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How to Fix Jumbled and Distorted Picture in Windows

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

You may be getting a distorted picture on your computer screen similar to the one above. This can happen due to a bad connection between your computer and its display, due to corrupted software or drivers, or even due to faulty hardware. This guide will take you through some troubleshooting steps you can take on your own to attempt to resolve this type of issue.
Scrambled screen.

1 Check the Video Connection Between the Monitor and Computer

For a desktop computer with a separate monitor

  1. Monitors can be connected to a computer through a variety of video connection types. The most common ones are shown below:
    Video connector types.
  2. Check one end of the video cable and make sure it is firmly plugged into the monitor.
    Monitor with the video cable plugged in.
  3. Check the other end of the video cable and make sure it is firmly connected into the rear panel of the computer.
    Monitor plugged into desktop.
  4. If your computer and monitor support more than one type of video connection, connect the two with another type of cable.
  5. You can also try connecting the monitor to another computer to find out if the monitor malfunctioning, or connect another monitor to the computer to find out if the computer is malfunctioning.

For a laptop or all-in-one computer

These types of computers have a built-in display but they may also have a video port which allows you to connect an external monitor to them.

  1. Check for any of the following connection ports on the computer and check if you have a monitor with a matching port.
    Video connector types.
  2. Plug in one end of the video cable into the monitor and the other into the computer.
    Monitor connected to laptop.
  3. Connect the monitor to a power outlet, turn it on and set the video input source to match the connection port.
    Monitor powered up.

2 Adjust Screen Resolution in Windows 10

Make sure your monitor is being seen. You can check and make sure the resolution is correct as well. Improper resolution can have negative affects on your display.

If an improper setting has been checked, resetting it this way can help bring the display back in line.
  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
    click start then settings
  2. Select System.
    Settings with System highlighted.
  3. In Display, check the Scale and Resolution options, and adjust these options to make your screen look proper. Setting to an option labeled (Recommended) is often the best choice.
    Display with Scale and Resolution highlighted.
  4. If you make a change to the resolution, you'll be asked to make sure you can still see what is on the screen. If it looks proper, select Keep changes, otherwise, select Revert, or wait 15 seconds for it to revert automatically.
    Keep Display Settings dialog.

3 Uninstall My Computer's Video Driver

Uninstalling your video driver may help correct any corruption or errors that may have been causing your issues
  1. Click Start, search for and then select "Device Manager".
    Windows 10 search bar showing device manager
  2. Select the small arrow next to Display adapters to expand this section, and see the devices in them.
    Windows 10 device manager showing display adapter
  3. Double click one of the devices under one of these headings to show its properties. Select Driver.
    Device properties with Driver tab highlighted.
  4. Select Uninstall Driver.
    Windows 10 uninstall driver prompt

4 Re-Install the Video Driver

Windows will automatically recognize the missing device drivers and set them up for you.
Automatic device setup in Windows.
If Windows is unable to install the correct drivers, they will need to be installed manually. The drivers may come with the peripheral on a disc or you can download them from the manufacturers website.

Install Drivers from Manufacturer CD or DVD

  1. Insert the disc that came with your device into the computer.
  2. You may get a pop-up on the screen asking you what you want to do with the contents of the disc. Choose the option that allows you to install or run the software from the disc.
    Windows autorun pop-up.
  3. If you don't get this pop-up, click on the Windows button on the bottom left corner of the screen, then click on File Explorer or its icon.
    File Explorer placement in Windows menu.
  4. In the File Explorer, look for the disc drive and double click it to open its contents.
    Windows File Explorer with disc drive highlighted.
  5. Look for the Setup or Install file and launch it, then follow the instructions to install the drivers onto the computer.

Download Drivers from the Web

  1. Open a web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the manufacturers website.
  3. Look for the Support heading on the website and click on it.
    Example of support heading placement on manufacturer website.
  4. The place where the drivers can be downloaded from varies by how the manufacturers website is designed. Sometimes you can find them under the Downloads section, other times under Software or under Drivers, or even a combination of these words.
  5. You can either find the needed drivers by typing in the peripherals name and model in the search field like in the image above or you can find them by clicking through the categories of devices like in the image below.
    Category based device search on manufacturer website.
  6. Once you've located the driver for your device, click to download it and save it onto your computer.
  7. Launch the downloaded driver and follow the instructions to install it on the computer.

5 If It Still Doesn't Work

Please contact the product manufacturer for further assistance.

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You may be getting a distorted picture on your computer screen similar to the one above. This can happen due to a bad connection between your computer and its display, due to corrupted software or drivers, or even due to faulty hardware. This guide will take you through some troubleshooting steps you can take on your own to attempt to resolve this type of issue.
Scrambled screen.

For a desktop computer with a separate monitor

  1. Monitors can be connected to a computer through a variety of video connection types. The most common ones are shown below:
    Video connector types.
  2. Check one end of the video cable and make sure it is firmly plugged into the monitor.
    Monitor with the video cable plugged in.
  3. Check the other end of the video cable and make sure it is firmly connected into the rear panel of the computer.
    Monitor plugged into desktop.
  4. If your computer and monitor support more than one type of video connection, connect the two with another type of cable.
  5. You can also try connecting the monitor to another computer to find out if the monitor malfunctioning, or connect another monitor to the computer to find out if the computer is malfunctioning.

For a laptop or all-in-one computer

These types of computers have a built-in display but they may also have a video port which allows you to connect an external monitor to them.

  1. Check for any of the following connection ports on the computer and check if you have a monitor with a matching port.
    Video connector types.
  2. Plug in one end of the video cable into the monitor and the other into the computer.
    Monitor connected to laptop.
  3. Connect the monitor to a power outlet, turn it on and set the video input source to match the connection port.
    Monitor powered up.
Make sure your monitor is being seen. You can check and make sure the resolution is correct as well. Improper resolution can have negative affects on your display.

If an improper setting has been checked, resetting it this way can help bring the display back in line.
  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
    click start then settings
  2. Select System.
    Settings with System highlighted.
  3. In Display, check the Scale and Resolution options, and adjust these options to make your screen look proper. Setting to an option labeled (Recommended) is often the best choice.
    Display with Scale and Resolution highlighted.
  4. If you make a change to the resolution, you'll be asked to make sure you can still see what is on the screen. If it looks proper, select Keep changes, otherwise, select Revert, or wait 15 seconds for it to revert automatically.
    Keep Display Settings dialog.
Uninstalling your video driver may help correct any corruption or errors that may have been causing your issues
  1. Click Start, search for and then select "Device Manager".
    Windows 10 search bar showing device manager
  2. Select the small arrow next to Display adapters to expand this section, and see the devices in them.
    Windows 10 device manager showing display adapter
  3. Double click one of the devices under one of these headings to show its properties. Select Driver.
    Device properties with Driver tab highlighted.
  4. Select Uninstall Driver.
    Windows 10 uninstall driver prompt

Windows will automatically recognize the missing device drivers and set them up for you.
Automatic device setup in Windows.
If Windows is unable to install the correct drivers, they will need to be installed manually. The drivers may come with the peripheral on a disc or you can download them from the manufacturers website.

Install Drivers from Manufacturer CD or DVD

  1. Insert the disc that came with your device into the computer.
  2. You may get a pop-up on the screen asking you what you want to do with the contents of the disc. Choose the option that allows you to install or run the software from the disc.
    Windows autorun pop-up.
  3. If you don't get this pop-up, click on the Windows button on the bottom left corner of the screen, then click on File Explorer or its icon.
    File Explorer placement in Windows menu.
  4. In the File Explorer, look for the disc drive and double click it to open its contents.
    Windows File Explorer with disc drive highlighted.
  5. Look for the Setup or Install file and launch it, then follow the instructions to install the drivers onto the computer.

Download Drivers from the Web

  1. Open a web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the manufacturers website.
  3. Look for the Support heading on the website and click on it.
    Example of support heading placement on manufacturer website.
  4. The place where the drivers can be downloaded from varies by how the manufacturers website is designed. Sometimes you can find them under the Downloads section, other times under Software or under Drivers, or even a combination of these words.
  5. You can either find the needed drivers by typing in the peripherals name and model in the search field like in the image above or you can find them by clicking through the categories of devices like in the image below.
    Category based device search on manufacturer website.
  6. Once you've located the driver for your device, click to download it and save it onto your computer.
  7. Launch the downloaded driver and follow the instructions to install it on the computer.