Full Fix: Distorted Display Problem in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
7 minute read

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Windows 10 is still new operating system, and Microsoft is working hard on resolving any potential issues. One of the more annoying issues is distorted display after the update to Windows 10, but worry not, because there are few solutions that can help you resolve this issue.

According to users these issues manifest when watching online video, and the picture gets cut in half and one side gets covered by horizontal lines and becomes distorted. Like most issues with Windows 10, it’s usually the driver incompatibility with Windows 10.

Distorted display on Windows 10, how to fix it?

Distorted display can be a big problem on your PC that can interfere with your everyday tasks. Speaking of this issue, users reported the following problems as well:

  • Windows 10 display stretched – Many users reported that their display is stretched on Windows 10. This is usually caused by your display or graphics card settings, so be sure to change them to fix the problem.
  • Computer screen distorted lines – This problem can appear due to a corrupted driver or faulty graphics card. If installing the default drivers doesn’t help, be sure to check if your graphics card is faulty.
  • Windows 10 screen distortion – Screen distortion can appear for various reasons, and sometimes the problem might be a third-party application. Applications that modify the user interface can cause this issue, so be sure to remove them.
  • Distorted monitor display problems – These problems can appear on any PC, and if you encounter this issue, be sure to try some of our solutions.
  • Distorted display after Windows update – In some cases, this problem can appear after a Windows update. To fix the issue, you need to find and remove the problematic update. In addition, it’s a good idea to block the update from installing again.

Solution 1 – Install Windows updates

Sometimes installing the necessary Windows updates can get the job done. So, just reach for the Settings app, and see if there are any updates available at the moment:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Update and Security section.
    Computer screen distorted lines
  3. Click on Check for updates button.
    Windows 10 display stretched

By installing Windows 10 updates you’re minimizing compatibility issues, and if Microsoft has fixed this issue, it’s available in Windows 10 update.


Solution 2 – Install the latest drivers

Sometimes issues are caused by your display driver that isn’t compatible with Windows 10, so you need to download latest drivers for your graphics card and motherboard. Just head to the Device Manager and check if your graphics card drivers are up to date.

Updating drivers manually is very annoying, so we recommend you to download this driver updater tool (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically. Thus, you will prevent file loss and even permanent damage to your computer.


Solution 3 – Install the drivers in compatibility mode

If Windows 10 drivers aren’t available for download, you need to download the latest drivers and install them in compatibility mode. To do so, do the following:

  1. Right click the driver setup file and select Properties from the menu.
    Computer screen distorted lines
  2. Navigate to Compatibility tab and check the Run this program in compatibility mode and select the operating system from the list. Click OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 screen distortion

After doing that, try installing the driver again.


Solution 4 – Disable X-Reality for mobile

If you own Sony Vaio device you might want to disable X-Reality for mobile. Many users have reported this issue on Sony Vaio devices, and we’re still waiting for an official patch from Sony, but for now, you can go to VAIO Control Center, find X-Reality for mobile and disable it. Many users have reported that this solution fixed their distorted picture problems, so it’s worth checking out.


Solution 5 – Reinstall the driver

Sometimes you can encounter distorted display problem due to your drivers. Your display driver might be corrupted and that can lead to this problem. However, you can fix this issue simply by rolling back to an older display driver. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now choose Device Manager from the list.
    Distorted monitor display problems
  2. When Device Manager opens, expand Display adapters section and double click your display adapter.
    Distorted display after Windows update
  3. When Properties window opens, navigate to Driver tab and click on Roll Back Driver button.
    Windows 10 display stretched

If the Roll Back option isn’t available, you’ll need to remove the driver. To do that, follow these steps:


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  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
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  1. Start Device Manager. Locate your display driver, right click it and choose Uninstall device from the menu.
    Distorted display after Windows update
  2. Check Delete the driver software for this device option and click the Uninstall button.
    Windows 10 display stretched
  3. Once the driver is removed, restart your PC.

When your PC restarts, Windows will automatically install the default driver and the problem should be resolved. Keep in mind that this method might not always remove all files associated with your display driver.

If any files related to the problematic driver remain, the issue might reoccur. To prevent that from happening, it’s advised to remove the driver using Display Driver Uninstaller. This is a freeware third-party application, and if you want to learn more about it, we advise you to check our guide on how to use Display Driver Uninstaller.


Solution 6 – Set a custom refresh rate

If your display is distorted, the problem might be your refresh rate. Several users reported that they fixed the problem simply by changing their monitor refresh rate. We have to warn you, changing the refresh rate can lead to certain problems, so be careful. To change the refresh rate, do the following:

  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. In the Display category select Change Resolution.
    Computer screen distorted lines
  3. Click Customize.
    Windows 10 screen distortion
  4. Click Create Custom Resolution and set a different refresh rate or try a different resolution.
    Distorted monitor display problems

Users reported that they changed their refresh rate from 60Hz to 61Hz solving the problem. As we previously mentioned, changing the display frequency can be dangerous, so be careful if you decide to change it. We are not responsible for any damage that can occur by using this solution.

Several users reported that this is just a temporary workaround, so you might have to repeat it if the problem reoccurs.


Solution 7 – Reset your BIOS to default

Sometimes this problem can occur after overclocking your PC. Overclocking puts extra stress on your GPU causing it to overheat. However, you can fix the problem simply by resetting BIOS to last known good configuration.

To see how to access BIOS and reset it to default, we advise you to check your motherboard manual for detailed instructions.


Solution 8 – Change Output color depth

According to users, you might be able to fix the problem simply by changing Output color depth value in Nvidia Control Panel. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Go to Display > Change Resolution.
  3. Scroll down and select Use Nvidia color settings.
  4. Change Output color depth from 12 bpc to 8 bpc.
  5. Click Apply to save changes.

After doing that, check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 9 – Inspect your monitor

Sometimes this problem can occur if your monitor cable is damaged. To fix the issue, inspect all your cables to make sure that they are tightly connected. You can also try replacing your cables or trying a different monitor.

Several users are also suggesting to try changing your monitor settings. Simply press the Settings button on your monitor and restore all values to default. Your monitor settings are an unlikely cause, especially if you didn’t change them prior, but you still might want to check them out.


Solution 10 – Remove problematic applications

Many users tend to use applications that modify their user interface. Although they can achieve some visually impressive results with these applications, certain issues can occur. Users suspect that distorted display problems can occur due to those third-party applications, so it’s important that you remove them.

There are several ways to remove those applications, but if you want to remove them entirely, it’s advised to use an uninstaller software. Uninstaller software can remove any application from your PC, but it will also remove all files and registry entries associated with this application.

There are many great uninstallers available, but the best are IOBit Uninstaller, Revo Uninstaller, and Ashampoo Uninstaller, so feel free to try any of these applications.


Solution 11 – Check your graphics card

Sometimes the problem with distorted display can be caused by your graphics card. According to users, a faulty graphics card can cause this problem to appear. To determine if your graphics card is faulty, check if this problem appears outside of Windows, in BIOS or during the boot sequence.

If the problem doesn’t appear only in Windows, it’s rather likely that your graphics card is faulty, so be sure to replace it and check if that solves the problem.

That would be all, if you have any comments, or suggestions, please reach for the comment section below. Also, if you have any other Windows 10-related issues you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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