Vertical lines messing up your computer screen? 6 ways to fix it

Elsie Otachi By: Elsie Otachi
7 minute read
Fix vertical lines laptop screen

Home » Fix » Vertical lines messing up your computer screen? 6 ways to fix it

In the course of using your PC or laptop, you may have encountered vertical lines running from the top to the bottom of your computer screen, either blue, white or multi-colored.

This may create a lot of anxiety especially when you fear that your machine may be crashing.

Well, you’d be relieved to know that the vertical lines can be a thing of the past, and no, your laptop isn’t crashing anytime soon – at least not because of the vertical lines.

What causes vertical lines on laptop screen? Many of you must be asking yourself this question especially if you came across this page. Here is the answer:

Vertical lines seen on a computer screen may be a result of hardware failure, which requires a hard reset (or forced reset), or an issue with your video (graphics) card.

In most cases, these lines are caused by damage to the screen.

If the lines are different colors, or width changes when you add pressure from the panel, then the issue is probably your computer’s LCD screen, which would require a replacement.

Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase and fix the vertical lines problem already.

How to fix vertical lines on your PC monitor?

  1. Check your Screen Resolution display settings
  2. Update your video card or graphics driver
  3. Downgrade the video card driver to an older version
  4. Use Display Quality Troubleshooter
  5. Check whether the vertical lines appear in the BIOS
  6. Perform a Clean Boot

1. Check your Screen Resolution display settings

This involves adjusting your computer screen’s display settings in order to get the best display on your monitor.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to Appearance and Personalizationappearance and personalization control panel
  • Click Adjust screen resolution
  • Go to Resolution and click the drop down arrow

laptop screen

  • You’ll see the resolution marked Recommended. This is the one suitable for your laptop screen’s native resolution – the highest your monitor can support.

You can set brightness and contrast from monitor controls. For a laptop screen, these are adjusted within Windows under Power Options.

How to adjust laptop screen on Power Options

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to the top right corner and change View by option to Large icons
  • Click Power Optionspower options control panel

 

Didn’t work? Try the next solution.


2. Update your video card or graphics driver

Here’s how to update drivers on Windows:

  • Right click Start button
  • Select Device Manager
  • Locate your GPU drivers and click on the option to expand the listupdate graphics drivers windows 10
  • See whether there are any devices with either a yellow exclamation mark, question mark, down-arrow mark, or an error notification or code.
  • If the driver has a yellow exclamation mark on it, double click on it then open Properties
  • Under Drivers tab, choose Update Driver

Windows will find the appropriate driver for your video card or graphics driver.

Note: You may need to know the name of your graphics or video card, for instance, if it is NVIDIA, AMD or Intel, because then you’d have to download directly from the website of either of these.

Update drivers automatically

In order to prevent PC damage by installing the wrong driver versions,  we suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and will update your correct drivers automatically. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting windowOnce installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      updating drivers automatically
    2. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      tweakbit driver updater scan finished
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.


3. Downgrade the video card driver to an older version

Here’s how to go about this:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Click Display Adaptersdisplay adapters
  • Right click the Display adapter
  • Select Properties
  • Check the version
  • Find a previous version and install it.

4. Use Display Quality Troubleshooter

This tool helps you automatically find and fix commonly experienced display problems such as vertical lines on your screen.

Follow these steps to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Click View by on the right corner and select Large icons
  • Click Display
  • Go to the left pane and click View Allview all troubleshooting control panel
  • Click Display Quality
  • Type in a password for admin, or give permissions when prompted

Follow the steps in solution 1 to improve display quality.

Has this worked? If not, try the next solution.


5. Check whether the vertical lines appear in the BIOS

Here’s how to do this:

  • Shut down your computer, but keep the power cable connected
  • Turn it on again
  • Press F10 repeatedly

If you get to the BIOS settings and the lines are still displaying, it may be a hardware failure. In this situation, perform a hard or forced reset, then a BIOS update.

If you don’t get any vertical lines displayed in the BIOS, it is a software related issue such as outdated drivers. In this case you need to update the display drivers.

How to update display drivers

In order to do this, you need to start your computer on Safe Mode, then uninstall your current display adapter, and finally check for driver updates.

Safe mode starts up your computer with limited files and drivers but Windows will still run. To know whether you’re on Safe mode, you’ll see the words at the corners of your screen.

If the screen flickering issue persists, check whether it occurs while your computer is in Safe mode.

There are two versions:

  • Safe mode
  • Safe mode with Networking

The two are similar, though the latter includes network drivers and other services necessary to access the web and other computers in the same network.

Follow these steps to start your computer in Safe Mode:

  • Click on Start button
  • Select Settings – the Settings box will open up
  • Click Update & Security
  • Select Recovery from the left pane
  • Go to Advanced startup advanced startup options windows 10
  • Click Restart now
  • Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options
  • Go to Startup Settings and click Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

 

A quicker way to get into Safe Mode is to restart your computer then do the following:

  • From the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot >Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

If the screen flickering problem isn’t there while in Safe mode, then your default settings and basic drivers are not contributing to the issue.

Once you start your computer in safe mode, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Expand Display adapters
  • Right click the listed adapter
  • Select Uninstall device
  • Choose the Delete the driver software for this device box
  • Select Uninstall
  • Reboot your computer

Once your computer reboots, click Start, choose Settings, then select Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates.

If you have many display adapters, you need to disable the added display adapter by doing the following:

  • Right click the added adapter from Device Manager
  • Select Disable
  • Click Yes
  • Turn off your computer
  • Disconnect installation or recovery media (if using it)
  • Turn on your computer

If this doesn’t fix the vertical lines on the computer screen, do the following:

  • Restart in Safe Mode
  • Re-enable the added display adapter
  • Disable the other adapter

Once you’re through and the screen flickering is sorted, exit safe mode so you can get your computer back to normal mode.

How to exit Safe Mode:

  • Right click Start button
  • Select Run
  • Type msconfig
  • A pop up will open
  • Go to the Boot tab
  • Deselect or uncheck Safe Boot option box
  • Restart your computer

— ALSO READ: How to Fix Screen Problems in Windows 10


6. Perform a Clean Boot

If Safe Mode didn’t work, try a clean boot.

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes of the Startup Repair incompatibility with your operating system.

These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally.

In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig
  • Select System Configuration
  • Find Services tab
  • Select Hide all Microsoft services boxhide all microsoft services
  • Click Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab
  • Click Open Task Manager
  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try booting your computer again.

Did any of these solutions work? Let us know by dropping your comment in the section below.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy

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