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How to Fix Dell XPS Thunderbolt 3 Display Issue

The Display is an important part of anything and everything in the world. In the case of electronic items like smartphones/laptops, it becomes more than important. The inception of technologies like Thunderbolt 3 has revolutionized the mindset of power users and they are finding newer ways to make better use of their laptop displays.

dell xps thunderbolt 3 display issue

So, if you have Thunderbolt 3 support on your laptop, you can easily connect it with an external device (with larger display) and enrich your user experience in multiple proportions. However, what if post connection, your external device fails to recognize your display completely?

This blog post has been curated keeping in mind users like you who are facing Display issues on their Dell laptops especially when you connect it to an external device using Thunderbolt 3. Keep reading to enlighten yourself more on the issue at hand and three ways you can troubleshoot it.

What’s the Issue?

The display issue came into light when one Dell XPS user explained his problem on the official Dell forum. As per the post, he’s unable to connect his Thunderbolt 3 supportable Dell XPS 7390 2-in-1 laptop with an external device using USB C cable. The screen gets recognized as a Generic PnP Monitor, but nothing else seems to be working for him. You can read more about his issue here.

So, if you are also a Dell XPS user with Thunderbolt 3 support, you are bound to get worried. However, with the understanding that this issue is troubling multiple users, we have curated a list of 3 fixes that works great for almost every Dell XPS user.

Head over to our next segment which lists down all the 3 fixes one-by-one.

Dell XPS Thunderbolt 3 Display Issue – What are the Fixes?

Having gone through the issue in detail, it is time to learn about the 3 fixes that you and other users must implement to resolve the weird display issues popping up on your Dell laptop with Thunderbolt 3 connections. Let’s begin:

Fix 1: Check Your Connections Thoroughly & Install/Update Important Drivers

In the case of electronic items, a loose connection is known to be the root cause of most technical issues. So, if your Thunderbolt device isn’t getting recognized, perform a thorough checkup of all the following items in the order they are listed:

1. Power ON both your laptop and the device. Also, ensure you connected the device with your laptop through the Thunderbolt interface only.

2. Try rebooting your laptop once. If the issue persists, disconnect and reconnect your Thunderbolt cable with the laptop again.

3. Use only the authorized Thunderbolt 3 cable for connection purposes. At times, the cable is faulty without our knowledge. So, if you own any third-party cable, try testing both the cables to rule out issues with the cable.

4. Ensure that your laptop supports Thunderbolt. If the model has a USB-C port, but only supports USB, you won’t be able to connect the Thunderbolt device with your system.

Special Note: Temporarily disconnect your Thunderbolt 3 device before you update the BIOS or the firmware on your laptop.

5. Update the following in the order listed:

  1. BIOS
  2. Thunderbolt Firmware (NVM)
  3. Thunderbolt Software (Driver) installed on your system
Special Note: Check the official manufacturer’s website for identifying the right order. Sometimes, the order of firmware update matters to resolve technical glitches or hardware/software issues.

6. Whenever a new device connects with your laptop, you need to manually approve the connection. So, make sure you select the option “Always Connect”.

7. At times, the device gets recognized, but constantly loops between “connecting” and “disconnecting” phase. So, in such a scenario, all you need doing is installing the device driver for Windows OS.

8. In case you have upgraded your OS (Win 7 to Win 10 OR Win 8 to Win 10), you need to reinstall the Thunderbolt software. Upgradation of the OS often breaks pre-installed software, so the best workaround is –re-installation.

Once you have successfully connected your Thunderbolt 3 device with your laptop, check the current firmware and the driver version of your system. The process to do so is simple and listed below:

1. Right-click on the Thunderbolt icon in the Taskbar OR Search for it using the start menu

2. Depending on the version of your Thunderbolt 3 device, access the details as follows:

  1. New Version:  Select “About”
  2. Old Version: Settings >> Details
thunderbolt current firmware driver version

If the connection is proper, you would notice the attached device and details of the current version of the s/w, application, and the driver properly.

Fix 2: Reduce the Power Output of Your Wi-Fi Network Adapter to 75%

If the fix -1 didn’t work for you, then try out cutting down the power output of your Wi-Fi network adapter to 75%. The steps to perform this task are:

1. Open your Device Manager in either of the two ways:

  1. Right-click on the bottom-left corner of your laptop screen and choose “Device Manager” from the context-sensitive menu.
  2. Right-click the “This PC” icon on your desktop and choose “Properties”. Once the window pops open, click on the “Device Manager” option present on the left side of the window.
dell wireless properties

2. Once you are on the “Device Manager” window, expand the “Network Adapters” category. Again, right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter name and select “Properties”.

3. Click on the “Advanced” tab and scroll down till you find the option “Power Output”.

4. Enter 75% as the input value and click on “OK” to save your new settings.

5. Restart your system

Fix 3: Updating the Device Drivers from the Official Manufacturer’s Website

If none of the above 2 fixes worked out for you, then updating the device driver would be our last solution. Let’s check out the process to update the device driver properly right here:

1. Open “Device Manager” on your system and expand the “Display Adapters” option

2. Once you have got the name of your Device driver, head over to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest version of your driver listed on the website

3. Once the download is complete, install it and reboot your system

Updating your device driver to the latest version would fix the issue for good.


These were the 3 main fixes we thought of sharing with you to troubleshoot the Thunderbolt 3 Display issue. Have some other workaround to share with us? Do let us know about it and share your views with us via the comments section below.

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Rahul Patel

Rahul is a tech addict who loves to solve his computer and internet errors. From his experience, he learned to solve most of the errors. At My Laptop Guide, he is an error fixer and guide. He writes computer and internet tech tips and error solutions.

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