Fix black screen in Raspberry Pi with HDMI to VGA adapter

If you use an HDMI to VGA adaptor and get a black screen you may tweak the config.txt to solve the problem.


If you open the /boot/config.txt file you will see that there are plenty of lines commented out that change the behavior of the HDMI output in the Raspberry Pi. This is the configuration that made my Raspberry Pi work OK using an HDMI to VGA adapter at 1080p (giving 1920×1080 resolution):


This other works for HDMI to VGA adapter on a 1024×768@60MHz monitor (having a terminal geometry of 48×128):


And this worked on a 1440×900@60MHz monitor (having a terminal geometry of 56×180):


hdmi_group defines the HDMI type (Not specifying the group, or setting to 0 will use the preferred group reported by the edid):

  • hdmi_group=1 – CEA
  • hdmi_group=2 – DMT

hdmi_mode defines screen resolution in CEA or DMT format.

hdmi_drive chooses between HDMI and DVI modes:

  • hdmi_drive=1 – Normal DVI mode (No sound)
  • hdmi_drive=2 – Normal HDMI mode (Sound will be sent if supported and enabled)

If you want to know which modes (hdmi_mode) are suported by your screen comment the lines for those 4 options (thus leaving all with their default values), reboot and the run those commands:

For hdmi_group=1 available modes:

sudo /opt/vc/bin/tvservice -m CEA

For hdmi_group=2 available modes:

sudo /opt/vc/bin/tvservice -m DMT

See all available options at


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  1. Thanks mate. I looked at 10s of pages and wasted 1-2 hours before i found this post!! thanks.

  2. Thanks man, u saved me a lot of time….

  3. Thank you, was pulling my hair out! All other advice was useless.

  4. I got this running…but I get no sound. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance!


    • If you plug an VGA adapter to the HDMI out you can’t have sound from there.

      • I plugged the speakers into the audio jack and I still have no audio.

        If I connect video thru the composite instead of the HDMI, audio work just fine.

        Any ideas?



        • *three years later*
          Use the Raspberry Pi configuration tool to force output through the audio jack instead of HDMI. You can change this setting by running sudo raspi-config in the terminal, or using the settings menu.

  5. Thanks mate worked perfectly !!

  6. Vinod Shankar

    Hi There,

    How’s it going? I just got my Raspberry Pi board delivered a week ago. I had this ordered locally along with a clear case and a power adapter.

    Eager to get started I bought a keyboard and mouse, SD memory card (16GB) and HDMI to VGA convertor.

    Reason being my monitor doesn’t have a HDMI slot. I have formatted and installed Noobs 1.3 on the card.

    So I go ahead and connect the network cable and start up the board. Nothing appears on the screen until I press option 2.

    Then I see the familiar OS options screen and install Raspbian as default.

    Install goes smoothly till I see the install completed message.

    When I reboot all I see is a black screen. Any ideas on what to do next? Appreciate some advise.


  7. John Carlos Quispe Chambi

    Muchas gracias me ayudo mucho y me sirve ahora estoy adaptando la resolución

  8. Hi, i had installed the latest Noobs V1_4_1 on Raspberry pi 2. after installation asking to select the os. after giving, enter my monitor signal disconnected and nothing happens shows only black screen with no signal.

    Please help me,

    Thanks in advance

  9. Esta configuración podría funcionar en una single board pine64+ , la acabe de adquirir mas un adaptador pero me sale el mismo error mencionado en le titulo , por favor cualquier información seria buena gracias de antemano.

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