What Is Monitor Ghosting and How to Fix It
Monitor Ghosting: What Is It And What Causes It?
Moreover, there are technologies that help reduce monitor ghosting and motion blur, such as ELMB and BenQ’s DyAC, which are part of the Zowie XL2546 . You might have heard of G-SYNC or FreeSyn as well, which also help promote visual clarity and reduce visual glitches, although they are focused on reducing screen tearing.
How to Fix Monitor Ghosting: 5 Best Methods
1. set monitor refresh rate to the highest available.
- Right-click on your desktop, and click on Display settings .
- Next, click on Advanced display .
- Now, click on the drop-down menu to change your refresh rate to the highest value, and you will be done applying the fix.
- If you are running Windows 10, or if you are unable to change the refresh rate to what your monitor supports (for example, having a 144Hz display but only 60Hz is available), refer to our guide on how to change the monitor refresh rate .
2. Change Display Profile to Gaming Mode
3. Change Monitor Response Time Settings
4. Enable Motion Blur Reduction Features
Many monitors feature motion blur reduction features. In BenQ Zowie monitors, there is DyAc technology. In ASUS monitors, it is called ELMB or ELMB Sync. On LG Monitors, it is the motion blur reduction feature. So, remember to enable these features, as they can reduce monitor ghosting and motion blur.
5. Enable VRR, GSync, or FreeSync
There are many fixes to monitor ghosting. The best solutions include changing your refresh rate, your display profile, and enabling motion blur reduction features.
Sometimes, enabling FreeSync or GSync can result in ghosting because the motion blur reduction features get turned off on many monitors.
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What Is Monitor Ghosting and How Do You Fix It?
Is your monitor displaying visual artifacts? Don't head straight to the trash heap. There might be a way to fix it.
Looking at video artifacts while gaming is any gamer's nightmare, and monitor ghosting is one that tops the list. Not only does ghosting make gaming distracting, but it also affects how you consume content.
So, what do you do when a silhouette of delay follows your every move when you play your favorite FPS title?
Do you rush to the monitor service team to get the issue resolved, or is there something that you can do to fix monitor ghosting on your own?
What Is Monitor Ghosting and Why Does It Happen?
Monitor ghosting is a visual defect seen on monitors while playing fast-paced games or viewing content with expeditious action. This fast-paced nature of the content causes the pixels on the screen to give up— causing a shadow/trail of the object to be seen behind it. So as the name suggests, monitor ghosting is a visual defect that causes a ghost trail of the object to be visible behind it.
But why do the pixels on your display give up, and why does monitor ghosting occur? To understand why ghosting happens, we must understand how a display works and how data is sent from your CPU/GPU to the display.
You see, your GPU/CPU is responsible for creating the visuals you see on your screen. Once created, the CPU/GPU sends this information to your monitor based on its refresh rate. The monitor then collects the information and displays the visuals on the screen.
Therefore, if your monitor has a refresh rate of 60 hertz , information on the visuals is sent to the display every 16.6 milliseconds. Once the information is received, the monitor gets to work and starts manipulating the millions of pixels on the screen to display the received images.
This brings up the next question, how does the monitor change the images displayed on the screen every 16 milliseconds? Each of the millions of pixels on your monitor comprises sub-pixels consisting of three colors: red, green, and blue. A pixel can display any color using these three colors by changing its sub-pixel brightness. To do this, monitors use liquid crystals.
Liquid crystals are special compounds containing molecules whose orientation can be changed by applying a voltage. This change in orientation changes the amount of light that can pass through the liquid crystal. Due to this change, the brightness of each sub-pixel can be changed, and the monitor can display any image on the screen.
But there is a catch here: although the monitor can change the brightness of each pixel, the liquid crystals take some time to react to the change in the voltage, and this delay is known as the monitor's response time. Therefore, if your monitor has a response time of 20 milliseconds, then the liquid crystals on your monitor take 20 milliseconds to react to the changes in voltage. This delay causes ghosting on your monitor.
As explained earlier, if your display has a refresh rate of 60 hertz, then new information reaches the display every 16 milliseconds. That said, the liquid crystals in the display can't react to the information so fast, as they have a response time of 20 milliseconds. Due to this, your monitor shows a shadow of a fast-moving object as the liquid crystals have not changed the brightness levels, and part of the older image is still visible on the monitor.
We have taken the example of a monitor with a 60-hertz refresh rate, and as the refresh rate goes up, the response time of the liquid crystals plays a more crucial role. Therefore, ghosting can increase if you have a monitor with a high refresh rate.
Understanding Differences in Liquid Crystals and Their Response Times
Now that we know why ghosting happens, we can look at ways to solve it. That said, before trying to fix the issue, it's important to understand that every monitor in the market uses different types of liquid crystal technology, offering different advantages and disadvantages.
Broadly speaking, monitors use three types of liquid crystals: Twisted Nematic (TN), In-Plane Switching (IPS), and Vertical Alignment (VA). Each of these liquid crystal technologies offers different response times.
TN panels offer the lowest response time—being the most responsive, while VA panels are the slowest. IPS panels are somewhere in between the two when it comes to response time.
Therefore, if you look at it, each monitor will offer different levels of monitor ghosting based on its technology. So, if you are planning to buy a new monitor and don't want to fall prey to monitor ghosting, it's best to test the monitor for ghosting using the UFO test .
If you are satisfied with the results of the test, you can go ahead and buy the monitor. If not, we advise you to keep looking.
But what do you do if your monitor shows these visual artifacts? Don't worry; we have a set of solutions to help you solve monitor ghosting.
1. Update Your Drivers
Your GPU creates the visuals you see on screen. If there is an issue with how these graphics are created or sent to the display, you are bound to see some ghosting on your screen.
Hence, it is a good idea to update the GPU drivers on your system before blaming the monitor for the ghosting issues you are seeing.
In addition to this, you should also update the drivers on your system , as it could also solve the ghosting issues you are experiencing.
2. Check for Cable Damage
The cable connecting your monitor to the system is responsible for transmitting all the video data to the monitor. So, if the cable is damaged, you are bound to get some video artifacts while you game on your monitor.
Therefore, it is advised that you check the wire for any physical damage or fraying of the cables. If you find any external damage, then simply changing the cable could solve the problems that you are facing.
In addition, you can also look at the connectors on the two ends, and if they show signs of corrosion or are damaged in some way, it's best to replace the cable itself.
If you are using an HDMI cable for connecting to your display, it is advised to shift to a display port as it offers better video quality when compared to HDMI.
3. Change the Location of Wireless Devices
All the wireless devices you have connected to your system use radio waves to communicate with one another. In some cases, these waves can interfere with the signal sent over the video cable and cause ghosting.
So, if you have a lot of wireless devices connected to your system, you can disconnect them one at a time and see if it fixes the issues you are facing. Not only this, but you can also try to move around the devices that are connected to your system and see if ghosting reduces.
4. Change Your System Refresh Rate
As explained earlier, a higher refresh rate can increase monitor ghosting. So, if you want to reduce ghosting, you can decrease the refresh rate on your system . Doing this will give the pixels on your monitor more time to react, reducing ghosting.
5. Tweak the Video Settings on Your Monitor
When it comes to display settings, you can tweak video settings to reduce ghosting . Right from contrast ratios, gamma levels, brightness values, and shadow correction to color values, your display allows you to make several changes to improve display quality.
Although changing these parameters does not reduce ghosting at a physical level, these changes can reduce the amount of ghosting visible on the screen. For example, decreasing the contrast ratio can reduce the ghosting you see, as the difference between the brightest and darkest pixels is reduced.
6. Enable Pixel Overdrive on Your Monitor
As explained earlier, your monitor uses voltages to change the orientation of liquid crystals. Pixel overdrive increases this voltage so that the response time of the liquid crystals is reduced.
Most monitors offer three different intensities for pixel overdrive, and selecting the right one can help reduce ghosting drastically. That said, increasing pixel overdrive can cause inverse ghosting as the increased voltage can cause the pixels to overshoot the colors they are supposed to show.
7. Get Help From the Experts
If you have tried everything listed above and feel that the ghosting on your monitor hasn't reduced, it is best to contact the technical support team for your monitor.
In some cases, a damaged video port could cause ghosting, and such defects can only be fixed by changing the video decoding hardware on your monitor.
Can Monitor Ghosting Be Fixed, or Should You Buy a New Monitor?
Introducing a visual defect that follows fast-moving objects, monitor ghosting is a video artifact that makes your gaming experience less rewarding. That said, ghosting is not a permanent defect like pixel burn-in, and it can be fixed by tweaking the settings on your system/display.
Not only this, modern gaming displays come with overdrive technology that is designed to fix ghosting. So, if you are tired of monitor ghosting, tweak your monitor settings, but if that does not fix the issue, you might need to get a new monitor.
What is monitor ghosting?
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Monitor ghosting is when an image appears to be double or triple on the screen of your laptop, computer monitor, or television set. This is caused by a mismatch between the video signal and the display's internal processing, resulting in a blurring of images as they are displayed. This can be very annoying and distracting, especially if you are trying to watch a movie or play a game.
Why does monitor ghosting occur?
Monitor ghosting usually occurs when there is a mismatch between the refresh rate of your display (how quickly it refreshes images) and the video signal (how fast it transmits information). When this happens, bits of information from previously displayed images linger in the display buffer, creating multiple copies that appear side-by-side. This effect can be seen more clearly with fast-moving objects like gaming characters or race cars.
How can I fix monitor ghosting?
The best way to fix monitor ghosting is to adjust the refresh rate of your display so that it matches up with the speed of your video signal. This can typically be done in either your computer’s settings menu or through its display control panel. If adjusting the refresh rate does not work, then you may need to upgrade your graphics card or buy a new monitor altogether.
Is monitor ghosting dangerous?
No, monitor ghosting is not dangerous – it only affects how images appear on screen and does not make any changes to your hardware or software. However, it can still be irritating to deal with if it becomes too frequent or extreme. In these cases, it’s best to address the issue right away instead of letting it worsen over time.
How can I prevent monitor ghosting?
To help prevent monitor ghosting from occurring in the future, make sure that both your video signal and display’s refresh rate match each other closely. Additionally, reducing your overall screen resolution can help reduce ghosting since lower resolutions require less processor power from your graphics card. Finally, keeping drivers for both your graphics card and monitor updated will ensure that everything remains as compatible as possible for optimal performance.
What are some common symptoms of monitor ghosting?
Some of the most common symptoms of monitor ghosting are blurring or smearing of images, double images, and text that appears to be in multiple fonts at once. These symptoms can range from mild exaggeration to severe and whatever the cause, they can significantly affect your viewing experience. Additionally, some monitors may also have a sluggish response time when processing data which can lead to further ghosting issues.
Does monitor ghosting damage my computer?
No, monitor ghosting does not damage your computer, but it can be uncomfortable or distracting to deal with depending on the severity of the issue. Additionally, if left untreated for too long it could place unnecessary strain on both your graphics card and display which could potentially reduce their lifespan over time.
Is there a way to reduce monitor ghosting in games?
Yes, there are several ways you can reduce monitor ghosting when playing games such as reducing your overall screen resolution or adjusting your display's refresh rate for a better image quality. You could also try enabling certain features like V-Sync (which syncs the frame rate with the refresh rate) or Fast Sync (which reduces input latency during gaming). All of these feature's help keep ghosting to a minimum while still providing an enjoyable gaming experience.
Is monitor ghosting covered under my warranty?
Monitor ghosting is typically considered a software issue and is not covered under most warranties. If you are experiencing monitor ghosting due to a defective or malfunctioning part, then it might be eligible for warranty service depending on the cause of the issue. You will need to read through your warranty to find out if it is covered.
What is input lag?
Input lag is when there is a delay between the time you make a command with your controller or keyboard and when that command takes effect in the game. This can lead to input errors, slow responses from characters, or even missed actions altogether. Input lag can also contribute to monitor ghosting as well since it increases the likelihood of mismatches between refresh rate and video signal.
How can I reduce input lag?
The best way to reduce input lag is by adjusting your display’s settings such as response time, refresh rate, and resolution which can all help reduce input delays. Additionally, using an HDMI cable instead of a VGA one can also help decrease latency since HDMI cables are digital which eliminates any potential interference. Finally, updating your graphics card drivers regularly can also help improve your gaming experience by ensuring that everything remains up-to-date.
What are the causes of monitor ghosting?
There are several potential causes of monitor ghosting, but the most common ones include having an older or lower-quality display that has a slow response time, using graphics cards with outdated drivers, and having a mismatched refresh rate between your graphics card and monitor. Additionally, other factors such as using low-quality cables for connecting to the display can also contribute to ghosting.
Can I fix monitor ghosting myself?
In some cases, you may be able to fix monitor ghosting yourself by adjusting your display's settings or downloading updated drivers for your graphics card. As always, it is important to make sure you have adequate cooling for both your computer and screen in order to avoid further issues such as overheating. If these methods do not seem to help, then you may need to consult with a professional who can diagnose the issue more accurately.
What is the difference between blurriness and ghosting?
The main difference between blurriness and ghosting is that blurriness usually occurs when there is a fuzzy or unclear image displayed on the screen, while monitor ghosting is when you see a duplicate of an object or text presented slightly behind its original position. Blurriness can be caused by incorrect settings or low-quality resolution, while ghosting is usually attributed to slower response times on older displays.
How does monitor ghosting affect image quality?
Monitor ghosting can have a noticeable impact on the overall quality of an image due to the duplicate images that are displayed. This can be especially apparent when viewing text, as it will appear to be doubled and may be difficult to read. Additionally, this effect can also make images look blurry or out of focus due to the delayed response times of some displays.
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What is Monitor Ghosting and How Do I Fix it?
What is monitor ghosting, what causes monitor ghosting, what is ghosting in gaming, how to fix monitor ghosting, 1. monitor ghosting test, 2. turn on the overdrive function.
- Access the on-screen display menu of your monitor
- Once in the menu, activate the overdrive function
- Activating this feature allows you to change the level of overdrive according to the refresh rate of your monitor
- You can get optimal performance at your preferred settings and eliminate or reduce monitor ghosting
3. Adjust monitor settings
4. check connected devices and cables, 5. update graphics card drivers, 6. check monitor video port, popular articles.
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What is monitor ghosting and how to fix it?
Have you ever noticed a trail or shadow behind fast-moving objects on your monitor or TV? That’s ghosting — a visual anomaly that can make gaming or even just watching content extremely distracting. Different monitors will exhibit different amounts of ghosting, which adds another factor to watch out for when shopping for a new display. So in this article, let’s break down what causes ghosting, what it looks like, and how you can potentially reduce it on your monitor.
What is monitor ghosting and what causes it?
Ghosting is a visual artifact where fast-moving objects will appear to leave a trail, shadow, or “ghost” behind them as they move across the screen. If you notice ghosting, it’s because your display has a slow response time . In other words, the pixels cannot change colors quickly enough to keep up with a fast-moving object or animation.
Most mid-range monitors these days have a 60Hz refresh rate. This means that a new image appears on your display every 16.67 milliseconds. But if the physical pixels are slow to respond (take longer than 16.67ms to shift between colors), you’ll notice the delayed transition in the form of ghosting. Luckily, modern 60Hz displays have fast enough response times for ghosting to not be a problem.
However, that story changes when it comes to gaming monitors. These displays have significantly higher refresh rates, up to 144Hz or even 240Hz in some cases. For a 144Hz display, the individual pixels need to finish transitioning from one color to another within just 6.94 milliseconds. That’s certainly possible with some LCD panels, but not all of them. For a 240Hz monitor, you need an even lower response time of just 4 milliseconds to avoid ghosting.
All of this is to say that ghosting is entirely temporary and doesn’t have any long-term effect on your display. If you see burn-in on an OLED display, on the other hand, that’s likely because the individual pixels have permanently worn out.
Related: The best 240Hz monitors you can buy right now
How to test for monitor ghosting?
You can use blurBusters’ UFO test to check if your monitor suffers from ghosting. It’s free and runs entirely in your web browser. You’re looking for a noticeable shadow trailing the moving object, so pay attention to the left of a UFO as it moves across your screen.
Ghosting can appear on any LCD-LED display, but it especially affects monitors and TVs that use a certain panel type. We have a dedicated guide on display technologies if you want a deeper explanation, but here’s an express summary:
Not all LCDs are made equal — you’ll find three primary types on the market: TN, IPS, and VA. Each one has advantages and disadvantages — TN, for example, has the worst color accuracy of the three types, but boasts the fastest response times.
VA, on the other hand, exhibits better black levels and color accuracy than TN but suffers from slower response times. Finally, IPS lands somewhere in the middle in terms of response times. As you may have guess by now, VA panels are the most susceptible to ghosting.
Your monitor’s spec sheet should reveal which panel type you have — Samsung’s budget Odyssey G3 monitor, for example, uses a VA panel.
How to fix or reduce monitor ghosting?
In the past, most gaming displays used TN panels because of the technology’s low response times. However, as we’ve come to expect better color accuracy, display manufacturers have moved on to other panel types like IPS and VA. And in order to reduce ghosting, brands have adopted a technique known as pixel overdrive. Put simply, it speeds up the panel’s response time by increasing the amount of voltage applied to each pixel.
So if your monitor shows signs of ghosting, simply enable overdrive in the on-screen display (OSD) settings. Look for an entry called “response time”, “pixel response”, or “motion blur”. If you don’t see any of these, your monitor might be too old or its firmware might not support the feature. Non-gaming monitors often skip the feature as a cost-cutting measure too.
Assuming you have the overdrive option, however, keep in mind that you can only go so far with it — excessive overdrive can cause pixel overshoot, a visual anomaly that appears as a bright outline around fast-moving objects. Luckily, most manufacturers offer three or more overdrive settings, so you can pick the one that looks best.
If you’re in the market for a new monitor, you might notice marketing claims along the lines of “low Gray-to-Gray response time of 1ms”. While that sounds good enough to avoid ghosting, don’t take these claims at face value.
In most cases, brands rely on the highest overdrive setting to achieve that low response time. And as we know, aggressive overdrive can cause other visual artifacts like motion blur and pixel overshoot. All in all, the presence of ghosting and the effectiveness of overdrive differs from one monitor to another, so you’re better off checking independent reviews before making a purchase.
See also: The best monitors for work and play you can get
What monitor ghosting is and how to fix it
Monitor ghosting , a phenomenon synonymous with frustrating image artifacts, can significantly mar your PC experience, particularly during fast-paced scenes. These phantom trails behind moving objects can dramatically compromise image quality, especially in dynamic scenarios like action-packed video games or sports. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of monitor ghosting, untangling its intricacies from other similar image anomalies, identifying its root causes, and presenting potential remedies to minimize or eliminate these bothersome visual artifacts.
What monitor ghosting is and what causes it
Monitor ghosting is an image artifact that shows as a trail of pixels or “ghosts” behind moving objects. Since they follow moving objects, they are especially noticeable in scenes with many fast movements, such as first-person shooter games or fast-paced sports like hockey.
Thankfully though, monitor ghosting doesn’t cause permanent changes to the display like similar effects such as image retention or burn-in effect. Instead, ghosting is only noticeable during fast-paced scenes that include moving objects as a blurry trail without any permanent effect on the image.
Ghosting is usually caused by the slow response time of certain types of LCD panels. When the image is refreshed the physical pixels cannot update as fast as the image causing a smearing image effect on the display.
Out of the three most common types of LCD monitor panels, ghosting is most noticeable on VA panels since they have the slowest response time. Only the most expensive VA monitors (usually gaming ones) don’t show noticeable ghosting artifacts.
Cheaper IPS monitors can also show ghosting artifacts but to a much smaller degree. In other words, ghosting is inherent with some LCD panels and cannot be removed entirely. The good news is that most monitors have some setting to reduce ghosting artifacts but more on that later.
The monitor panel itself might not cause monitor ghosting. They can also be caused by a faulty monitor cable or other devices (believe it or not even a printer) that interfere with the monitor if they’re placed close enough. Next, specific monitor settings can cause ghosting or similar artifacts such as coronas or inverse ghosting (an artifact that manifests as bright trails behind moving objects).
Overclocking your monitor for higher refresh rates can also cause image artifacts that are similar to ghosting.
How to fix monitor hhosting
There are a few ways to fix monitor ghosting, and most include tweaking specific monitor settings. The most common fix is turning on the overdrive function. The setting has different names depending on the monitor manufacturer and is known as:
- Overdrive for Acer monitors
- AMA for BenQ monitors
- Trace Free for ASUS monitors
- Response Time for LG and Samsung monitors
For other manufacturers, it’s usually shown as Overdrive or Response Time in the monitor settings. To accurately correct this problem, you should try the TestUFO motion test and then tweak the overdrive setting accordingly.
Change the levels of overdrive until ghosting is minimized as much as possible without a noticeable corona artifact. The recommended setting is usually medium or one level below when inverse ghosting or the corona artifact appears.
Some other settings called “Perfect Clear,” “Dynamic Contrast,” “Motion Smoothing,” or “Noise Reduction” can also cause ghosting , especially in darker scenes. These settings enhance the image. They are added over the raw video signal, increasing response time and can add noticeable image artifacts. They are usually found on TVs but if you experience artifacts such as monitor ghosting, check your monitor control panel for these settings and if you find any, turn them off.
Also, Nvidia Control Panel hub has a setting called “Noise Reduction.” It is recommended to turn this setting off to avoid ghosting or other image artifacts.
When faulty cables or other devices cause monitor ghosting artifact (if changing overdrive settings didn’t work), you should remove all devices close to your monitor (such as printers or modems, speakers are safe) and then test the monitor for ghosting. If the problem pertains change your monitor cable, that should fix the issue.
Best 4K 144Hz monitors for gaming in 2023
Suppose ghosting is still visible even if you changed overdrive settings, removed other devices near the monitor, and changed the cable. In that case, the issue can be a faulty monitor or faulty video ports. In that case, the only option is to take the monitor to a service or replace it (if it’s under warranty).
Do note that, as we already mentioned, cheaper VA and IPS panels can show ghosting artifacts because their pixel response time is too low. In that case, nothing you can do can remove ghosting. Another possible solution includes updating your graphic card drivers, which sometimes can help with monitor ghosting issues.
Similar Image Artifacts That Are Often Confused With Monitor Ghosting
Image retention happens with LCD monitors and TVs and is displayed as a faded image permanently shown on the monitor. The issue isn’t permanent and can usually be solved by turning off the monitor for a few minutes and then turning it back on.
The burn-in effect is the same as image retention, but it only happens on OLED displays. Sadly, this issue is permanent, and once it appears, you cannot do anything to remove it. To prevent this, you should avoid leaving the display on with static images showing for a long time.
Motion blur is shown as an image smearing both on trailing and leading edges, not just on trailing edges like ghosting. It is found on every monitor to a degree, but high refresh rate monitors (120Hz or higher) have lower levels of motion blur.
Some monitor settings such as 1ms Motion Blur Reduction (LG), ELMB (ASUS), or ULMB (available on Nvidia G-Sync monitors) can reduce motion blur but do note that, on most monitor models, motion blur reduction cannot be used while G-Sync or FreeSync is active.
Inverse Ghosting Or The Corona Artifact
Inverse ghosting is an image artifact similar to ghosting. It is different in that trailing object edges are followed by bright coronas instead of “ghost” trails. The artifact is caused by setting the overdrive option to the maximum level and is easily fixed by lowering (or turning off) the overdrive setting.
What is monitor ghosting, and how do i fix it.
Do you get trails on your monitor while playing games?
What is monitor ghosting, what causes monitor ghosting, run a ghosting test to identify the issue, how to fix monitor ghosting, beware pixel overshoot when using overdrive, don't confuse ghosting with blooming, key takeaways.
Monitor ghosting is a name given to pixel trails that appear during fast-paced motion as a result of slow pixel response times. You can fix ghosting using the overdrive setting in your monitor's menu, but beware of inadvertently causing pixel overshoot instead.
Do you see trails or blurring on your monitor during fast-paced motion or games? Ghosting can affect LCD monitors and televisions, but you may be able to rectify it with a simple setting. Here's how.
Monitor ghosting refers to visual artifacts that follow moving objects, particularly prevalent when gaming or displaying other fast-moving content. You might not notice ghosting in normal desktop use or slower-paced games, but it can be distracting when you're playing first-person shooters, racing games, or even scrolling quickly on a web page.
Some displays may be more prone to ghosting under certain conditions, for example in especially dark scenes. This can cause a loss in shadow detail and turn large parts of the screen into a smeary mess. On top of being frustrating to deal with, ghosting may contribute to eye strain over long play sessions.
Ghosting can affect any type of LCD panel, including monitors and televisions. It's more common on VA-type panels , which are the main LCD panel types used on televisions. Ghosting shouldn't be an issue on OLED panels but self-emissive displays may instead suffer from a form of temporary (and potentially permanent) image retention on static elements like health bars or news tickers.
Monitor ghosting is caused by slow pixel response times , where pixels aren't able to cleanly change from one color to another in good time. The problem is more noticeable at high frame rates, where frame times (the time in which a new frame is delivered) may be faster than the monitor's response time.
Monitor manufacturers often advertise, alongside other monitor specifications like contrast ratio and refresh rate , a monitor's response time in milliseconds. You may find these figures listed as "GtG" (gray-to-gray) and "MPRT" (Moving Picture Response Time), and both refer to different metrics.
GtG describes how long it takes a pixel to change between two colors. MPRT describes how long a pixel persists on the display. In both instances, a lower number is desirable. It's possible to have a fast GtG value and a slow MPRT value, which may cause ghosting to appear on your monitor.
Blur Busters has an excellent explanation of how GtG and MPRT interact, what other factors affect these values, and how manufacturers attempt to solve the issues of image persistence.
Since these values are used interchangeably and often without context by monitor manufacturers, it's advisable not to rely on a single advertised response value alone when making a purchase. We'd recommend reading reviews of any monitors you're thinking of purchasing on websites like RTINGs to see if ghosting is present and (if so) how bad it is. You can also consult our roundups of the best monitors , best gaming monitors , and best ultrawide monitors .
If you're already seeing ghosting or pixel trails when playing fast-paced games, you're already aware you have an issue. You may also want to run a ghosting test on your monitor. This is handy if you're in the process of testing a monitor out in a showroom or thinking of buying something second-hand that you can get your hands on before you buy.
Use the Blur Busters UFO Ghosting Test to perform a ghosting test. Use the "Speed" drop-down menu to adjust the pixels-per-second, to simulate slower or faster on-screen motion. If you see pixel trails that are consistent with ghosting, you have identified the issue.
This test may also show up other artifacts which can appear when you try to fix monitor ghosting, so you'll want to consult the test to see if the remedy below strikes a balance that you're happy with.
You can attempt to rectify monitor ghosting by using your monitor's overdrive setting . By using higher voltages on individual pixels, response times can be improved and ghosting may be reduced or disappear completely. Different manufacturers have different names for overdrive settings, so you may need to dig through your monitor's built-in preferences to find it.
Look for labels like Overdrive, OD, Response Time (LG and Samsung), TraceFree (ASUS), Rampage Response (ViewSonic), AMA (BenQ), or similar. Some monitors won't have this setting, in which case you won't be able to increase response time. Experiment with turning your response rate up (if you find the setting) while running the Blur Busters UFO Ghosting Test to see if you notice ghosting becoming more pronounced.
You should also be wary of other settings including noise reduction and dynamic contrast, or, if you're using a TV, motion smoothing . These can all contribute to unwanted artifacts and ghosting.
Unfortunately, monitor overdrive isn't a perfect fix. The setting usually comes in a range of "strengths" or speeds, like a scale of one to five, or names like "fastest" or "extreme". It may be tempting to turn this setting all the way up, but the main drawback to doing so is the introduction of pixel overshoot or coronas.
These unwanted artifacts occur as a result of the pixel going past (or "overshooting") the desired color. Also known as inverse ghosting, the effect is caused by pixels transitioning too quickly and can result in a similarly distracting effect. Which setting you choose in terms of remedying ghosting with overdrive and avoiding pixel overshoot will depend largely on which monitor you're using.
It also depends on your tastes. A small amount of ghosting may be more tolerable than the coronas caused by pixel overshoot. More often than not you're going to want to settle on a "medium" overdrive setting to get the balance right.
Blooming is another undesirable visual phenomenon that you may have heard of. Whereas ghosting refers to problems at the pixel level caused by response times, blooming is caused by LED backlighting, especially on displays that use full-array local dimming .
If you want excellent response times and no blooming, consider investing in an OLED display (or a newer QD-OLED monitor ).
Expert Tips: How to Fix Monitor Ghosting
What is ghosting on a monitor, what causes monitor ghosting, how to recognize a ghosting computer monitor, fix 1: perform some preliminary checks, how to use windows update to update your drivers, windows 10 downloads and installs updates automatically. however, you can also initiate updates manually. follow the steps below:, how to update your graphics card drivers from the website of the driver manufacturer, how to use the device manager to update your graphics card driver, how to use auslogics driver updater to update your pc’s faulty device drivers, disable noise reduction, dynamic contrast, perfect clear, and motion smoothing, overclock your display, here’s what to consider when shopping for a new monitor:, how to know what causes ghosting on a monitor, how to reduce ghosting on a monitor, can using a different cable fix ghosting issues.
Visual artifacts, anomalies, lagging effect, after-image, and distortions in a picture—these are some of the terms associated with monitor ghosting. No matter what you call it, this problem still diminishes your visual enjoyment.
If you are experiencing this issue on your PC, this post reveals some ideas that will help you resolve it.
It is when a moving object leaves traces of where it has been on your screen. Ghosting is a type of image artifact. The ghosting effect occurs when your display cannot refresh pixels fast enough to keep up with images in motion, causing the picture to appear smeared.
Monitor ghosting can occur regardless of what you are doing on your PC. You could be using your browser, working on a Word document, watching or editing a video, or playing a game.
However, the problem is maddening when it happens during gameplay. It can cost you the game, especially on hand-to-hand combats, races, or a first-person shooters.
A monitor’s low refresh rate, especially when combined with a high response time , is usually the main cause of ghosting. It is the fault of the monitor, in this case, not your operating system.
The refresh rate is the number of times your monitor can display new images per second. It is expressed in Hertz (Hz). Thus, a 60Hz monitor displays 60 images per second. So, a higher monitor refresh rate reduces the likelihood of ghosting.
Response time, on the other hand, measures how many milliseconds it takes your display panel to change colors. Unlike refresh rate, the lower the response time, the lower the chances of ghosting.
The following issues could also cause your monitor to ghost:
- A faulty monitor cable
- Interfering peripherals
- Non-optimal monitor settings
- Outdated or corrupt graphics card drivers
- A low-quality or damaged monitor
The issue can be fixed quite easily. There’s no need to consider consulting a PC repair specialist just yet. Simply try the solutions below on how to fix ghosting .
You should not confuse monitor ghosting with other types of visual anomalies or artifacts such as motion blur (when images go out of focus) and image retention (when traces of a past image is visible).
There are different things that you can look out for to confirm that your monitor is ghosting. They including the appearance of faint trails that follow fast-moving objects on your monitor. These artifacts can look smeared and reduce your display’s overall quality.
You’re more like to notice a laptop screen ghosting or ghosting on a desktop monitor during quick transitions, even though it can happen when carrying out day-to-day tasks. It can also be more evident when there’s a sharp contrast between an image and its background.
There are different types of ghosting:
- Corona or Inverse Ghosting: Corona, also referred to as inverse ghosting or overdrive artifact, is when a bright halo appears on the borders of a character on your screen. It mostly occurs due to high levels of overdrive, which causes pixels to try changing color so quickly that they exceed the target color. You can fix it by lowering or turning off your overdrive settings.
- Burn-in: It is the permanent discoloration of your screen. The display panel retains an image, text, color, or other patches or patterns. The problem doesn’t go away when you turn off your monitor or PC. The discoloration is permanently ingrained on your screen. You’d have to change your hardware to fix it.
Go online and find resources that perform monitor ghosting tests, such as Blur Busters UFO Motion Test . They’ll help you confirm the issue you are having.
Now that you are sure of the problem you are dealing with, we can go ahead and discuss how to fix monitor ghosting . Come along.
How to Fix the Monitor Ghosting Issue
There are different ways to get rid of the monitor ghosting issues because the problem has different causes. Basic troubleshooting steps like adjusting or fixing your monitor cables can resolve the issue in some cases. On the other hand, you may have to tweak your graphics card settings to get things back to normal.
Once you’ve confirmed that your monitor is ghosting, you can apply the fixes that follow one after the other until you get rid of the problem.
There are some prior checks you should make before modifying your monitor settings. These checks may resolve the “ghosting PC” issue easily enough. You could only be experiencing a very minor problem. Try the suggestions shown below.
Inspect Your Monitor Cable
The first thing you have to do is to check if your monitor cable is attached securely. A loose connection can cause display issues, including ghosting. If the cable is secure, the next thing you should do is inspect for damages. If the cable has any torn areas, is frayed, twisted, bent, or has rusty connection points, it can interfere with the signals. Consequently, your monitor’s response time will increase and cause the image artifact.
If you cannot find any visible damage, consider using a different cable to know whether there will be any difference.
Unplug Connected Devices
It’s possible for other peripherals to interfere with your monitor. Disconnect all devices, including your keyboard, mouse, printer, wired speakers, and headsets. Don’t leave out devices that are connected wirelessly. Remove them and see if the ghosting issue will persist.
If it appears that one of your connected devices is triggering the monitor ghosting screen problem, inspect the cables for damages.
Cables that have weak shielding can cause proximity interference, making your monitor misbehave when they are kept close by. Keep the devices away from your monitor and see if that helps. If any cables are damaged, replace them promptly.
Fix 2: Update Your Graphics Card Drivers
Gamers should never take their graphics device drivers for granted, and neither should any other PC user for that matter. Whenever your display is malfunctioning, one of the first things you should do is check if you have the latest graphics card drivers.
Corrupt, missing, outdated, and incorrect drivers can affect how your GPU renders images to your screen. Since the driver is the interface between the operating system and the GPU, it may may be feeding the OS wrong information from the graphics card if it is experiencing issues. Ghosting is one of the many possible problems that can occur as a result.
There are several channels for updating your device drivers :
- Windows Update
- Device Manager
- The website of the driver manufacturer
- Third-party driver updater tools
- Go to the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
- Type “Windows Update” (no quotes) into the search box and click on the matching entry in the search results.
- Turn on your internet connection and click the ‘Check for Updates’ button. Wait for the system to find and install updates.
- Restart your computer afterward.
You can also find drivers using the Windows Update client. Follow these steps:
- Click “View all optional updates” on the Windows Update screen if you’re running Windows 10.
If you’re running Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Go to the More Options section on the Windows Update page and click Advanced options.
- Head to Additional Options and select optional Updates.
- Now, expand the Driver Updates section and select your graphics card driver.
Windows Update and the Device Manager do not guarantee getting the most recent driver for your graphics card. You may be better off going directly to Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, or your computer manufacturer’s website to get the latest driver software.
If you decide to use this method, it is crucial that you get the correct software for your device. Try finding out the exact specs of your PC, including the operating system details. To make things easier, you may want to use your graphics card’s control panel to download the latest drivers.
Also Read: How to Find Your PC’s Windows System Information?
Device Manager offers you a way to install drivers that have been downloaded to your computer. Note that the application will be forced to install Windows’ generic drivers if there are no manufacturer-developed drivers on your PC.
Here’s how to update your graphics drivers:
- Press the Windows + R keyboard combination to open the Run dialog box.
- Type “Devmgmt.msc” (no quotes) into the text field and press Enter or click the OK button to open the Device Manager.
- Go to Display Adapters and click the drop-down arrow or double-click on the category to expand it.
- Right-click on your display device in the list (i.e., NVIDIA or Intel), and click on Update Driver in the context menu.
- Select the ‘Search automatically for drivers’ option. The system will search for the latest driver version for your graphics card and install it.
- Restart your computer when the process is complete.
Auslogics Driver Updater is a third-party app that can update your drivers automatically. Once installed, Driver Updater reads the specifications of your PC, including your operating system version and processor type. It then performs a scan to detect drivers that are missing, corrupt, outdated, faulty, or incompatible.
After the app is done scanning for driver issues, you can click the update button next to the item whose driver you want to update. In this case, it is your graphics card driver.
It is mostly preferable to press the Update Drivers button on the interface. That option downloads and installs the latest software for all the devices on the list.
Driver Updater also keeps a backup before installing the new updates. The backup makes it possible to revert to older versions of your drivers if it ever becomes necessary.
If the graphics driver update didn’t correct your display issue, we can then go ahead and modify the settings on your monitor. Proceed to the fix below.
Also Read: Upgrade GPU on Laptop: All You Need to Know
Fix 3: Modify Your Monitor’s Display Settings
The settings on your monitor are probably suboptimal. Adjusting them will help resolve the ghosting issue. There are a number of modifications that you can try. Find them below.
Adjust the Monitor’s Refresh Rate and Response Time
As we previously mentioned, a high response time and low refresh rate can result in your seeing a ghost image on screen when playing games or running other graphic-intensive applications. You need to check those settings and ensure that they are set right. First, let’s go for the refresh rate.
How to Increase Your Monitor’s Refresh Rate
If your monitor has a higher refresh rate than what it is currently set to, then you should definitely turn it up. Follow the steps below to get it done:
- Press the Windows button on your keyboard to open the Start menu.
- Type “Advanced Display” (no quotes) into the search box and click on the matching item in the search results. It will lead to the Settings app.
- On the Advanced Display Settings page, you will see your current refresh rate. If the option is available for modification, expand the drop-down and select the highest value in the list.
- Afterward, close the Settings page and restart your computer. Then, check whether the ghosting problem is gone for good.
If you are using an earlier version of Windows, here’s how to adjust your display’s refresh rate:
- Right-click on a blank area of your desktop and click the Screen Resolution option in the context menu.
- When the Control Panel window opens, click the Advanced Settings link.
- In the Monitor tab of the box that opens, you’ll find your current refresh rate under Monitor Settings.
- Click the drop-down arrow and select a higher value. The higher the better.
- Click the Apply button.
- Click the OK button.
- Restart your computer.
Note: If you cannot change the refresh rate on your computer, it could be because you are using an HDMI cable. Most monitors will only allow you to adjust the refresh rate if you are using a DisplayPort cable rather than HDMI. If you have HDMI, make sure it’s High-Speed. If you are using an older HDMI cable, upgrade it. Also, your DisplayPort cable should be of high quality, having a 1.2 minimum rating.
How to Adjust Your Monitor’s Response Time
You’d likely experience ghosting if your monitor has a response time of 10 milliseconds or above. The recommended setting should be 5 milliseconds or lower, especially for a gaming PC. On some computers, there is a setting, known as overdrive, that affects your display’s response time.
Overdrive is also known as Advanced Motion Acceleration on LCD monitors. These monitor panels are known for switching liquid crystal molecules to different alignments. The action produces and transmits different levels of lighting to create an image. Turning down the AMA value dispenses lesser liquid crystal molecules, helping resolve the monitor ghosting problem.
Configuring these settings will put your display in order.
Follow the procedure shown below:
- Press the Menu button on your monitor.
- Search for the Response Time option and set it to a lower value.
The Response Time setting goes by different names according to your PC brand:
- On HP and Acer monitors, look for Overdrive in the menu and turn on the option. Adjust the value if possible.
- On BenQ monitors, look for the Advanced Motion Acceleration (AMA) option and turn it on. Set the value from High to Medium.
- On ASUS monitors, locate Trace Free and enable it.
There are other monitor settings you should look into. You may succeed in resolving the ghosting computer issue by modifying these settings, especially if the ghosting happens when the picture on your screen is dark.
Go to your monitor’s or graphics card’s menu and try adjusting the following settings. See the effect they’ll have on the following:
- Noise Reduction
- Dynamic Contrast
- Perfect Clear
- Motion Smoothing
Fix 4: Modify Your Graphics Card Settings
If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, go to the control panel and try modifying the G-sync or ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) settings. Observe the effect they have on your display. You can do one better and activate ULMB 2 , which NVIDIA released in May 2023 if your monitor supports it.
If you are using an AMD graphics card, locate the FreeSync option and find out how it affects your display.
Also Read: Why is NVIDIA graphics card not showing in Device Manager?
Overclocking your display can increase its refresh rate and lower the response time, eliminating screen ghosting . Use a trusted third-party app to get it done. Ensure that you do not exceed the proper settings, since overclocking can also cause harm to your PC when done incorrectly.
If you’ve already overclocked your GPU before the ghosting started, consider undoing the setting and see if it was triggering the issue.
Fix 4: Check for Monitor Damage
You have to consider the age of your monitor. If the parts have become weak, you will experience various display issues. Older monitors have a limit on the visuals they can support. Consider taking the device to a repair expert and see if they can find any hardware faults.
It’s also possible that the video port is damaged, and replacing it could be all you need. Check if you are still under warranty. If yes, then contact the vendor and let them fix the issue for you. If your monitor is dated or damaged, you should definitely go for an upgrade.
- Go for a monitor that has a high refresh rate, preferably 120 HZ and above.
- The response time of the monitor should not be more than 5 milliseconds.
- The display should have a low input lag, preferably 1 milliseconds or less. Input lag is the time it takes for your monitor to record data input.
- Consider a Free Sync monitor if you are using an AMD graphics card or a G-Sync monitor if you are using NVIDIA.
- Go for IPS or TN panels rather than vertical alignment (VA) displays.
- The screen resolution should be 1920 x 1080 and above.
You can also ask your vendor for an anti-ghosting monitor so that they know the product to recommend to you.
Although screen ghosting is not fatal, it greatly diminishes your user experience. It is particularly annoying if you use your PC for graphics-heavy tasks such as gaming and video editing.
Hopefully, the suggestions in this guide will help you resolve the issue once and for all. Before purchasing a new PC or monitor, conduct your research to ensure that you buy the best product you can afford.
If you’ve benefited from this post, kindly drop us a comment in the section below. We would love to hear from you. You can also share further suggestions if you have any.
There’s no universal way to know the exact cause of your monitor’s ghosting problem. However, you can use the troubleshooting techniques above to find the underlying issue.
You can reduce monitor ghosting by adjusting your monitor settings, updating your video card drivers, and fixing your cable connections. Other fixes, such as using streamlined GPU features can also help.
If you’re using a low-end or damaged cable, upgrading it can resolve the ghosting problem.
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