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How to fix the rainbow static field on your PC?

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Monitors are usually the least problematic part of your computer. All you do is plug in a couple of cables, and they start displaying whatever your computer is outputting. That said, they have their own fair share of bugs and glitches that can cause problems from time to time.

In this article, we’re looking at the rainbow static field that sometimes appears on monitors, why it happens and what you can do to fix the problem. 

What causes rainbow static?

The rainbow static field is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a bunch of vertical or horizontal rainbow lines across your monitor instead of the usual display output. The error was more common in CRT monitors, but can still happen on LCD, LED or even OLED panels.

There are a lot of reasons why you might see a static field. Some of the most common ones are as follows. 

  • Hardware flaws
  • High monitor temperature
  • Buggy/corrupt display drivers
  • Damaged cables

Also read: How to set different wallpapers on dual monitors on Windows 11?

How to fix the rainbow static issue?

Here are five fixes you can try out. 

Check the monitor

The first thing you should do is check the monitor hardware for problems. Try hooking it up to another PC, console or some other video output to determine the source of the issue. If the monitor shows a static field even after changing cables and video sources, chances are your monitor is broken and you should contact a repair service. 

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Change the cables

Another possible cause for a static field are broken or loose cables. Whether you’re using HDMI, Display Port or USB-C, cables can bend, break and loosen over time causing such issues. Check to see if all the cables your monitor is using are in proper order and aren’t damaged. Better yet, replace them if possible and check to see if that resolves the error. 

Update the drivers

Since one of the leading causes of this error is your device driver failing, updating the driver at fault is the best shot at fixing the problem. 

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

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Step 2: Locate the driver you want to update, right-click on it and click on Update Drivers.

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

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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. 

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High GPU or Monitor temps

Extremely high GPU or monitor temps can also lead to rainbow static on your monitors. If the GPU or monitor temps get too high, they can often distort the video output to the point where you start seeing such artefacts on the screen. The solution to this is to simply shut down your PC and don’t use it until it cools back down. 

Check monitor OSD

Last but not least, you should check to see if you’ve changed some settings in your monitor’s OSD menu. Sometimes making uncalled-for changes in the monitor OSD can sometimes lead to weird artefacts on your screen including but not limited to a rainbow static. 

Rainbow static on Macbook

A software bug in macOS caused rainbow static for the 2017 Macbook owners. This has been fixed since then and any other rainbow static issues can be resolved by trying out the aforementioned fixes. 

Rainbow static on Android/iPhone

Since most phones use an IPS, OLED or AMOLED panel, you won’t see a rainbow static on your screen unless the display is broken or put under severe stress. In any case, it’s not a software issue and you should get your phone’s screen replaced if you see such issues.

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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: