How To Fix Screen Tearing

How to fix screen tearing issues in windows system? Screen tearing is where the display hardware presents information/data from multiple frames in a single screen draw. This usually happens when the video fed into the system is not in sync with the display’s refresh rate. During gameplay, this might become very annoying and may cause the player to lose playing.

There are many ‘workarounds’ for this issue in making your condition better. Some of these might fix the problem entirely, but that isn’t guaranteed. Begin with the initial one and work your way down accordingly.

However, before proceeding, it should be remarked that the screen tearing will not get fixed if the frame rates are out of sync because of the hardware specifications of the monitor. Here, you have to diagnose and substitute the monitor accordingly (like a G-Sync monitor).

How To Stop Screen Tearing
How To Stop Screen Tearing

How to Fix Screen Tearing Issues?

Changing Resolution and Refresh Rate 

The first and foremost reason why the screen tearing occurs is the monitor’s refresh rate or incorrect resolution. This might not completely solve the difficulty in most cases but makes it bearable enough so you can work.

  • Hit Windows + S to launch the search application. Enter resolution in the dialogue box and open the application which comes forth.
  • Once in Settings, browse down to the end of the page and choose advanced display settings.
  • Another window will come up consisting of all the info of your display. Choose the option Display adapter properties for Display 1.
  • Now your hardware properties will pop up. Hit on List All Modes present in the tab Adapter.
  • You will see a list of various resolutions present on the screen. Change them according to your hardware specifications and after hit OK each time, check if they make a difference.
  • Restart your system after you have successfully changed the settings and see if the screen tearing still occurs.

Enabling/Disabling NVIDIA VSync

VSync is NVIDIA’s answer to screen tearing problems and rate stuttering. The screen tearing, as explained before, happens when the frame rates are higher than the system can handle. Vsync counters this problem with the controller the frame rates automatically without your interference. Now either you can try disabling the feature or allowing it. See what works in your case.

Note: There were also instances where setting the VSync to Adaptive solves the problem.

  • Right-hit anywhere on your Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • Navigate to 3D Settings > Manage 3D settings. Now hit on the Global Settings tab present at the right side of the screen and hit on Vertical Sync.
  • Now you can turn it either on or off according to your situation.
  • Save changes and exit. Now check if the difficulty is resolved.

For AMD users, there is a choice of Wait for Vertical Refresh. Change the option to Always on.

Screen Tearing
Screen Tearing

Disabling ‘Game-mode’ and Full-screen optimizations

Windows announced and released some features in its latest update. One of the noticeable features involved the Game mode. This mode helps users optimize their system and play any game more smoothly. The operating system recognizes the program as a game and tries to deliver maximum performance to its processing.

Furthermore, this mode also provides you to record your gameplay or stream across devices. It also enables you to take screenshots with a single key. Numerous players reported that this option caused their game to crash and was why they were getting the ‘tearing.’ We can disable this and see if this helps our cause.

  • Hit Windows + S, type settings in the dialogue box, and open the application.
  • Once in the settings, hit on the Gaming.
  • Hit on the Game bar present at the left side of the navigation bar and turn the option Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar off. Now choose Broadcasting and turn the option Record audio when I broadcast off.
  • Restart your computer entirely and try relaunching your game. Now check if this resolves the screen tearing issue.

If the fault persists, you can try disabling the full-screen optimization of the game you are launching. This makes the situation better in some instances.

  • Right-click on the game and select Properties.
  • Hit on Compatibility and check the option Disable fullscreen optimizations.
  • Press Apply to save changes and exit. Restart your system and attempt launching the game. Check if the problem is solved.

If you are using Steam as your game client and experiencing the problem there, you can also try settings the launch options -windowed -noborder.

Checking Graphics Drivers

If all the above methods don’t work, we can update your graphics to the latest build or downgrade them if the problem started to appear after a graphics update. There are many cases where not using the latest drivers causes the issue because the game you are playing is optimized for running with the latest one.

  • Boot your system into safe mode, press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box, and press Enter. Please navigate to the device manager, locate NVIDIA hardware, right-click it, and select Uninstall device. Now reboot your computer.
  • In most instances, the default drivers will be installed against the hardware. If not, right-click on any space and choose Scan for hardware changes.

Now check if the error message persists. If it still does, catch the steps listed below.

  • Now there are two options. Either you can search online for the most advanced driver available for your hardware from the manufacturer’s official website. (And install manually) or you can let Windows install the most advanced version itself (search for updates automatically).

First, you should try updating the hardware automatically. Right-hit on your hardware and select Update driver. Choose the initial option, Search automatically for updated driver software. Choose the second option if you are updating manually and choose Browse for the driver, and navigate to the location where you downloaded.

  • Restart your system after installing the drivers and see if the screen tearing stopped.

Turning off Frame Limit

Many games and applications make use of the Frame Limit feature in their options. Through this module, the program can limit the highest number of frames it will output to your monitor. This is a convenient feature to use if you have low specifications hardware, but it is known to cause screen tearing in many cases.

Hence, in this resolution, navigate to whatever game you are playing or whichever application you are using and turn the Frame Limit off. The steps may vary from game to game. After making the changes, don’t forget to restart your system before checking again.

Disabling Smooth Scrolling

Smooth scrolling is a feature in Windows that allows you to scroll more smoothly; adjust the graphics output so that the screen doesn’t look rough when scrolling. This is a pretty nifty feature, and the majority of Windows 10 users have the option allowed on their system.

However, there have several cases where the smooth scrolling feature reversed its role and instead caused tearings on the screen. This looks to be a glitch that can be removed if we disable Smooth Scrolling on your computer. Make sure to restart your system after the changes before testing your screen again.

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