How to Fix a Dell Dock That is Not Detecting Monitor

The Dell WD19, WD15, WD19TB, and D6000 docking stations reportedly have issues detecting external monitors connected through HDMI or USB-C.

Here’s the quick fix recommended by Dell Support:

  1. Disconnect the docking station from both the laptop and the monitor.
  2. Wait for 1 minute, and then reconnect the docking station back to both the laptop and monitor.

In 99% of cases, this will resolve the problem.

If it doesn’t work for you, double-check the cable connections and manually detect the display in Windows settings.

Still having issues? Restart your docking station and GPU, and update the video card driver and dock firmware.

Cable Connections

Your monitor and docking station might be working fine, and the issue could be due to loose cables.

Make sure that the display cables, such as HDMI and your monitor power cable are properly secured. Switch the ends of the HDMI cable.

If the HDMI or USB-C cable, whichever you are using for data connection, is damaged, your laptop won’t be able to send information to the monitor.

If your laptop comes with multiple USB Type-C ports, connect the dock to different port on the laptop and try again.

Most monitors come with multiple input ports, so ensure that correct port selected as the input source in the monitor’s settings.

Manually Detect Display

Here’s how manually detect display:

Using Dell dock with your Macbook? Skip to steps for macOS.

Windows 11
  1. Open Settings.

To do that, you can either press the Windows and I keys on the keyboard, or open the Start Menu and then click on Settings.

If you don’t see Settings in start menu, type Settings in the start menu search and then press Enter.

  1. In Settings, click on System, and then select Display option in right pane. See the screenshot below:
  1. Under Multiple displays option, click on Detect button to manually detect the display. See the screenshot below:
Windows 10
  1. Click on Start button, and then click on Settings.
  1. In Settings window, select System
  1. Next, select Display on the left side. Under Multiple displays on the right side, click on Detect button.

If you using your Dell docking station with Macbook to connect to external display, here’s how to manually detect it:

  1. Open System Preferences from the dock.
  1. Click on Displays.
  2. Next, press and hold Options key on the keyboard. This will replace the Night Shift button with Detect Displays button. Click on that button. See the screenshot below:

Restart your Dell Docking Station

Restart your Dell docking station is as easy as restarting your PC. Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, disconnect your docking station cables from your laptop.
  2. Unplug the AC power from your docking station.
  3. Press and hold the Power button for about 1 minute to drain the remaining power.
  4. Plug the AC power cable back into the dock.

If the power button on the dock blinks 3 times. it means the reset operation was successful.

Dell Docking Station Power Button

Now, connect it back to your laptop and connect the monitor to it through HDMI or USB-C cable. Hopefully, this would fix your issue. If it doesn’t, then read on.

Restart your Laptop GPU

A bug in your laptop graphics card causes random problems such as this one.

In that case, I’d recommend restarting your laptop GPU, which is very easy and straightforward.

Just press Windows Key + Ctrl + B + Shift on your keyboard simultaneously. This will freeze your PC display for a few seconds and then it will be restored.

Windows + Control + Shift + B Keys Location on Keyboard

Update Graphics Card Driver

To update GPU drivers in Windows 10 or Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Display adapters section.
  3. Right-click on your display driver and choose Update Driver.
  4. Select Search automatically for the driver option.
  1. Once the driver update process is finished, restart your PC.

Update Docking Station Firmware

If restarting your docking station and graphics card didn’t work, follow that up by updating your Dell docking station firmware and installing latest drivers.

  1. To do that, head over to the official Dell driver download page.
  2. In the search field, type your Dell Docking Station model number.
  1. In the next window, select your operating system and then download the latest driver file.
  2. Select the Drivers and Download section on the left side and select your Operating System.
  3. Download all the available driver, starting with the Firmware Update Utility and install them one by one.
  1. When all the drivers are installed, restart your laptop.

If none of the above troubleshooting steps works, the last step is to contact Dell support.

Almost all Dell docking stations comes with minimum of 1 year warranty, so if you dock is under warranty, you will get free repair or replacement.

If you have any questions or queries related to this guide, feel free to ask me.

About the Author

Muhammad Qasim

Muhammad Qasim

Muhammad Qasim is an Electrical Engineer, Solo Entrepreneur, and Web Developer who loves troubleshooting gadgets and making cool things for the internet.

You can contact him on Email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or GitHub.

3 thoughts on “How to Fix a Dell Dock That is Not Detecting Monitor”

  1. Worked like a charm.

    I first thought that I had issues with my graphics card, but when I connected the monitor directly into my laptop it was working. Took me longer to figure out it was the docking station issue. Reset worked.

    • Hi Andre, glad to hear that you were able to fix the issue. The reset clears the docking station cache and temporary settings, which resolves most of the glitch-related problems.

  2. Thanks! I never would have thought to reset the docking station, and it worked!


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