144Hz Monitor Only Showing 60Hz in Windows 11, Why?

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Are you facing the frustrating issue of your 144Hz monitor being stuck at 60Hz in Windows 11? This common problem can hinder the full potential of your high-refresh-rate monitor, especially critical for gaming and graphic-intensive tasks. Let’s cut to the chase and explore why this happens and how you can fix it, ensuring your monitor performs at its intended 144Hz refresh rate.

Also see: How to Change Desktop Screen Refresh Rate in Windows 11

Why is my 144Hz monitor only showing 60Hz in Windows 11

Solution 1: Cable Compatibility and Quality

Identifying the Right Cable

One of the most common reasons for a 144Hz monitor displaying only 60Hz is using an incompatible or low-quality cable. The type of cable you use can drastically impact the refresh rate that your monitor can support.

  • DisplayPort Cable: For most 144Hz monitors, a DisplayPort cable is the ideal choice. It’s capable of supporting higher refresh rates and resolutions.
  • HDMI Cable: Ensure your HDMI cable is version 2.0 or higher. Older versions might not support higher refresh rates.
  • DVI Cable: If using DVI, it should be a Dual-Link DVI cable. A Single-Link DVI cable can’t support 144Hz.

DisplayPort 1.4 Cable

Cable Quality Matters

Not all cables are created equal. Even if you’re using the right type of cable, a poor-quality cable can fail to transmit the required data rate for 144Hz. Consider purchasing a cable from a reputable manufacturer, and look for certifications or ratings that indicate the cable can handle high bandwidth requirements.

Linked issue: Mouse Lag on 4k Monitor or TV Screen (Fix)

Solution 2: Graphics Driver and Settings Optimization

Updating Graphics Drivers

Outdated or improperly installed graphics drivers are a frequent culprit behind refresh rate issues. To ensure optimal performance:

  • Check for Updates: Regularly update your graphics driver through the manufacturer’s website, such as NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel. Avoid relying solely on Windows Update for graphics drivers.
  • Clean Installation: Sometimes, a clean installation of the graphics driver can resolve lingering issues. This process removes all previous settings and installs the latest driver afresh.

Update graphics driver

Configuring Graphics Settings (Refresh Rate)

Adjusting the settings in your graphics control panel can also impact the monitor’s refresh rate.

  • NVIDIA Control Panel: For NVIDIA users, navigate to the NVIDIA Control Panel and adjust the monitor settings under “Change resolution”. Ensure that the highest available refresh rate is selected.
  • AMD Radeon Settings: AMD users can find similar settings in the AMD Radeon Software under ‘Display’ settings.

144Hz Monitor Only Showing 60Hz in Windows 11

Monitor Detection

Ensure that your operating system correctly recognizes your monitor. In some cases, a monitor might be listed as a ‘Generic PnP Monitor’ in the Device Manager, limiting its capabilities. Updating the monitor driver or manually selecting the correct monitor model can unlock higher refresh rates.

Learn moreGeneric PnP Monitor Windows 11/10 Driver Download Problem

Generic PnP Monitor Driver Download

Solution 3: Windows Display Settings Adjustment

Accessing Advanced Display Settings

Sometimes the solution lies in tweaking Windows 11 display settings:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System > Display.
  2. Under the display you’re configuring, select Advanced display settings.
  3. Here, check for the dropdown menu that allows you to change the refresh rate. Ensure that 144Hz is selected if available.

Can't get 144Hz on a 144Hz monitor

Multi-Monitor Considerations

If you’re using a multi-monitor setup, the refresh rate can be affected by how the monitors are configured. In some instances, running different refresh rates on multiple monitors can cause the higher refresh rate monitor to default to the lower rate. Experiment with disconnecting the second monitor or matching their refresh rates to troubleshoot this issue.

Related resource: Game Stuttering and Lag on Dual Monitor (Fix)

Solution 4: Monitor Settings and Overclocking

Adjusting Monitor On-Screen Display (OSD) Settings

The monitor’s own settings can also restrict the refresh rate:

  • Access the monitor’s OSD (On-Screen Display) menu.
  • Look for options related to refresh rate or display settings.
  • Some monitors have an Overclock (OC) mode which allows higher refresh rates. Ensure this is enabled if your monitor supports it.

Monitor 144Hz OSD overclock maximum refresh rate settings

Firmware and Compatibility

  • Monitor Firmware: Check if your monitor has firmware updates available. Sometimes, manufacturers release updates that can improve performance or fix bugs.
  • Compatibility: Verify that your monitor natively supports 144Hz. Some displays might require specific settings or conditions to reach higher refresh rates.

Similar problem: Why is My 240Hz Monitor Only Showing 144Hz?

Solution 5: Custom Resolution and Refresh Rate

Creating a Custom Resolution

If standard methods don’t work, creating a custom resolution might be the key:

  1. Open your graphics card’s control panel (NVIDIA Control Panel or AMD Radeon Settings).
  2. Navigate to the display settings and look for an option to create a custom resolution.
  3. Here, you can manually input your monitor’s native resolution and set the refresh rate to 144Hz.
  4. Be cautious with this approach, as incorrect settings can potentially cause display issues. If the “Customize” button is greyed out, see: NVIDIA Control Panel Custom Resolution Greyed Out.

Create Custom Resolution for 144Hz monitor NVIDIA Control Panel

Testing and Applying Changes

  • After creating a custom resolution, use the “Test” feature to ensure that the display operates correctly with these settings.
  • If successful, apply the settings. If not, revert and try tweaking the values slightly.

Recommended read: 16:10 vs 16:9 Aspect Ratio for Gaming: Which is Better?

Concluding thoughts

To sum up, if your 144Hz monitor is stuck at 60Hz in Windows 11, check these basics: use the right cable (DisplayPort is usually best), update your graphics drivers, tweak the settings in your graphics control panel, and adjust your monitor’s own settings. Sometimes, you might need to create a custom resolution. Each of these steps can help you get that smooth, high-refresh-rate experience you’re looking for with your monitor. Remember, your monitor and PC are a team – they need the right tools and settings to work together smoothly.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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