Software & Apps Windows How to Change a Monitor's Refresh Rate Setting in Windows Fix screen flicker and other monitor problems by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on July 07, 2020 The Ultimate Guide to Monitors The Ultimate Guide to Monitors Introduction Monitor Basics All About HD PC Monitors TVs vs. Monitors CRT vs. LCD Monitors Learn About Refresh Rates 3D Computer Displays CRT Monitor Resolution Specifications Why You Need a Second Monitor Add or Connect a Monitor Is Having More Than One Display Useful? Add a Second Monitor to Your Windows Laptop How to Connect Your Computer to Your TV You Can Use Your Old iMac as a Monitor How to Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor Calibrate It Yourself Why Monitor Calibration Is Essential Adjusting a Monitor's Settings Why Printer Colors Don't Match Monitor Colors Color Gamuts on LCD Monitors Troubleshooting Issues Testing a Monitor That Isn't Working Fix a Second Monitor Not Working Checking for Loose Power Cables How to Degauss a Traditional CRT Monitor Can Burn-In Happen to LCD Monitors? How to Change Refresh Rate in Windows Our Recommendations: Best Monitors The Best Computer Monitors The Best 4K Monitors The Best 27-Inch LCD Monitors The Best 24-Inch LCD Monitors The Best 32-Inch Monitors The Best USB-C Monitors The Best Monitors for Coding The Best Curved Monitors The Best 5K & 8K Computer Monitors The Best Touchscreen Monitors The Best Ultra-Wide Monitors Tweet Share Email Ever notice screen flicker when you're using your computer? Do you get headaches or have unusual eye strain after normal usage? If so, you may need to change the refresh rate setting. Changing the monitor's refresh rate to a higher value should reduce screen flicker. It could also fix other unstable display issues. Adjusting the refresh rate setting is usually only helpful with older CRT type monitors, not newer LCD "flat screen" style displays. The refresh rate setting in Windows is called the screen refresh rate setting and is located in the "Advanced" area of your video card and monitor properties. While this fact hasn't changed from one version of Windows to the next, the way you get here has. Follow any specific advice for your version of Windows as you follow along below. How to Change a Monitor's Refresh Rate Setting in Windows Checking and changing the refresh rate setting should take less than 5 minutes and is really easy. Open Control Panel. In Windows 10, you can instead right-click the desktop and choose Display settings. If you go this route, skip down to Step 3. In Windows 10 and Windows 8 opening Control Panel is most easily accomplished via the Power User Menu. In Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP, you'll find the link in the Start menu. What Version of Windows Do I Have? Select Display from the list of applets in the Control Panel window. In Windows Vista, open Personalization instead. Depending on how you have Control Panel set up, you might not see Display or Personalization. If so, change the view to Small icons or Classic View, depending on your version of Windows, and then look for it again. Select Adjust resolution in the left margin of the Display window. In Windows 10, if you're viewing the Settings screen, scroll down the right pane and choose Advanced display settings. In Windows Vista, choose the Display Settings link at the bottom of the Personalization window. In Windows XP and prior, select the Settings tab. Choose the monitor you want to change the refresh rate for (assuming you have more than one monitor). Select Advanced settings. This is a button in Windows Vista. In Windows 10, from the Settings screen, choose Display adapter properties. In Windows XP, choose the Advanced button. In older versions of Windows, select Adapter to get to the refresh rate settings. Choose the Monitor tab in the smaller window that appears. Locate the Screen refresh rate drop-down box in the middle of the window. In most cases, the best choice is the highest rate possible, especially if you're seeing a flickering screen or think a low refresh rate might be causing headaches or other problems. In other cases, especially if you recently increased the refresh rate and now your computer is having problems, lowering it is your best course of action. It's best to keep the Hide modes that this monitor cannot display checkbox checked, assuming it's even an option. Choosing refresh rates outside this range could damage your video card or monitor. Select OK to confirm the changes. Other open windows can be closed, too. Follow any additional instructions if they appear on the screen. With most computer setups, in most versions of Windows, changing the refresh rate won't require any further steps, but other times you may need to restart your computer.