How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen) - Using Display Frequency

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader "Ainsley" writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I'm using Windows 10. My screen has two big black bars on either side of it taking up approximately 2 inches on each side, shrinking my available screen. I have tried updating the video driver and restarting. This did not help. I have googled the issue and found your article 'How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen)', but I don't see the windows registry entry that starts with 'DALR6 DFPI'. Please advise. Thank you. "

My response:

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive, having written 5 articles on the "Windows 10 Black Border" problem already:

First, I must note that the "How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen)" article I wrote a while back deals only with older AMD video cards. If you do not see the "DALR" registry attributes I mentioned in this article, then that usually means one of two things:

  1. You don't have an older AMD video card. In that case, the instructions I provided in the "How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen)" article do not apply to you.
     
  2. You might have an Nvidia video card instead of an older AMD video card. You can find out which video card you have by doing the following: 1) click Start, then type in "device manager" (no quotes); wait for Device Manager to appear in the list, then click it. A new window will appear; click the "Display Adapters" option to expand the list. It will say what make and model you have. If you have an Nvidia video card, then read this article instead.

How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen) - Using Display Frequency

Since I wrote the article "How to Fix: Windows 10 Black Border (Shrinking Screen)", Windows 10 Anniversary Edition has now been released, which allows the user to change the display frequency. The ability to change the display frequency oftentimes will remove the black border around the screen, but not always. Here are a few things you can try to eliminate the black borders around your screen:

  1. First check and see if you have an "auto calibration" or an "auto" button on your monitor, because this will fix the black border problem instantly without you having to make any further adjustments. In this case, Windows is most likely outputting the display resolution * OR * display frequency in a different mode than your previous version of Windows, and therefore you are now seeing black borders around your screen. If you can somehow access the "auto calibration" or "auto" button on the monitor, this will instantly fix the black border problem. Note that the "auto" or "auto calibration" option may hidden deep inside the On Screen Display (OSD) menu - if - you have an on screen display (usually accessible from the "menu" button if you have it). If you are using a laptop, then you won't have an "auto calibration" or "auto" button because laptops automatically calibrate themselves.
     
  2. Ensure that you are using the optimal screen resolution for your display. Many computer and laptop screens today will have an optimal display of 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz by default, which is the same resolution as a Blu Ray movie. If you're using a laptop, the resolution may be different - for example, 1600x900 @ 60 Hz. The only way to know what your monitor's optimal display resolution might be is to type in the exact make and model # into Google and research the monitor / display specifications online. Once you know what those specifications are, try and get the monitor into that particular resolution and that particular frequency. If Windows 10 does not list your optimal resolution, then that means Windows does not support your display properly - which is why you see the black borders on the display. In that case, try downloading the latest video card driver to fix the problem and try again. If that does not fix it, try the next step.
     
  3. If the optimal resolution isn't supported by Windows 10 and downloading the latest video card driver doesn't help, the other thing you can do is make sure that you have Windows 10 Anniversary Edition installed and to try adjusting the display frequency. Windows 10 Anniversary Edition in particular supports a much wider range of display frequencies (Hz), which was not previously accessible in earlier versions of Windows 10. By changing the display frequency, you may fix the black border problem. Based on my previous experience, Windows may display a resolution using a different frequency than your monitor natively supports. For example, it may display 1920x1080 @ 57Hz instead of 60Hz. This can cause black borders.

    To fix this problem:

    a) Ensure you have Windows 10 Anniversary installed. Click 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). If it does not then read this article on how to install the Anniversary Edition.

    b) 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.

    c) Go to the advanced display properties in Windows 10 and try adjusting your screen frequency. To do so: click Start, then type in "Display Settings" (no quotes); wait for Display Settings to appear in the list and click it. Scroll down and click on "Advanced Display Settings"; a new window will appear. Scroll down and look for the "Display adapter properties" option and click that. A new window will appear; under the "Adapter" tab, there should be an option that says "List all modes" - click that, then try adjusting the display resolution and frequency to different settings to remove the black border from the screen.

I hope that helps.

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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Comments

dazadpour's picture

Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your help with the black border problem with older graphics cards. I am no computer expert but managed to follow your straightforward instructions to fix this exact problem after purchasing a new hd monitor. Once again many thanks