Skip to content

What is OSD timeout?

  • by
  • 2 min read

Monitors these days have tons of additional features built into them which provide the user additional functionality. This also means that such monitors need to display specific information to the user, made possible by OSDs or On Screen Displays.

In this article, we’re talking about what is OSD timeout, how does it work and everything else you need to know.

Also read: What are high refresh rate monitors?

OSD Timeout explained

OSDs are generally superimposed on the display, which means they appear on top of whatever you’re seeing on your monitor or TV. Since they’re superimposed, looking at them for longer than you need to can reduce the actual screen size you can use.

This is why on most monitors, OSDs are automatically turned off after a certain period of inactivity with the menu. This time duration between there being no activity on the OSD and it disappearing is called OSD timeout. 

Different monitors have different OSD layouts.

This timeout is also configurable on most displays, the setting itself being available in the OSD. It generally ranges from five to 30 seconds. 

What should you set the OSD timeout to?

The setting is different for different people and you can change it according to your preference. Most monitors default to something like 15 or 20 seconds of inactivity before the OSD menu disappears. 

If you’d rather leave your OSD on for longer, you can change the timeout to a higher value so that it waits longer for input before the menu disappears. That said if you’d like to make a quick setting change from time to time and don’t want the OSD menu interfering with whatever’s on your screen, you can set the timeout to a lower value to get rid of the menu quicker.

Just about every monitor also has the option of turning off the OSD manually using the controls behind the monitor so you actually don’t need to worry about the timeout at all as it’s usually just a button press or two to get rid of the OSD manually. 

Also read: 24 vs 27 vs 32-inch monitors: 5 talking points

Yadullah Abidi

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: