software can disrupt connectivity. Again, find these at Dell’s support site.

When to Contact Dell Support

If you have tried all troubleshooting steps with no luck detecting your external monitor, it’s time to leverage your Dell warranty:

  • If your docking station is still under 1 year factory warranty, you are eligible for free repair or replacement from Dell.
  • When you contact support, provide detailed information on the issue andOutlinebustro the troubleshooting steps you have already attempted. This saves time and speeds up the repair process.


To quickly review, common fixes for external monitors not detecting through Dell docks include:

  • Reseating display cables and checking for damage
  • Manually initiating display detection in OS settings
  • Restarting the docking station and laptop GPU
  • Updating graphics drivers and dock firmware

Keeping cables, drivers and firmware updated is crucial for resolving monitor connectivity problems through your Dell dock.

If problems persist after troubleshooting, take advantage of Dell’s warranty support to get your dock replaced or repaired. Following this guide, you should be able to get your dual screen Dell docking station setup running smoothly.

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