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Why Is My Monitor Capped at 60Hz?

As an owner of a 60Hz monitor, I was feeling increasingly frustrated with the lack of smoothness in my gameplay and overall image quality. After some research and testing, I decided to look into why my monitor was capped at 60Hz, and I am here to share my discoveries and how I solved the issue. In this blog post, I will delve into why this issue occurs, different solutions to try, and the best course of action depending on your setup.

For one, it could be an HDMI port or default setting issue. Either way, the difference between the two refresh rates is significant and can put a damper on your gaming or movie-watching experience.

Reasons for Monitor Capped at 60HzSolutions
1. HDMI Port is UnsupportiveUse an HDMI 2.1 version cable for better compatibility
2. Monitor’s Default SettingsAdjust the default settings to a higher refresh rate in the display settings
3. Incorrect Monitor Refresh RateDouble-check your monitor’s specifications to ensure it supports higher refresh rates
4. Old Graphics DriverUpdate your GPU driver or consider upgrading to a GPU that supports 144Hz
5. Gaming Console IncompatibilityEnsure your gaming console supports a higher refresh rate (e.g., PS5, Xbox Series X
6. Program InterferencesCheck for interferences in the NVIDIA Control Panel and adjust settings accordingly

Reason #1: HDMI Port is Unsupportive

One of the several causes of a monitor capped at 60Hz could be your HDMI port’s incompatibility with a higher refresh rate.

You may have an old HDMI cable lying around and you decided to use it. Now, you can’t use just any port and expect it to deliver a 144Hz resolution. For this reason, you’ll want to purchase the HDMI 2.1 version for ideal compatibility.

Reason #2: Your Monitor’s Default Settings Set to 60Hz

After making sure you have the right HDMI set to support the high refresh rate, you’ll want to also check the default settings.

All you have to do is navigate to “Settings,” “System,” “Display,” “Advanced Display Settings,” and lastly, “Display Adapter Properties.”

Next, go to the “Monitor” tab. You can then choose the refresh rate that your monitor is compatible with under “Screen refresh rate.” Lastly, click “Apply,” “Keep Changes,” and “Okay.”

If you have more than one display you can complete the same steps. Just make sure to pick the other display from the “Advanced Display Settings” tab.

Reason #3: Double-Check Your Monitor’s Refresh Rate

Even though you purchased a high-priced monitor, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it has a higher refresh rate than 60Hz. Accordingly, you can make sure that your monitor’s refresh rate is correct through a quick Google search.

Key in your model’s number and check its specifications. Alternatively, you can check your monitor’s refresh rate by going to “Settings,” “System,” “Display,” followed by “Advanced Display Settings.”

Afterward, locate the refresh rate category from the drop-down menu. You should then see a list of the monitor’s refresh rate specifications.

Reason #4: Old Graphics Driver

An outdated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or graphics card may be limiting your monitor’s refresh rate potential.

Luckily, you can find several GPUs that support a 144Hz such as the NVIDIA MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 and MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming.

On the other hand, your GPU driver may only need an update. In this case, you can do so by following the steps below.

  1. Press the windows button and the “r” key simultaneously.
  2. Write “ devmgmt.msc” and press “Okay.”
  3. Click on “Display Adapters.”
  4. Right-click on the graphics card you use and choose “Properties.”
  5. Go to the “Driver” tab and select “Update Driver.”
  6. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
  7. Follow the instructions presented and your update should be complete.

Reason #5: Your Gaming Console is Incompatible

When you plug your monitor into your console, you’ll want to make sure that the latter is supportive of a higher refresh rate than 60Hz.

For instance, some gaming consoles like the PS4 and PS4 Pro are only restricted to 60Hz. That said, even if your monitor’s refresh rate is higher, it won’t reflect on the console’s display.

Broadly speaking, consoles have lower refresh rates than PC gaming. Having said that, the highest refresh rate for commercial consoles is 120Hz. A few of those gaming devices include the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Reason #6: Program Interferences

To disable the 60 Hz restriction, you can try to check if any programs are interfering with the refresh rate. For instance, you can right-click on your desktop and select “Nvidia Control Panel.”

Afterward, go to “Manage 3D Settings” and check for “Preferred Refresh Rate.” If the option is set to “Application-controlled,” then change it to “Highest Available.”

While you’re there, you can also disable v-sync since it might also interfere with your refresh rate. It’ll appear as “Vertical Sync” and you just need to click on the drop-down menu and choose “Off.”

To Conclude

Why is my monitor capped at 60Hz? You may have invested in a 144Hz monitor, only to end up with a 60Hz rate cap. The good news is that this is only a matter of fixing up your default settings and updating your monitor and GPU driver.

Additionally, you may want to double-check your monitor’s refresh rate to make sure it’s above 60Hz. Plus, if you’re using a gaming console, then chances are it could be capping your monitor at 60Hz since it doesn’t support higher refresh rates.

Finally, be sure to use an updated HDMI cable version to ensure compatibility with the monitor’s high refresh rate. After checking each reason and solution above, we hope you’re now enjoying the high-quality screen resolution you invested in.