How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Shifted when Playing Games

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader "Ivar" writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just upgraded to Windows 10 and am using a monitor with 60hz and 1600x900 resolution. Since the upgrade, I have encountered problems with my screen shifting whenever I play some games. When this happens, my screen shifts to the left, leaving a black bar of about 4 centimeters on the right side. This only seems to happen when the games change resolution to 1024x768 - however, in Windows 7, changing resolutions worked flawlessly. I came across your article on how to calibrate your screen, and looked for the 'auto calibration' button you describe in the article, but cannot find it on my monitor. After researching this problem further I found others complaining of the same issue, and the 'auto calibration' button fixed it. Do you know how I can fix this problem? "

My response:

This is a good question - though to be honest, it's not much different than what I have been previously been asked.

First, I will start by saying that Windows 7 is a mature operating system and that Windows 10 is not; it still has plenty of bugs - most notably, there are display issues similar to what you describe, especially with older video cards. As you have pointed out, I have already written a few articles on that subject with a few workarounds:

These solutions are very much relevant to your question because they deal with the exact same issue at hand, and that is: the display isn't being properly supported in Windows 10.

The only difference between what you are asking me today versus the questions I've already been asked (above) is that you are trying to play a game that is running a different resolution than what your desktop resolution is running. In other words: when the game is launched, the resolution changes. This procedure is not much different than manually changing the resolution on your desktop (without playing a game). The fact is, when you switch display resolutions in Windows 10, you are taking a craps shoot as to whether or not it will fit your display properly because (as I previously mentioned), the video display support in Windows 10 is very poor, especially with older video cards.

There are a few things you can try to fix this problem, which I will mention below.

How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Shifted when Playing Games

  1. As I mentioned previously: look for an "auto" or "auto calibration" button on your monitor. The auto calibration feature may also be hidden within your monitor's options menu - so please take a careful look. If you're using a laptop, you won't have an "auto" button because the laptop display should automatically calibrate itself whenever you change the resolution. When the calibration takes place, that means the display should be stretched out properly to fit the screen. If it is not, then it is usually because of one of two things:

    a) the resolution or frequency isn't supported by the monitor / display. For example: your monitor may display 1600x900 at 60Hz natively, but you are trying to view 1600x900 at 57Hz, which is not supported, and which may result in a shifted display or the monitor displaying a blank (black) screen. If you don't have an auto calibration feature for your monitor, then the resolution you're attempting to display properly simply isn't going to work. In that case you must revert back to your monitor's native resolution (in your case, 1600x900 @ 60Hz), and only use that resolution when playing games. In other words: launch the game, then look for a "Display" menu of some sort within the game and see if you can change it to your native resolution. From there it should work without any issues. If the game doesn't have an option to change resolutions or if changing to a higher resolution results in too much lag (because the video card performance is too low), then you can continue reading for further suggestions.

    b) the resolution isn't supported by the operating system OR the video card driver. In this case, make sure that you have the latest edition of Windows 10 installed on your machine. Windows 10 Anniversary Edition in particular supports a much wider range of frequencies (Hz) on monitors which was not accessible in previous editions. This is a big deal - so make sure you are running Windows 10 14393. You can check which edition of Windows 10 you're running by clicking Start, then type in "winver" (no quotes) and press Enter. A window will appear with the Windows 10 version you're running - look at the "OS Build" number in particular. It should say something like: Windows 10 / Version 1607 (OS Build 14393.187). Secondly, make sure that you visit your video card manufacturer's website and download the latest version. Video drivers are updated regularly, so it is worth checking at least once a month.
     
  2. If none of the above is working for you and you are using a PC -AND- you have money to blow, another solution is to buy a newer video card - one that is supported by Windows 10 natively, which runs Direct X 12. If you go this route, you should hopefully not have any issues. I suggest buying a video card that has a good rating (use Amazon.com as your guide), plus, one that has a 30 day money back guarantee. If you have any issues with it, you can return the card without any obligation.
     
  3. If you still have issues at this point, you have two more choices:

    a) wait for Microsoft or your video card manufacturer to fix the issue. This may take months, or it may never happen.

    b) revert back to Windows 7. You won't be running Windows 10 anymore, but your games will work. Most people reading this won't want to hear that as being a solution, but there really isn't any more options if you've already tried what I mentioned above.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of the above is over your head and if you need help either upgrading to Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, updating your video card driver, or help figuring out which video card you should purchase, I can assist using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me briefly describing your problem and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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