Skip to Content

Why Is My Second Monitor Lagging?

As an owner of multiple monitors, I was frustrated to discover that my second monitor was lagging. After some research and testing, I realized that I wasn’t the only one with this problem. So I decided to write a blog post to share what I learned and to help others who may be experiencing the same issue. In this post, I’ll explain why your second monitor could be lagging and what you can do to fix it.

The problem usually stems from an unmatching refresh rate on both monitors. On the other hand, the solution could be as simple as rebooting your monitor.

That being said, stick around to learn more about why your second monitor may be lagging and how you can fix it.

Reason #1: Non-Uniform Refresh Rates

One monitor may be operating at 144Hz, while the other at a lower 60Hz. In this case, the latter screen will likely lag.

Luckily, you can try to align the refresh rates on both monitors by either reducing or increasing the refresh rate on either monitor depending on each one’s capabilities. Here’s how to go about this.

How to Align the Refresh Rate of Two Monitors

  1. Go to your PC’s “Settings” by pressing the Windows key and the “I” key.
  2. Click on “Systems,” and then “Display.”
  3. Locate the “Advanced Display Settings” option and select it.
  4. Select “Display adapter properties for Display 1.”
  5. Go to the “Monitor” tab.
  6. Under “Screen refresh rate,” choose the refresh rate needed to align it with the other monitor.
  7. Click on “Apply,” followed by “OK.”

Now, in other cases, your refresh rates may be the same, but they could be too high for your Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) to handle. In turn, it causes the lagging side effect. To mitigate this issue, you can set both monitors to a lower refresh rate such as 60 Hz.

Reason #2: Instant Replay Feature Activated

Instant replay allows you to record your gameplay. This feature could be straining your GPU or graphics card. That being so, you may want to limit this action if it’s causing your second monitor to lag.

Reason #3: Outdated Monitor Drivers

Similar to non-aligned refresh rates, an outdated monitor driver is a common reason behind screen lagging.

Fortunately, you can easily solve this issue with an update for your second monitor. Here’s how you can do so below.

How to Update Your Monitor Driver

  1. Press the Windows key along with the “R” key to open the Run setting.
  2. Key in “devmgmt.msc” and press “OK.”
  3. Under the “Device Manager,” locate the “Monitors” option and click it.
  4. Find the lagging second monitor and right-click on it.
  5. Choose “Properties.”
  6. Go to the “Driver” tab and select “Update Driver.”
  7. Click on “Search automatically for drivers.”
  8. Wait until your Windows locates a pre-installed updated version of your monitor driver.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  10. Restart your PC.

Reason #4: Different Cable Types Are Used

When connecting your monitor to its GPU, you can use a variety of cables ranging from VGA to HDMI options. Now, you may have different cables used for each monitor, which in turn, causes the lag.

To make sure this is the case, you can switch the cables and see if the other monitor is similarly lagging. If it is, then you can purchase a new cable, preferably a shorter one to reduce any interferences and lagging.

Reason #5: Hardware Issues

The issue may not come internally, but it could arise from a hardware problem. To check, you can run a hardware troubleshooter. Here’s how you can do so.

How to Run a Hardware Troubleshooter

  1. In your search bar, type “Troubleshoot” and select the option given.
  2. Choose “Hardware and Devices.”
  3. Complete the process by clicking “OK.”
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your PC.

Another concern you may need to deal with in this section is the hardware accelerator. This feature basically offloads specific software tasks onto your hardware components. For this reason, the second monitor may be lagging due to the excessive load.

This problem is usually found in Chrome browsers. Having said that, check out our guide below to help you turn off the hardware accelerator feature.

How to Turn Off Hardware Accelerator

  1. In your browser, click on the three dots at the top right corner.
  2. Click on “Settings” in the drop-down.
  3. Choose “Systems” on the left menu.
  4. Find the “Use hardware acceleration when available” option and turn it off.
  5. Close and reopen your browser.

To Conclude

Why is my second monitor lagging? Well, the problem primarily originates from incompatible refresh rates on the dual-monitor system. In this case, you can change one or the other to align both rates.

Alternatively, the issue may come from an outdated monitor driver or different cables used. In these scenarios, you mainly need to update your driver and buy new hardware, respectively.

By following the directions mentioned, you’ll be back to your multitasking or gameplay walkthroughs in no time.