FIX: Screen became pixelated after Windows update

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Certain Windows updates can cause your screen to become pixelated. 
  • There's just a few check-ups and changes that you should make to fix this, as explained here.
  • The guides in our Peripherals section will always come in handy in situations like this one.
  • Bookmark the Windows 10 Hub and stay in touch with what's new about this awesome OS.

Some users have reported that their screens are pixelated after applying certain Windows updates.

It appears that the icons are bigger and the text is blurry and pixelated. Fortunately, this is not a big issue, and you can solve it quickly, with just a few steps.

But first, here are some more examples of this issue:

  • Windows 10 pixelated video – This problem usually occurs after installing Windows 10 updates.
  • Computer/ laptop screen is pixelated and freezes – In some cases, it can also happen that your screen freezes, besides being pixelated.
  • Pixelated screen on Windows 7 – This problem is common in Windows 7, as well.
  • Computer screen pixelated virus – Pixelated screen can easily be caused by malware.

What can I do if the screen gets pixelated after a Windows update?

  1. Update monitor drivers
  2. Change screen resolution
  3. Check if your drivers are compatible
  4. Set DPI size
  5. Change monitor refresh rate
  6. Update Windows

1. Update monitor drivers

  1. Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Monitors.
  3. Right-click your monitor, and go to Update driver.update monitor driver
  4. Let your computer find new drivers for your monitor.
  5. If there are any new drivers available, let the wizard install them.
  6. Restart your computer.

Although monitor drivers cause issues less often, it’s still possible. Especially if you recently got a new monitor, or installed a new version of Windows 10.

While manual updating your drivers is the most popular solution, the recommended way is to update them automatically using a dedicated tool such as DriverFix.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

The best thing about choosing this method is the time saved in looking for the right software. After scanning your device, DriverFix offers a list of compatible fresh drivers.

You can then update not just the monitor driver, but all outdated drivers, either one by one, or bulk.

DriverFix

DriverFix

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2. Change screen resolution

  1. Right-click on Desktop and choose Personalization
  2. In the down left corner, click on Display
  3. Click on Adjust Resolutionchange display resolution
  4. Choose your resolution and click OK

Windows 10 won’t let you adjust screen resolution? Don’t panic! Fix this like an expert!


3. Check if your drivers are compatible

  1. Press Windows key + R and type devmgmt.msc in the run prompt.
  2. Expand the Display adapters section, right-click your adapter and then uninstall itreinstall gpu driver
  3. Restart the computer, let Windows 8 detect the driver and install by itself and check if it fixes the issue.

If updating your drivers doesn’t help, then you probably have some issues with your DPI(dots per inch) settings. The next solution will show you how to solve all DPI issues.


We’ve written extensively on high DPI issues. Check out this guide for more information.


4. Set DPI Size

  1. Go to Settings > System > Display
  2. Now, go to custom scaling, and you’ll see a screen like this:change custom scaling settings

Now, choose one of these three options and save the changes:

  • Smaller – 100% = 96 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)
  • Medium – 125% = 120 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)
  • Larger – 150% = 144 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)

Setting the DPI size to a smaller percentage will decrease all items size on the display, which will definitely help you if your screen is pixelated.


5. Change monitor refresh rate

  1. Right-click the Desktop and go to Display Settings.
  2. Go to Advanced display settings
  3. Under Related settings, go to Display adapter properties
  4. Go to the Monitor tab and select another refresh rate from Screen refresh rate:change monitor's frequency rate
  5. Click OK

If this solution didn’t help either, there’s one more step to go.


6. Update Windows

how to fix a pixelated screen

Needless to say,  your Windows 10 computer should be up to date.

Updating your computer brings many benefits, and possibly resolves some issues.  So, check for updates, and it’s likely that this is the solution to your problem.

To update your computer, simply go to the Settings app > Updates & Security, and hit the Check for updates button (if available).


Which is the latest version of Windows 10? Read our comprehensive article about this OS!


That’s about it, we hope at least one of these solutions helped you reset the pixelated display back to normal.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, just let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and was completely revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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