Red Lines Running Down Monitor Display – What To Do

Posted by Jessie Richardson on June 3, 2019
red lines running down monitor display - what to do

Weird lines appearing all over the monitor display is nothing new. You might see plenty of them, or just one. They can be horizontal or vertical. Sometimes there are so much of them that you can barely see anything on the display. Other times it’s just one or two.

If you see vertical red lines on your monitor screen, usually there is no reason to panic. Most of the time it is due to some benign software issue that you can easily fix. Even if it’s a hardware issue, a trip to the computer repair technician should be enough.

Before you take any further action, it is good to determine the cause of the problem. This article will guide you through the troubleshooting process and help you determine whether the problem is hardware or software-related.

Check the Cause of the Problem

Vertical red lines usually indicate an issue with your driver or other software. The best way to make sure it’s not a hardware issue is to enter BIOS settings. Since BIOS is not a part of your operating system it is also not a part of your computer software.

To enter BIOS, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer. Before the system starts booting, you’ll see a screen.
  2. On the screen, you’ll see which key you have to press to enter the BIOS. This key may differ depending on the computer’s manufacturer. If you can’t find it on the screen, search for it on the internet.
  3. Once you enter BIOS, check if the red lines still appear.

If the red lines aren’t there anymore, the problem is in your software. However, if the lines are still there, it’s a hardware problem. That means that something is wrong with your monitor.

What If It’s a Software Problem?

If the problem is related to the software, most of the time the driver is causing it. This usually happens if your computer and graphics card aren’t connected well enough. Also, it may mean that the driver is outdated or it can’t handle the screen resolutions.

Updating Video Drivers

The best way to move forward is to update your video drivers. To do this, you should:

  1. Right-click the ‘Start’ button on the top left of the screen.
  2. Click ‘Device Manager’.
    device manager
  3. Find ‘Display Adapters’. Press on the arrow to the left to expand the list.
  4. Right click on your graphics card and press properties.
  5. Select the ‘Driver’ tab on the top.
  6. Click on the ‘Update driver’ option.
    update driver

This will install the newest version of your GPU driver. When you restart your computer the red lines should disappear.

Removing Video Drivers

If the red lines remain, you should first try to remove the driver completely. To do this:

  1. Follow steps 1-5 from the previous guide and select “Uninstall device”.
  2. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select “Display Settings”.
    device manager
  3. Scroll down until you get to ‘Resolution’ section.
  4. Set the resolution to 800×600 or 1024×768.
  5. Restart the computer.

The red lines should disappear.

Note that this means you won’t have your video card drivers anymore. You’re going to need to download them again. That’s why it is good to write the name of your video card model.

If the red lines persist, there might be a hardware issue.

What If It’s a Hardware Problem?

If you have a desktop computer and a monitor, then a monitor can be causing the problem. The best way to check if your monitor is to blame is to connect your computer to another, working monitor and see if the red lines appear on it as well.

If they do, then the problem may be in the connecting cable or your graphics card. However, if the lines disappear, then you should replace the monitor.

If you have a laptop, you need to open its faceplate and access the screen. Then you can tinker around the screen to see if you can find the problem.

You can also try to replace the ribbon cable. One goes to the port of your screen, and the other to the port in the motherboard. Usually, a malfunctioning ribbon cable can mess up the monitor display.

Don’t Fiddle Too Much on Your Own

If you’ve never opened a laptop by yourself before, it is better to take it to a repair shop. This way you won’t risk any further damage and computer repair technicians can figure out what the issue is about. It’s always better to leave it to the experts than to take the matter into your own hands.

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