Screen tearing occurs when multiple bits of multiple frames in a video are all displayed on the screen at the same time. Instead of seeing a solid scene, you get these small parts of multiple images blended into one. It can be minimal when it looks like two or three images cut and cropped and placed on top of each other, or it can be extreme to the point where you see an entire section showing lines (vertical or horizontal).

What is screen tearing

Screen tearing is a visual defect, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with your hardware. In many cases, this could be a software issue that you can fix yourself. That said, it’s not always unrelated to the hardware i.e. your GPU plays a role in it. For this article, we are going to focus on users who have an Nvidia GPU.

Basic hardware check

Before trying to fix screen tearing on your Windows 10 system, make sure;

  • Your system is not experiencing power surges and everything is plugged in properly.
  • The cable connecting your system to your monitor is not damaged.
  • Your system does not overheat and is placed in a well ventilated area.
  • Your monitor is not physically damaged.
  • Check if the screen tearing is general or if it only happens when playing a specific game or video.

Fix screen tearing issues in Windows 10

Screen tears may occur on your desktop, when watching a movie, or playing a game. Try the following fixes.

1. Run the Video Playback Troubleshooter

  1. Open the Applying settings.
  2. Go to Update and security> Troubleshooting.
  3. Click on Additional convenience stores.
  4. Select the Video playback troubleshooting.
  5. Apply the fixes he recommends and restart your system.

2. Check / Change the screen resolution

Screen tearing can occur because you are using an incorrect resolution. It can be set too high or too low.

  1. Open the Applying settings.
  2. Go to System> Display.
  3. If you have a multi-screen setup, select the monitor on which you are experiencing screen tearing.
  4. Open the Screen resolution drop-down list, and select the “Recommended” setting. If it’s already set to “Recommended,” try going higher or lower and see if the problem goes away.
  5. If you turned on scaling, turn it off.

Related : How to use Windows 10: your burning questions answered

3. Change the screen refresh rate

Screen tearing can also occur if the screen refresh rate is set too low or too high.

  1. Open the Applying settings.
  2. Go to System> Display.
  3. Scroll down and click Additional display settings.
  4. Choose the screen where you experience tears.
  5. Click on “Display adapter properties for display”.
  6. A new window will open. Go to Monitor tab.
  7. Open the Screen refresh rate drop-down list, and select a lower (or higher) rate.
  8. Click on Apply and restart the system.

4. Update the graphics driver

If your graphics driver is outdated, it may be responsible for the screen tearing.

  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Develop Screenshot taken.
  3. Right click on your Nvidia GPU, and select Update the driver.
  4. Install all updates which he recommends.
  5. Repeat for the integrated graphics card if you have one.

5. Turn off game mode

Game Mode is a feature of Windows 10 that aims to improve gaming, but it can often result in an inferior gaming experience and cause the screen to tear.

  1. Open the Applying settings.
  2. Go to Games> Game mode.
  3. Turn it Disable “Game Mode”.

6. Disable full screen optimization

Full Screen Optimization is another feature that aims to give apps full screen access to more system resources so that they run more smoothly. If you are having screen tears in a particular app, turn off full screen optimization for that app. We take the example of VLC player but you can do it for any desktop application.

  1. To create a desktop shortcut for the application that you are experiencing screen tears.
  2. Go to the shortcut and right click on it. Select Properties.
  3. Go to Compatibility tab.
  4. Check the option “Disable full screen optimizations”.
  5. Click on Apply.
  6. Open the app using the shortcut and play the media.

7. Reduce the framerate

If you experience screen tears in a game, try lowering the frame rate. Most games will have a built-in option to change the frame rate.

  1. Open the game you are experiencing screen tears.
  2. Go to game settings.
  3. Search display or performance settings.
  4. Find it Control FPS and turn it down.
  5. Apply the change and try to play your game.


Screen tearing, if constant, makes it impossible to use your system, but unless your system is unusually old or you haven’t taken good care of it, the problem is easy to fix. . With older systems, you may face hardware failure.

Make sure all the media you are playing is being run from a local drive and not an external drive if you are using a very old system. If your hard drive is old, it can slow down to the point where data cannot be read from the speed that an application or game needs.

For old hardware there isn’t much you can do, but on newer systems the issue is resolved.

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