How to Connect Monitor With No HDMI Ports?

While HDMI ports are ubiquitous among monitors, specific monitors, particularly older ones, do not feature an HDMI port.

This begs the question, “how do you connect a monitor with no HDMI ports?” Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution to this. You can use a different port or video interface adapter.

The adapters can be a small dongle or an entire cable that turns the HDMI from one interface to another. Options include HDMI-to-VGA, HDMI-to-DVI, etc., lines, and adapters.

However, there are some caveats here, and I will discuss those in detail in the text below.

Most Multimedia Devices Use HDMI Ports

Most source devices, like laptops, gaming consoles, Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes, and so on, output video/audio through HDMI ports.

For instance, unless you have an old laptop, you will not find any video output port other than an HDMI port.

The same goes for modern-gen gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and even Chromecast.

Hence, if you have a monitor missing an HDMI port for input, you may find yourself in a pickle.

how to connect monitor with no HDMI ports
Image Source: Pixabay

You will be in a predicament if the source device, like a laptop, has an HDMI port but your monitor does not. 

Also Read: What is HDMI Input Used For?

Do All Monitors Have HDMI Ports?

No, monitors don’t need to feature an HDMI port. If you have a monitor that is a decade or so old, then there are chances that it may not feature an HDMI port at all.

Ports commonly used by older monitors include

  • VGA
  • DVI-D

Read in Detail: Do Monitors Have HDMI Ports?

Take, for instance, the Acer V6 V22HQL 22″ monitor. This monitor DOES NOT feature an HDMI port at all and only features a DVI and a VGA port for connectivity.

Acer V6 V22HQL
Image: Acer V6 V22HQL is an example of a monitor that lacks an HDMI port. Source: Acer

So How to Connect Monitor With No HDMI Ports?

There are two solutions basically:

  1. Use another port
  2. Use Adapters

1. Connect the monitor to a different interface

I mentioned earlier that most newer devices use HDMI ports for audio/video output. However, most desktop computers still feature a VGA or a DVI port.

Laptops also often feature VGA ports.

Hence, the simplest way to connect a monitor without HDMI ports would be to use a different one.

laptop vga port
Use VGA or DVI port instead for connecting to your monitor.

2. Connect the Monitor Using an HDMI Adapter

If a monitor does not have an HDMI port, it will most certainly have either a VGA or a DVI port (if it’s old) or a DP port (if it’s new).

Fortunately, you can easily connect monitors with no HDMI ports to your laptop or desktop using interface adapters or adapter cables.

The following is an HDMI to VGA adapter:

vga to hdmi
Image: VGA to HDMI adapter. Source: Benfei

As shown above, a simple and cheap device can easily be used with a monitor that does not have an HDMI port.

You can use the VGA end of this adapter to connect to your monitor instead and use the HDMI input for connecting your desktop or laptop to the adapter. You will need an HDMI cable to connect this adapter to the laptop or desktop.

Alternatively, you can find stand-alone HDMI-to-VGA, HDMI-to-DVI, and HDMI-to-DP cables.

hdmi to dvi cable
Image: HDMI to DVI cable

Caveats with Using HDMI Adapters or Adapter Cables

There are some significant caveats that you must note when it comes to using adapters.

Interface Will Work at the Performance of the Lowest Denominator

For starters, the video connectivity will work at the performance of the weaker two interfaces.

For instance,

  • VGA supports a maximum of 2048×1536 resolution at 60Hz max
  • DVI supports 2560×1600 resolution at 60Hz max
  • HDMI 1.4 supports 4K@30Hz
  • HDMI 2.0 support 4K@60Hz

Therefore, when using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter or adapter cable, the entire interface will work at the specs of DVI, i.e., 2560×1600@60Hz max.

No Audio Signals

VGA and DVI are ONLY video interfaces. Unlike HDMI, they do not support sound.

Therefore, you cannot transfer the audio signals to a monitor even if it has built-in speakers when using an HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DVI adapter. Instead, the separate 3.5mm audio port for sound would be best.

Adapters are NOT Bidirectional in Most Cases

Interface adapters are not bidirectional, meaning they cannot work the other way around.

If you have an HDMI-to-VGA adapter or an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, it will take a signal from an HDMI SOURCE (Laptop, Desktop) and switch it into VGA or DVI on the other hand (connected to monitor).

You cannot use this the other way around. You cannot take a VGA or DVI source and then convert that to HDMI output. HDMI-to-DVI DOES NOT EQUAL DVI-to-HDMI.

HDMI Adapters DO NOT Work For Gaming Consoles Generally Out of the Box

If you want to connect your gaming console, i.e., PS4, Xbox One, PS5, etc., to a monitor with a VGA or DVI-D port, then the average HDMI-to-VGA or HDMI-to-DVI adapters or adapter cables will not work.

Certain game consoles, such as PS4, do not recognize the adapters.

The following video explains how to work around this issue using an HDMI switch.

When connecting gaming consoles, it is best to check with the manufacturer whether the adapter will work with your gaming console.

Final Words

So there are two ways how to connect monitors with no HDMI ports. The first is to use a different port altogether. The second is to use an adapter.

Before purchasing any adapter, however, you must confirm if it works in the intended way and if the reviews for it are positive.


1. Can I use a USB port to connect a monitor without HDMI?

Yes, you can use a USB port to connect a monitor without HDMI, but you’ll need a USB-to-VGA or USB-to-DVI adapter. The adapter converts the digital video signal from your computer into an analog signal that can be transmitted over VGA or DVI.

2. Are there any software or driver updates required to connect a monitor without HDMI to my computer?

It depends on the type of adapter you use to connect your monitor without HDMI to your computer. Some adapters require drivers or software updates to work properly.

Before purchasing an adapter, check the manufacturer’s website to see if there are any updates or drivers required.

3. Can I connect a monitor without HDMI to a gaming console, and if so, how?

Yes, you can connect a monitor without HDMI to a gaming console, but you’ll need a converter or an adapter.

The converter will convert the digital signal from your gaming console into an analog signal that can be transmitted over VGA or DVI.

You can then connect your monitor to the converter using a VGA or DVI cable.

Alternatively, you can use an HDMI-to-VGA or HDMI-to-DVI adapter to connect your gaming console to the monitor.

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