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How Do I Fix My 165Hz Monitor Showing 120Hz?

As an owner of a 165Hz monitor that has been showing up as 120Hz, I was feeling incredibly frustrated. After spending a considerable amount of time doing research and testing different solutions, I’m here to share what I found and how I was able to get my monitor back to the advertised 165Hz refresh rate. In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the various solutions I tried and the steps I took to get my monitor back to its proper refresh rate. Hopefully, this information can help other 165Hz monitor owners who may be experiencing the same issue.

How Do I Run My Monitor at 165Hz Refresh Rate?

There are multiple possibilities why your monitor isn’t showing the advertised refresh rate. 

Often, the issue lies within the Windows settings and not the monitor itself. We’ll cover all the possibilities in this guide. Let’s start with the first one.

Step 1: Manually Change The Refresh Rate Through Windows Setting

Your computer might be running at 120Hz by default. To change this, configure your Windows settings to change your refresh rate to 165Hz manually. We’ve listed three ways to accommodate which Windows you’re currently running on.

Let’s start with Windows 7:

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select Screen resolution on the menu
  2. You’ll see the representation of your monitor, then click the Advanced settings
  3. Click the Monitor tab to see the screen refresh rate under Monitor settings
  4. Press the dropdown box to see the available options and choose 165Hz
  5. Confirm your choice by clicking Apply, and finish by clicking OK once the display settings pop out.

Try this if you’re using Windows 10:

  1. Navigate to Start > Display settings > Advanced display settings > Choose display > Display adapter properties > Switch to Monitor tab
  2. Adjust your current refresh rate under Screen refresh rate by clicking the dropdown box to select the 165Hz option
  3. Finish by clicking the OK button

For Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Click your Start button > go to Settings > Display > Advanced display settings
  2. Below you’ll find Choose refresh rate tab with the current refresh rate
  3. Simply click the dropdown box and select your 165Hz

Step 2: Check Your Cables

If your settings aren’t displaying 165Hz, then consider what cables you’re using. Chances are, you’ve bought a random cable on a whim, and prayed for the best. Can’t say we haven’t been there before!

Usually, HDMI, VGA, and DVI don’t have a high refresh rate suited to a 165Hz monitor. DisplayPortals may be the best option for high-powered monitors, but compatibility is necessary for your monitor to display its promised refresh rate

For example, you’re probably using a 1.4 Display Cord to a monitor that’s set to 1.2. Expect your PC to run at a range of 60Hz to 120Hz instead of 165Hz.

So, ensure having a DisplayPort that matches your cord. We also don’t recommend using old cables as they’ll likely display lower refresh rates in your Windows settings.

Step 3: Update Your Graphics Driver

With still no luck at having a 165Hz, then the next step is to check your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

Although your monitor can handle a higher refresh rate, your computer system may not. One possibility why your system can’t support 165Hz is because your graphics card (or GPU) is long outdated and needs an upgrade.

Updating your system driver is the solution. You should also try checking if your system is compatible with your monitor. Ensure compatibility between your GPU and monitor specifications. To do this, check your monitor setting—not Windows—and change to native resolution.

We also recommend downloading Driver Support. This is a great and trusted tool that automatically updates your system driver and optimizes PC performance. It ensures your PC runs at 165Hz.

Step 4: Setting Refresh Rate at 144Hz

This is rarely the case, but if all else fails, setting your refresh rate at 144Hz will do the trick. 

In the world of gaming, higher is always better—but not always. Having a 144Hz monitor ensures an immersive experience, so you might not even notice the difference when you’re gaming. Although, you might still wonder if this can affect your overall experience.

Will a 144Hz Refresh Rate Ruin The Experience?

The simple answer is no. Generally speaking, a higher refresh rate means smoother processing for your monitor. Having a 144Hz as your default is no big difference from a 165Hz refresh rate either. You’ll still have the quality experience you deserve.

If you’re coming from 60Hz, then you can see the drastic change from having a low refresh rate to a staggering 165Hz quality. Compared to 144Hz, you can barely feel the change. 

My 165Hz Monitor Is Only Showing 120Hz

It’s frustrating when you can’t get the most out of your gaming experiences because your 165hz monitor is only showing 120hz. Fortunately, there are ways available to solve a problem. After going through this guide, we hope our four solutions will have your 120Hz issue back and running at 165Hz.