Why Is My Plot Not Showing Up In Matlab


Have you ever encountered the frustrating situation where your plot doesn’t show up in MATLAB? Trust me, I’ve been there too. It can be incredibly perplexing when you’ve written what you believe to be flawless code, only to be greeted by a blank plot window.

There could be several reasons why your plot is not being displayed, but fear not! In this article, I’ll delve into some common troubleshooting steps and offer some insight from my own experiences.

Check Your Syntax

The first thing to verify is your syntax. Even a small typo can cause your plot to fail. Double-check that you have spelled all the necessary functions correctly, and that you have the appropriate syntax for plotting.

For instance, make sure that you are using the correct plotting function, such as plot or scatter, and that you are providing the necessary arguments. Additionally, confirm that you have included the figure command to create a new figure window if needed.

Inspect Your Data

Another reason your plot may not be showing up could be due to issues with your data. Take a moment to review your dataset and ensure that it contains valid values. Missing or erroneous data points can lead to unexpected plot behavior.

If you are plotting multiple datasets, verify that the dimensions of your arrays or matrices align correctly. It’s important to have the same number of data points for each variable you want to plot.

Check Plot Visibility

It’s possible that your plot is being displayed but is hidden behind other windows or off-screen. To address this, make sure that your plot window is set to be visible and is in focus. You can use the figure('Visible', 'on') command to ensure that your plot window is visible.

If you suspect that your plot may be off-screen, you can try resetting the MATLAB desktop layout by going to the “Desktop > Desktop Layouts > Default” menu option. This will rearrange your windows and potentially bring your plot into view.

Update Your Graphics Drivers

In some cases, issues with graphics drivers can interfere with the display of plots in MATLAB. Outdated or incompatible drivers might prevent the proper rendering of your plot window. Therefore, it’s worth considering updating your graphics drivers to the latest version.

You can usually find the latest drivers on the manufacturer’s website or through the device manager on your computer.


Dealing with a plot that is not showing up in MATLAB can be frustrating but fear not! By checking your syntax, inspecting your data, ensuring plot visibility, and updating your graphics drivers, you can troubleshoot and resolve most plot display issues.

Remember, debugging is a natural part of the coding process, and it’s through these challenges that we grow as programmers. So stay patient, keep experimenting, and soon you’ll have your plots appearing just as you envisioned!