If you have purchased a high-end gaming monitor with a refresh rate higher than 60hz, typically 144hz or 240hz, you will need to change the screen refresh rate of your monitor in Windows 10 to allow it to run at your desired refresh rate instead of the default 60hz or 75hz. This article will guide you through the process of changing the screen refresh rate of your monitor in Windows 10 on your laptop or desktop computer.
For many years, monitors were designed to run at a human-perceivable screen refresh rate of 60hz, which was thought to be the best refresh rate for the human eye. However, with the evolution of e-sports and the gaming industry, professionals demanded higher screen refresh rate monitors. Thus, we now have 144hz and even 240hz monitors available in the market.
If you have tried one of these higher refresh rate monitors, you will notice a significant difference compared to a standard 60hz monitor. The screen will appear much smoother, especially in FPS (first-person shooter) games such as CSGO and Overwatch. However, changing the screen refresh rate in these games will require you to set it in the game itself, typically in the in-game video settings.
This tutorial will show you how to change the screen refresh rate of your monitor in Windows 10 for activities such as browsing the web, using file explorer, or anything that is not in full-screen mode or windowed mode. If you run some games in windowed mode instead of full-screen mode, in most cases, the game will use the screen refresh rate you set in Windows 10.
Changing the screen refresh rate in Windows 10
To change the screen refresh rate of your monitor in Windows 10 on your laptop or desktop computer, follow the steps below.
- In Windows 10, right-click anywhere on your desktop, and then select Display settings.
- From the right pane, scroll down until you see a blue link that read as Advanced display settings. Click on it.
- Next, click on Display adapter properties for Display 1 (can be display 2 or 3 if you are using you are using the monitor as a second monitor).
- In the next window, go to the Monitor tab.
- Under Screen refresh rate drop down menu, select your desired Hertz rate.
- Click Apply, then OK.
- Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
The available screen refresh rate options depend on what your monitor can support. For example, the Dell S2716DG I’m using right now can support up to 144 Hertz. Some Acer and Asus gaming monitors have even higher refresh rates, such as 240hz or 244hz. Some TVs, such as Samsung TV, can have refresh rates of 100hz and 120hz, which can also be seen in the display options.
If your desired refresh rate is not available in the settings as shown above, your monitor or TV may not support the refresh rate as high as you expect it to, or the monitor driver may not be installed correctly. In this case, try running Windows Update or downloading the correct monitor driver from the manufacturer’s website.
Changing the refresh rate via Nvidia Control Panel
Optionally, you can also change the screen refresh rate of your monitor in Windows 10 via Nvidia Control Panel or Nvidia Geforce Experience. Here’s how:
- Open Nvidia Control Panel.
- From the left panel, expand Display and then click on Change resolution.
- On the right, under Refresh rate, select the screen refresh rate you want your monitor to run in Windows 10.
Changing monitor refresh rate for AMD Graphic card
AMD or ATI does not have its own method to change the refresh rate like Nvidia. To change the refresh rate of your monitor if you have an AMD video card, use the Windows method as outlined above.
Can I use registry editor to change the refresh rate?
The registry path and folder for each monitor model are different. Therefore, it’s not really possible to list all the paths and registry keys that can change the refresh rate in Windows 10. Even so, it would not be the recommended method as making changes in Regedit may cause serious issues if done incorrectly.
Can’t change screen refresh rate issues
If you can’t change the screen refresh rate in Windows 10, make sure your monitor supports refresh rates higher than 60hz or 75hz. You can’t force change the refresh rate of a monitor to 144hz when it only supports up to 60hz. If your monitor supports a screen refresh rate higher than 60hz, it will be listed in the display settings as shown above.
If your monitor is not recognized properly by Windows, it may only allow up to 60hz refresh rate. In this case, try reinstalling your monitor driver.
Alternatively, you can try changing the screen refresh rate in the game itself. Each game usually has video settings that allow you to choose the screen resolution along with its screen refresh rate, if you run the game in full-screen mode.