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Red Lines Across Monitor Screen (Causes and How to Fix)

Hi everyone! As an owner of a computer, I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustration of a red line appearing across your monitor screen. It can be a real nuisance and it’s often unclear what the cause is and how to fix it. I’ve been in this situation before and after doing some research and testing, I’m here to share with you how I solved the problem and some other potential solutions I discovered.

Red lines can appear on your monitor for multiple reasons. Game overload, outdated drivers, and defective HDMI cables may be the cause. 

In addition, a faulty motherboard or hardware damage might stand behind this issue.

How to Know If the Red Lines Across a Monitor Screen Is a Software or Hardware Problem?

To know whether the problem is a software or a hardware one, you’ll need to go into BIOS settings.

BIOS is an independent firmware: It’s neither a part of the operating system nor the software.

So, by opening it, if the problem belongs to the hardware, the lines will still appear. If the lines disappear, it’s a software issue.

Possible Causes of Red Lines Across Monitor Screen

There are a bunch of both software and hardware issues that might cause this problem. Here are the most common ones:

Game Overload

If you run a game with requirements exceeding your device’s capabilities, the game might cause display problems, including the red lines one.

This is because the game will put an overload on your monitor.

Old Version of Drivers

If your video driver isn’t up-to-date, the connection between the driver and hardware won’t work smoothly. 

As a result, many display issues might occur, including red lines on the monitor screen.

Defective HDMI Cable

A loose or damaged HDMI cable can cause display snags. 

One of these is the red vertical or horizontal lines on the monitor.

Loose Connection to the Motherboard

If your device is a laptop, the problem might lie in the connection between the screen and the motherboard

The cable that connects the two parts may be loose or has slightly moved from its regular place.

Hardware Damage

There might be damage in any hardware part of the device that causes the problem. 

Usually, the hardware source of the issue is the graphics card, power supply, or monitor itself.

How to Eliminate Red Lines Across the Monitor Screens?

Depending on whether the problem relates to software or hardware, the following fixes can come in handy:

Update the Drivers

To ensure the driver’s current version isn’t the cause of the problem, update your devices’ video drivers. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Start menu” and give it a right-click.
  2. From the menu, click “Device Manager.”
  3. A window will appear showing all your device’s drivers.
  4. Click the arrow next to “Display adapters.”
  5. On the name of your graphics card, hit a right-click.
  6. Click “Update Driver Software.”
  7. When the update is successfully complete, restart the PC.
  8. Once the device restarts, the lines should disappear.

Remove the Drivers and Reinstall Them

After updating the drivers, if the lines still exist, you may need to uninstall drivers and then reinstall them. To do so, do the following:

  1. Follow the first five steps in the above section.
  2. In the sixth step, instead of clicking “Update Driver Software,” click “Uninstall.”
  3. Once the driver has been uninstalled, go to your desktop, and hit the right-click anywhere.
  4. Click “Display settings,” then “Advanced display settings.”
  5. Under the resolution section, you’ll find a drop-down menu. Click it.
  6. From the menu, choose 1024 x 768 or 800 x 600, then click “Apply.”
  7. Restart the device.
  8. Reinstall the driver again. 

Note that the previous instructions work for the Windows 10 interface. There might be a slight change if you use Windows 11.

Replace the Game Version or Remove It

You have two options if this problem happens solely when you play a particular game. 

The first is to replace your current game version with a version that requires lower PC capabilities. The second one is to delete the game entirely.

Check Your HDMI Cable

Check the external body of the cable to spot any apparent damages. If there isn’t, connect your PC to another monitor using the same cable. 

You’ll be sure that it’s a cable issue when you connect the device to the other monitor if the lines still appear.

Check Your Screen Internal Cable: For Laptops

You should ensure the cable connecting the screen and motherboard is firmly connected. That cable typically runs across the left hinge of the screen. 

If it’s not firmly attached, you need to fasten it again. Moreover, if you attach the cable firmly and the problem still exists, you may need to replace the cable altogether.

Contact a Trusted Technician

If you tried all the previous fixes to no avail, the issue is related to hardware. 

Due to the complexity of most hardware solutions, it’s a good idea to contact a trusted technician or the manufacturer’s support service.

The Bottom Line

Try the following fixes to eliminate the red lines across a monitor screen. 

First, update the drivers, remove and reinstall them, or replace the game that causes the trouble. 

If the problem still exists, check the HDMI cable. Finally, if none of the previous solutions shows any improvement, contact a trusted technician if it’s a complicated hardware cause.