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How to Fix a Monitor that Keeps Changing Refresh Rate (STEPS)

Why does my monitor keep changing refresh rate?

Monitors changing refresh rate automatically is a common problem caused low refresh rate settings, using incorrect cables, wrong port selection and outdated graphics drivers.

  • Low Refresh Rate Settings
  • Wrong Cables or Ports Selection
  • Outdated Graphics Drivers


  • Low refresh rate settings: By default, monitors are set at certain refresh rates. If your monitor is set at a refresh rate of 60Hz, it can be the reason for changing the refresh rate.
  • Wrong cables or ports selection: If you choose the wrong HDMI cable that doesn’t support more than a 60Hz refresh rate, it can lead to this issue. Also, if you connect the cable to the wrong port on your PC, the monitor can keep changing the refresh rate.
  • Outdated graphics drivers: You need to keep updating the graphics drivers so that the monitor can support a high refresh rate. In case you haven’t updated it, it can be the reason for the refresh rate to keep changing.


Causes of monitor refresh rate fluctuation

The fluctuation of monitor refresh rate can happen due to outdated graphics drivers, wrong HDMI port selection or a unsupported refresh rate setting.


  • Outdated graphics driver: Though it is quite unlikely to happen, outdated GPU drivers can be the root of this problem. Sometimes, outdated GPU drivers affect your monitor’s frequency and lead to fluctuation of refresh rate.
  • Wrong HDMI port: If you’ve mistakenly connected the monitor to the wrong display port or HDMI port, it can lead to a fluctuation in the refresh rate of your monitor. That’s because the wrong port is limiting your monitor from running the images at a higher refresh rate.
  • Wrong refresh rate: The most common reason for monitors to have a fluctuating refresh rate is that the refresh rate set by default is much lower than what is supposed to be when playing high-end games and videos.
  • Unsupported refresh rate: There are monitors available with a 60Hz refresh rate and in case you have purchased one of them, the refresh rate will fluctuate while playing some videos that need a high refresh rate.
  • Wrong ports selection: This is one of the silly mistakes we often do unmindfully. If you plug your HDMI cable into your PC case instead of the GPU port, it can make the refresh rate lower and constantly fluctuate.
  • Higher refresh rate not supported: If your console doesn’t support a high refresh rate but your monitor does, it might be the cause of refresh rate fluctuation. For instance, the PS4 and Xbox One support 60Hz only.


Monitor keeps changing refresh rate


How do I stop my monitor refresh rate from changing?

Once you identify the problem by checking all the above causes, you can change your monitor refresh rate easily.

You will be able to stop your monitor refresh rate from changing by setting the monitor at a higher refresh rate, replacing the display or HDMI port, updating graphics drivers and checking for the highest refresh rate.


Set monitor at a higher refresh rate

Here’s how you can set your monitor to a higher refresh rate:

  • Find the Settings app on your monitor and click on it.
  • Go to System and click on the Display
  • Click the Advanced display settings
  • Click on Display Adapter Properties followed by Monitor. A dropdown menu will appear from where you can change the refresh rate.


Replace display or HDMI port

If the monitor is changing refresh rate because of a wrong or outdated cable, you need to replace it with a new one. Usually, standard HDMI cables support only 60Hz.

If your monitor supports a 144Hz refresh rate, you need to buy at least an HDMI 2.0 cable. These cables are easily available in local electronic stores as well as online stores.


Update graphics drivers:

If your computer was unused for some time or you didn’t update the graphics drivers on time, the refresh rate can be lower than what’s expected. In this case, you need to update the graphics drivers by using relevant GPU software. AMD software will be perfect for an AMD GPU.


Check for a higher refresh rate:


Some monitors aren’t advanced to support a high refresh rate.


In order to know whether your monitor supports it or not, you need to check for the refresh rates supported by your monitor.


How to check refresh rate in Windows 10:

  • Go to Settings and click on System.
  • Go to Display and click on Advanced Display Settings.
  • Click on Display Adapter Properties.
  • Check if your monitor supports a higher refresh rate than 60Hz and do the change accordingly.


Why does my monitor keep switching from 144hz to 60Hz?

Your monitor may keep switching from 144Hz to 60Hz due incorrect default settings and incorrect console settings.


Default setting

If your monitor keeps switching from 144Hz to 60 Hz, it can be due to the default setting.

A low refresh rate such as 60Hz may have been set as the default refresh rate and therefore, even if you play a video or game of 144Hz, the monitor refresh rate may automatically keep switching to 60 Hz.

You can change the default refresh rate by following the method below:

  • On your monitor, look for the Settings app and click on it.
  • Go to System and then select the Display
  • Click the Advanced Display Settings
  • Select Display Adapter Properties and then Monitor.
  • From the dropdown menu, you need to change the refresh rate to 144Hz.


Console settings:

Another common reason for the monitors changing the refresh rate is console settings. Your game console may not support 144Hz even if your monitor supports it. As a result, there is a constant conflict on the refresh rate associated with your monitor.


Here is how you can check whether your console supports a 144Hz refresh rate:

  • Check the model number of your console. If your console is a PS4, PS4 Pro or Xbox One, it won’t support 144Hz because the refresh rate it supports is 60Hz.
  • If your console is an Xbox Series X or PS5, it won’t support 144Hz because the maximum refresh rate it supports is 120Hz.
  • If your console supports 144Hz, the cause of the problem might be something else.


Why does my monitor keep resetting to 60Hz?

Your monitor resetting at 60Hz can be due to wrong ports or lower refresh rate capacity.


Wrong ports:

If you mistakenly connect your HDMI cable to your PC’s port instead of the GPU port, it can lead to this problem. Hence, all you need to do is check whether you have done this mistake.

In case you have, plugging the HDMI cable into the GPU port will be the best fix.


Lower refresh rate capacity:

If your monitor doesn’t support a refresh rate of more than 60Hz, it can be the cause of this issue. You need to check the refresh rate capacity of your monitor to find the best solution to this issue.

Here is how you can check it:

  • Navigate to Settings app>System menu>Display
  • Go to the Advanced Display Settings
  • Click on Display Adapter Properties.
  • Click on the Monitor tab and check the maximum refresh rate offered.
  • If your monitor supports a higher refresh rate such as 120Hz or 144Hz, you can increase it from 60Hz by choosing the correct refresh rate.


Why is my refresh rate locked at 60Hz?

The refresh rate is locked in your monitor because of the default setting. It means that your monitor is set at a 60Hz refresh rate, which you need to increase if you want a higher refresh rate.

You can follow the method below to change the refresh rate of your monitor:

  • Navigate Settings app>System menu>Display menu>Advanced Display Settings menu>Display Adapter Properties menu>Monitor
  • On the Monitor tab, you can change the refresh rate according to your preference. The refresh rate won’t be unlocked anymore at 60Hz if you follow the above method correctly.


Is 60Hz a bad refresh rate?

I don’t think 60Hz is a bad refresh rate as it’s good enough for general use. If your purpose is working and watching movies, there won’t be any interface issue.

However, if your purpose is gaming where the frame rate is 100 fps or higher, the 60Hz refresh rate can give you little bugs during gaming. That’s because a 60Hz refresh rate monitor has the maximum capacity to refresh 60 times every second whereas the games require more refreshes per second.

If your monitor supports more than 60Hz refresh rate, you can change it for gaming purposes by following the method I’ve explained in the above answer.


Why is my monitor not displaying 144Hz?

There could be multiple reasons that aren’t allowing your monitor to display 144Hz. The two most significant reasons are the default 60Hz setting and outdated graphics drivers.


Default 60Hz setting:

You need to check if your monitor is not running at 144Hz because of the wrong setting. By default, the refresh rate of your monitor could be 60Hz, which you need to check and increase.

You can follow the method below to check and change the refresh rate of your monitor:

  • Navigate to the Settings
  • Go to the System menu and click Display in the left pane.
  • Click on Display and then the Advanced display settings link.
  • Click the Display adapter properties link and click on the Monitor
  • In the Monitor Settings section, increase the screen refresh rate to 144Hz.

If you don’t see an option of 144Hz, your monitor doesn’t support it and hence, there’s nothing you can do except buy a new monitor of 144Hz.


Outdated graphics drivers:

The graphics drivers of your monitor can get outdated if you don’t update them on time or you don’t use the monitor for a long period. You can solve this issue by updating the latest graphics driver software that is available online.


Why can’t I change the refresh rate on my monitor?

Experiencing a glitchy display or a slow action in a game can be quite frustrating. Maybe the reason is that your monitor’s refresh rate is lower than what’s required.

You can’t change the refresh rate on your monitor because it doesn’t support a higher refresh rate. You may also not be able to change the refresh rate because you are trying a non-relevant fix.

For example, if the reason is wrong port connectivity and you update the graphics drivers or change the default setting instead of addressing the right problem, you won’t be able to fix it.


Why does my refresh rate keeps changing during games?

Popular games such as Alto’s Adventure, Shadowgun: Legends, FZ9 Timeshift, Minecraft, Mekorama, Hill Climb Racing 2, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition and more require 144Hz to smoothly run on the screen.

If the refresh rate of your monitor keeps changing during these games, below are the most probable reasons for this issue:

  • 60Hz refresh rate default setting
  • Graphics driver isn’t updated
  • Monitor doesn’t support a higher refresh rate
  • Console doesn’t support a higher refresh rate
  • Unsuitable display port or HDMI port
  • HDMI cable connected to a wrong port

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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