There’s nothing more frustrating than a blurry monitor. Luckily the remedy for a blurry monitor is usually pretty straightforward, so let’s take a look at how to fix one.
Monitor Looks Blurry?
If your computer monitor looks blurry, you should first try resetting your monitor’s settings to default, and then restarting your computer. Reset your monitor by pressing the physical menu button on your monitor. Next, navigate through your settings and select the option for factory reset. Then restart your PC.
If your monitor is suddenly blurry, there’s a very high chance that something funny happened during start up, and a simple reset may be all you need.
Try restarting your computer first to see if that fixes your blurry monitor screen. If not, then it’s time to play with the monitor settings.
The easiest way to reset your monitor is by opening up the monitor menu (by clicking the physical button on your monitor), and navigating to the “restore defaults”, or “factory reset” option.
However, many monitors won’t have a “reset to default” option. In such cases, you can navigate the menus manually and change every setting that has been adjusted away from its default value.
Most monitors have different display options, ie “Sports”, “Gaming”, “Eco”, etc. Some of these settings may make your display blurry.
For example, my monitor has a “Racing” setting that dims my screen and makes text appear really weird / blurry. If I change that setting to “Eco”, all good!
If resetting your monitor and your computer doesn’t fix your blurry monitor, you can try these solutions below:
Change Display Scaling
Windows Display Scaling is a very common cause of blurry displays. If the Display Scaling setting is set to anything other than the “(Recommended)” option, it can cause everything to look extremely blurry. There is also an option for “fixing” blurriness, although it doesn’t always work.
To change your Display Scaling in Windows:
- Press the Windows Key on your keyboard or open up the Start Menu in the bottom left hand corner of your screen.
- Type in “Settings” and open up your Windows Settings app
- Select “System” (should have the subtext of “Display, sound, notifications, power”)
- Make sure that Display is selected on the left pane, so that you are looking at the Display settings
- Scroll down to “Scale and Layout”
- Make sure that “Change the size of text, apps, and other items” is set to the recommended option, usually “100% (Recommended)”
- Click “Advanced scaling settings” directly under your Scale and Layout setting
- Ensure that “Let Windows try to fix apps so they’re not blurry” is set to On
Now if there was a problem with your scale settings, they should be fixed.
If your Scale and Layout was already set to the recommended option, but you suspect that your screen is still zoomed in a tad, try changing the Scale settings and then changing them back.
There’s a chance that Windows is mistaken and switching back and forth between two settings could force it to use the correct scaling.
If your monitor is still blurry, it may even help to change the scaling to a higher percentage. If your monitor is set to 100%, try changing it to 125%. It’s rare, but this has helped fix display blurriness in the past.
Change Monitor Sharpness
Most monitors have a sharpness setting hidden in their menus. Press the physical menu button located on your monitor, and look for some kind of sharpness setting.
What this exact setting is called and where it will be located depends on your monitor, but it is usually located in the “Picture” settings.
Once you find the setting, try playing around with it a little bit. If your setting is a percentage, i.e. 60% sharpness, then try raising the percentage and see if it helps.
If this doesn’t help, try lowering the percentage. Instead of a percentage, your monitor may have a setting called “Super Sharpness”. Usually Super Sharpness is off by default, so try turning it on.
If you see no difference at all, then we’ll have to look elsewhere for what’s causing the issue.
Finally, there’s a chance that the resolution of your monitor is messed up. All monitors have a native resolution, which will depend on their build.
For example, my monitor’s native resolution is 1920×1080, so any other resolution will look weird and blurry for me.
To change your monitor’s resolution settings:
Press the Windows Key on your keyboard or open up the Start Menu in the bottom left hand corner of your screen.
Type in “Settings” and open up your Windows Settings app
Select “System” (should have the subtext of “Display, sound, notifications, power”)
Make sure that Display is selected on the left pane, so that you are looking at the Display settings
Scroll down to “Scale and Layout”
Under Display resolution, make sure that the box shows “Recommended” next to the selected resolution. i.e. “1920 x 1080 (Recommended)”.
If it is not the recommended setting, change the resolution to whichever box shows “Recommended” next to the numbers.
If this doesn’t work, there’s still a very small chance your resolution could be off. You can try changing your resolution to the resolution directly above or below your recommended resolution.
While this is not likely to fix the blurriness, you might as well try it to make sure. If it doesn’t fix your blurriness, make sure to change back to your recommended Display resolution.
Try A New Cord
Your current HDMI / DVI / VGA cord may be defective. If you are using an HDMI cord, for example, try using a different cord if you can get your hands on one.
There are many things that could be wrong with the cord you’re using. Maybe there’s something wrong with the cord on the inside (faulty wiring, etc), maybe there’s something wrong with the connector, or maybe the cord is just extremely stubborn.
Either way, one of the first steps you should take is to figure out whether the problem is an issue with your monitor, the cord, the display port, or your computer.
Trying out a new cord is one of the easiest and simplest tests, so it should come second (after resetting your settings and your PC).
Try A New Display Port
If the problem isn’t your cord, it could still be the display port you’re using. For example, if you’re using an HDMI cord, the issue could come down to the HDMI port on either your monitor or your computer.
The good news is that most monitors and computers have multiple types of display ports. Most modern monitors are going to have an HDMI and a DP port. Here is an example below.
They may also have a VGA or DVI port. Try using a completely different display port than the one you are currently using (so if you’re using HDMI, try out a DP port).
If this eliminates the blurriness, then there’s a good chance that your monitor’s port is defective. Hopefully it is your monitor’s port at least, and not your computer’s port.
Monitor Looks Blurry When Gaming?
If your computer monitor looks blurry when gaming, but not any other time, then you should try changing your in-game resolution settings. If you open up the graphics settings on most games, you can find a “resolution” option. Change this option to your monitor’s native resolution (should say “recommended”).
If you’re unsure of your monitor’s native resolution, you can check it in your Windows Display settings.
Just right click on your home screen, go to “Display settings”, then scroll down to “Scale & layout”. There you will see your “Display resolution”.
However, most games have “Recommended” written next to the resolution that matches your monitor’s native resolution.
If you’re already on the correct resolution, I recommend changing the resolution to one setting above and below your monitor’s native settings. The game may be using the wrong resolution for some reason, despite stating it is the correct one.
If changing your game’s resolution doesn’t work, you can try the solutions below:
Raise Graphics Settings
While the game’s resolution is the most likely cause of blurriness and overall poor image quality, there are some more graphics settings to check out. Not all of these settings will be available in every game.
In fact, some games have very poor graphics options, but try as many of these as you can if you’re experiencing a blurry display when gaming:
Render Scale (Make Sure It’s 100%)
The render scale in game is the resolution that your game is actually running in. So if you’re playing on a 1920 x 1080 monitor and change your render scale to 50%, the game will actually render your game in 960 x 540.
This is easier on our hardware and can fix performance, but it will make your game look much worse most of the time.
It can make your game look pixelated and blurry due to a lower resolution rendering and displaying on a higher resolution monitor. Make sure that your render scale is set to 100%.
Aspect Ratio (Match Your Monitor’s Resolution)
A 16:9 aspect ratio is standard, but this doesn’t mean it matches your monitor. 1920×1080, for example, has an aspect ratio of 16:9 while the aspect of 1920×1200 is 16:10.
Sometimes games may not detect your monitor’s correct aspect ratio (especially if it is anything but 16:10). So make sure that your aspect ratio in game matches your monitor’s resolution.
Texture / Model Quality (Raise The Quality)
Turning down your texture and model quality is an easy way to improve your game’s performance and squeeze out some extra frames.
However, this could also be causing a blurriness in your display when gaming. Most games automatically detect your computer’s hardware and change the graphics settings to reflect your components.
This may mean the game is automatically changing your model details and texture quality settings. Try turning these settings up to see if they help with blurriness.
DLSS (Disable It If You Have It)
DLSS is a setting that uses AI to upscale the resolution that is displayed. Not every game has a DLSS setting, but sometimes having DLSS enabled can lead to a blurry image.
This is likely because the game is not extremely compatible with DLSS or just because DLSS is not a perfect technology yet.
Either way, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, take a look around your game settings for a DLSS option and make sure that it is disabled.
Motion Blur (Turn It Off)
As the name suggests, motion blur can make games look blurry – especially games with a lot of fast moving objects on screen (Rocket League, for example).
Motion Blur is a setting that helps games look smoother when running on lower frame rates. If you’re getting 120+ frames, then there’s really no reason to have Motion Blur on unless you just enjoy how it looks.
Keeping Motion Blur enabled can make your game appear blurry, in general, though.
Change Monitor’s Response Time
Sometimes if your monitor’s response time is too fast or too slow for your monitor’s refresh rate and your game’s framerate, it can lead to a blurry image in game.
I’ve experienced this exact scenario on a gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate.
The response time was set to overdrive, and caused “pixel ghosting”, which is a fancy way of saying everything in motion was basically leaving behind a shadow.
Try playing around with your monitor’s response time. First, I’d try making it faster (lower from 2ms to 1ms, for example).
If that doesn’t work or makes it worse, try making the response time slower (or turn off overdrive or any other similar option).
Try Windowed Mode
This step will be mostly about troubleshooting, since playing in windowed mode is not always the best experience. However, if you change your game’s settings from Full Screen to Windowed, it may fix blurring.
This is because it will be changing the screen size that the game’s resolution is rendered too.
If this does fix your blurriness, but the game looks blurry when you switch back to Full Screen, you should try raising your game’s resolution.
Second Monitor Looks Blurry?
If your secondary monitor looks blurry, but not your primary monitor, then you should try using a different display cord for your secondary monitor. If you do not have another cord on hand, then you can unplug your primary monitor and use the cord on your secondary monitor to check if the issue is your cord.
Most of the time if your second monitor is blurry then either its cords are faulty or its settings are wrong. The easiest way to determine which issue you’re experiencing is to try a new cord on your monitor.
If both of your monitors use HDMI cords, for example, then swap them around and see if your secondary monitor is still blurry.
If it’s still blurry, you can change your monitor’s resolution or display scaling (see above), or you can try one of the solutions below:
Swap Primary Monitors In Your Settings
If your second monitor is blurry, it could be an issue with how Windows is treating your primary and secondary monitors.
The best way to determine if this is the root cause of your issue is by swapping which computer is your primary monitor.
To do this:
- Open up your Display Settings in Windows
- Find “Rearrange your displays”
- Click and drag the box with a “1” to the other side (so, if it is on the left then drag it to the right)
- Click “Apply”
If this fixes the blurriness on your second monitor, then you know that there’s an issue with Windows and not your actual monitor. If your monitor is still blurry, there’s a good chance one of your cords or ports are faulty.
If it fixed the issue, then you should try messing around with a few other options in your display settings. I recommend changing your second monitor’s display scaling to either 100% or 125%.
If that doesn’t fix the issue, try changing the resolution a few times to see if any of them look better.
Use A Different Type Of Display Cord
Most monitors have multiple display ports. They’ll have some combination of HDMI, DP, VGA, and DVI ports. There’s a chance that one of these ports is faulty on your monitor or on your computer.
If you’ve already tried plugging your monitor into a different port on your computer, then you should try a completely different type of port / cord.
So, if you’ve only tried an HDMI cable, try a DP cable and see if the blurriness goes away.
Change Your Monitor Settings
Most monitors have physical menu buttons on them; either on the bottom of the monitor or on the side. You can use these buttons to navigate through your monitor’s menus and see all of the different display options.
Many monitors have an option for sharpness, an option for refresh rate, and a picture option. I recommend playing around with all of these because you never know which option is causing the blurriness issue.
For example, if I change the picture mode on my monitor to “Racing”, the text on the monitor starts looking blurry and distorted. On another monitor, if I change the refresh rate to “Overdrive”, it causes blurriness.
Before you make any major changes, I recommend writing down your current settings. This way, if you change some settings and it makes your monitor look worse, you can always revert them back to how they were beforehand.
Monitor Looks Blurry When Connected To Laptop?
If your monitor is blurry when it’s connected to a laptop, then you should try logging out of the system and then logging back into it. Logging out and back in will change the configuration of your monitors and hopefully fix the scaling issue that happens when some monitors are connected to certain laptops.
Most of the time when a monitor looks blurry after being connected to a laptop, it’s due to a scaling issue.
Blurriness can occur when multiple monitors are connected to a single laptop, but occasionally it will happen with only one monitor.
Logging out and then back into your laptop helps fix the blurriness because it pretty much resets your display configuration. It ensures that the display settings on your computer match up with your monitor.
If logging out and logging back in doesn’t fix the blurriness, you can also try the solutions below:
Check For Windows / OS Updates
Monitor blurriness when connected to a laptop is an extremely common issue. It’s so common, in fact, that there’s a good chance Windows, Apple, etc have all tried solving the issue on your specific laptop.
The only way to really find out is to make sure that you’ve installed any operating system updates that may be available to you.
If a system update doesn’t fix your problem, it wouldn’t hurt to do a quick Google search for your specific laptop to check if it has issues with monitor blurriness.
Some laptops are just not very compatible with certain monitors due to their DPI and the resolution of the monitors.
Match Screen Resolutions
If there’s a huge difference between the resolutions of your monitors, then there’s a greater chance that your monitor will look blurry. One way to remedy this would be to match screen resolutions.
Now, I know not everyone can just run out and buy a new monitor, but what you can do is change the resolution on one of your displays to make it match the other.
First, open up your display settings and figure out the display resolution of your primary screen. This should be under “Scale and layout”.
Afterwards, scroll back up to your displays and click the box with a “2” inside of it. This will select your secondary display.
Now, change the resolution of your secondary display to match that of your primary display. Of course, you could also change the resolution of your primary display to match your secondary display.
After you change your resolution, try logging out and logging back in, just to make sure that everything is configured properly.
You shouldn’t have to restart your computer completely, but if logging out and logging back in doesn’t seem to help then you might as well try it.
If you have any questions, or just want to hang with me, follow me on Twitch here. Also, for streaming tips and how to’s make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.