Skip to Content

Why Is My Monitor Screen Tearing?

As an owner of multiple monitors, I was frustrated when I started to notice my screens tearing. After some investigation, I discovered that this issue is quite common and can be caused by many factors. In this blog post, I will be sharing my experience of trying to solve this problem and other solutions I discovered while researching. I hope my advice will be helpful to those who are dealing with the same issue.

The most common culprit of screen tearing is that your refresh rate may be too high compared to your fps when gaming. Alternatively, it could be an issue in your Graphic Processing Unit (GPU).

IssuePossible CausesSolutions
Monitor Screen TearingGPU misconfigurationEnable V-Sync, G-Sync, or disable FreeSync
Outdated GPU driverUpdate your GPU driver to the latest version
Smooth scrolling optionDisable smooth scrolling in your performance options
Frame limit feature in gamesDisable the frame limit feature in the game settings

Reason #1: GPU Misconfiguration

In this case, your GPU may be unsynchronized with your monitor. The GPU is responsible for reflecting the images on your monitor.

If the software device is filling in more frames than the monitor’s maximum refresh rate, then you’re bound to see some tearing. For instance, if you’re playing a game with high fps, and have a 60Hz monitor, then the latter will have a difficult time keeping up with the frames.

To avoid this issue, you can use software tools that can synchronize your devices’ fps and refresh rate.

How to Enable V-Sync

Enabling v-sync will help align both features but at a cost. You’ll be getting a higher input lag during gameplay, nevertheless, the screen tearing will be minimized. Here’s how to activate this feature on your monitor.

  1. Go to your GPU control panel. If you have Nvidia, right-click on your desktop and select “Nvidia Control Panel.”
  2. Select “Manage 3D Settings.”
  3. In the “Global Settings” tab, search for “Vertical Sync.”
  4. Click on it and in the dropdown menu, select “On.”
  5. Close the tab and restart the PC.

How to Enable G-Sync

Another typically used software to mitigate screen tearing is G-Sync. These tools allow the monitor to use the same fps rate as the refresh rate.

For example, if you own a 144Hz monitor, but the GPU inputs 60 fps, then G-Sync will cap your refresh rate to 60 to reduce screen tearing or stuttering.

Aside from that, here’s how you can enable this software tool.

  1. Go to your GPU Control Panel.
  2. Check the menu on the left and choose “Set up G-sync” under “Display.”
  3. Tick the box next to “Enable G-Sync.”
  4. Click on the “Enable for full-screen mode” option below.
  5. Select “Apply.”
  6. Restart your PC.

How to Disable FreeSync

Although software tools like FreeSync are built for similar purposes to G-Sync, they may still cause screen tearing. This is usually due to an incompatibility present between the GPU and monitor.

In this scenario, disabling FreeSync may help solve the issue. To do so, access the graphics control center on your monitor and locate the FreeSync option in the display section. Next, toggle off the feature.

Reason #2: Outdated GPU Driver

If your GPU or monitor driver isn’t updated, then you’ll likely see some tears on your screen. To mitigate this issue, you only need to update the relevant driver. Here’s how to do so below.

  1. Go to your GPU’s manufacturer site and locate your device’s support page.
  2. Find the latest GPU version and download it.
  3. Press the Windows key along with the “R” key and run “devmgmt.msc.”
  4. Navigate to “Display Adapters.”
  5. After finding your graphics card, right-click it and press “Properties.”
  6. Select the “Drivers” tab.
  7. Choose “Update Driver.”
  8. Click on “Browse my computer for driver software” and locate the previously downloaded updated version.
  9. Complete the following instructions and restart your PC.

Reason #3: Smooth Scrolling Option

The smooth scrolling feature on your monitor may interfere with your CPU’s performance and end up causing stuttering. To prevent this issue, you can deactivate the option by following the steps below.

  1. In the search bar, type “Adjust the appearance and performance of windows.”
  2. Select the option and look under the “Performance Options” list for “Smooth-scroll list boxes.”
  3. Uncheck the box next to the option and click “OK.”
  4. Restart your PC.

Reason #4: Frame Limit Feature in Games

Some games feature a frame limit option to maximize resolution performance. Nevertheless, it can sometimes result in screen tearing. For this reason, you can try to disable the frame limit feature to see if it’s behind the stuttering on your monitor.

To Conclude

Why is my monitor screen tearing? In short, screen tearing is usually caused by a lack of synchronization between fps and your monitor’s refresh rate. This is especially true when gaming.

You can prevent this issue by enabling software tools such as v-sync or g-sync. Alternatively, the problem could be caused by an outdated GPU driver, in which case, you can update it.

Overall, screen tearing can prove bothersome during your gaming session or even catching up on some shows. Luckily, the solutions mentioned are easy to follow and you’ll have seamless imaging in no time.