Cry about...
Windows Troubleshooting

LCD monitor display fuzzy and not sharp


An LCD display is not crisp and sharp but fuzzy.

Possible Causes and Remedies:

  • Refresh rate too high. CRT monitors normally give a more stable image (with less flickering) with a high refresh rate. This is not necessary with LCD monitors, and setting the refresh rate too high will degrade the image quality. Set the refresh rate to 60hz.
  • Display resolution different to monitor's native resolution. LCD monitors have a fixed number of pixels vertically and horizontally - this is its native resolution. If the current display mode is set to a lower resolution then there will be some interpolation going on. For the crispest display set the display resolution the same as the monitors resolution. For example, if the LCD display supports up to 1024x768 then set the Windows display resolution to 1024x768.
  • Poor quality VGA extension cable. A poor quality VGA extension cable (or KVM switch) will give signal loss which will degrade the image. (This can be characterised by ghosting and shadows.) If the image is crisp when the LCD monitor is plugged in directly to the pc but not when plugged in via a VGA extension cable or KVM switch then the cable/switch is the problem.
  • If using Internet Explorer 7 or later then try switching off ClearType. ClearType attempts to improve readability on LCD monitors but cause the text to look less than sharp and fuzzy.

These notes have been tested with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 2003.

About the author: is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.