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What is Monitor Ghosting? Quick Fix

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  • 4 min read

Monitors are obviously an essential part of a computer. Without one, you won’t be able to use a computer at all. Or at least, most people won’t. Regardless monitors have their own set of issues that can get pretty annoying.

In this article, we’re talking about monitor ghosting, its causes and how you fix this very annoying problem.

What causes monitor ghosting?

Monitor ghosting mainly occurs when a moving image leaves a trail of pixels behind, much like a ghost (hence the name). The artefacts are harder to notice on slow-moving objects but can become quite apparent on something fast-moving such as a cursor. The effect is most evident in FPS or other fast-paced games. 

Note that this doesn’t cause any damage to your monitor, unlike issues like image retention or burn-in, but it can bother someone looking at the display. 

The primary cause behind ghosting is the slow response rate in some LCD panels. Certain brands are worse than others, and so are specific panels. VA panels suffer the most ghosting, while some cheaper IPS panels can face this problem as well.

Other factors include faulty cables, overclocking your monitor for a faster refresh rate or other devices bringing in electromagnetic interference. 

Also read: Top 7 monitor wall mounts

How to fix ghosting on a monitor?

Try these solutions to get rid of ghosting on your monitor.

Check for faulty cables

Before you get to fiddling with your monitor, check to make sure that the cable you’re using, whether DisplayPort, HDMI or VGA, is physically fine. There shouldn’t be any hard bends or cuts on the cable, and it shouldn’t be longer than it needs to be. 

If you have an extra cable lying around, try swapping them to see if that resolves the ghosting issue.

Check for other EMF devices

Devices causing EMF or electromagnetic interference can also cause artefacts on several monitors. Check to ensure no such devices are kept in close proximity to your display. If they are, move them away to see if that helps the issue. 

Change some settings

There are a few ways you can fix ghosting on your monitor, and most of them include changing a few settings inside the monitor itself. Most monitors already come with an overdrive function that can get rid of ghosting. However, this can be confusing as different manufacturers name this function differently. 

The function is known by the following names in these brands.

  • Overdrive for Acer Monitors.
  • AMA for BenQ Monitors.
  • Response Time for LG and Samsung Monitors.
  • Trace Free for ASUS Monitors.

If you’re using any other monitors, look for the overdrive or response time setting and set it to the lowest value possible. The lower your monitor’s response time, the lesser ghosting you’ll get. Gaming monitors with response times around 1ms practically don’t get ghosting at all. 

Also read: How to have different wallpapers for dual monitors?

Update GPU drivers 

Outdated GPU drivers can also cause this issue in particular. While you should update all your drivers, take special care of your display drivers if you run into an error like this. 

Step 1: Right-click Start and select Device Manager from the menu.

Step 2: Under Display Adaptors, find your graphics card’s name, right-click on it and click on Update Drivers.

Step 3: Click on Search automatically for drivers. Windows will then automatically look for and download the latest drivers for your particular GPU.

While this should help resolve the error, in case it doesn’t, click Uninstall device and restart your PC to force Windows to install the required drivers. You can then update them later. Alternatively, you can also remove your GPU and reinsert it if you can. 

Check your monitor

If nothing else solves the issue, chances are your monitor itself is at fault. It may be wise to consider an upgrade as most modern-day monitors do not suffer from these issues, or they’re negligible anyways. If you intend to game a lot or create content on your monitor, picking up a specialised monitor with a high refresh rate and lower response time isn’t a bad idea at all. 

Also read: Top 7 Monitor Arms for Ultrawide monitors

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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