Can’t Change Your Monitor Refresh Rate? How to Force It

Outdated drivers are often the causes of this issue

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
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  • Ensure you're connecting your monitor with the right display cable.
  • Update your graphics card if you can't change your monitor refresh rate.
  • Make sure that your monitor is capable of running the desired refresh rate.
can't change monitor refresh rate
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In some cases, Windows users have reported that they cannot change their refresh rate, which prevents them from maximizing their PC’s display capabilities. If you need help changing your monitor’s refresh rate, this article will provide the steps to help you if you can’t change the monitor refresh rate on Windows 10.

Why can’t I change the monitor refresh rate?

The following are some of the common reasons why you can’t change the monitor refresh rate on Windows 10:

  • Outdated/Incompatible Drivers – If your system runs an incompatible version of your graphics card, you might need help to change your monitor refresh rate.
  • Incompatible display cable – If the display cable is faulty or incompatible, you might be unable to change the refresh rate on your monitor.
  • Incompatible monitor – If you’re trying to max out your refresh rate, your monitor must be capable of running the desired rate.
  • Wrong display configurations – If your PC’s display isn’t correctly configured, you’ll find it hard to change the refresh rate of your PC.

Now that we know why this happens, let’s apply the solutions below to fix it.

What can I do If I can’t change the monitor refresh rate?

Before we proceed with more advanced troubleshooting techniques, here are some quick fixes you can attempt:

  • Make sure you are using the right cable for the specifications of your monitor and PC. For instance, if you are using DVI, you need a dual-link DVI cable to use 144 Hz.
  • If you use a USB monitor, connect it to a USB 3.0 port.
  • Change your display cable or try the monitor on another PC.
  • Check to see if your monitor supports the required refresh rate. You can do this by searching for your monitor’s specs online.
  • Make sure you install all the pending Windows updates.

If those quick fixes couldn’t resolve the error, here are a couple of advanced solutions you can attempt:

1. Update your graphics card driver

  1. Press the Windows key + S, type in Device Manager, and hit Enter.
  2. In the Device Manager window, locate and click on the Display adapters tab. Select your graphics card, right-click, and select Update driver.
  3. In the next popup window, select Search automatically for updated driver software.
  4. Close the Device Manager window and restart your PC.

Alternatively, you can download the graphics card, i.e., Nvidia or Intel, from the manufacturer’s official website and install it manually.

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2. Change your adapter settings

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Click on System, and navigate to the Display tab.
  3. On the right pane, scroll down and select Advanced Display Settings.
  4. In the next window, click on Display adapter properties for Display 1.
  5. In the properties window, navigate to the Monitor tab. Under the Monitor Settings, click on the Screen refresh rate drop-down menu and select your desired refresh rate.
  6. Click OK, and close the Settings app.

If you’ve been unable to change the refresh rate on your PC, you’ll find it hard to play games optimally. Games are graphics intensive, and some require the highest system configurations.

You might also be interested in reading our guide on how to enable dynamic refresh rate in Windows 11.

Luckily, with the steps listed above, you should be able to change your PC’s refresh rate.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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