Fix: Monitor not Displaying Fullscreen on Windows 10

Some users have reported that their monitor does not display full screen after updating or upgrading to Windows 10. A thin black bar appears on the side on the monitor which prevents it from going fullscreen. This issue is often due to your video adapter drivers or your display settings. The issue mostly occurred to the users who were using a TV as their primary monitor, though, it is not only limited to them.

We all know the games not going full-screen is an issue on Windows 10, however, in this scenario the Desktop is not in full-screen mode as well. If your monitor displays black bars on the desktop, it is probably going to display that while playing games as well. Nonetheless, this issue can be easily dealt with so don’t worry.

What Causes the Monitor not to Display Fullscreen on Windows 10?

There are not many roots to this problem. It is generally due to the following factors —

  • Your video adapter drivers. The video adapter on your system is responsible for the display of your system. In some cases, the drivers might not be operating properly after a fresh Windows install or a certain update which can cause the problem.
  • Display settings. Sometimes, your display settings might change with a Windows update which results in the black bars.

Note:

Please make sure you follow all the solutions to ensure a quick workaround. The cause of the issue can vary depending on your machine, therefore, you need to go through them all.

Solution 1: Change Display Settings

The most general cause of the black bars is your system’s Display Settings. Sometimes, your display settings can change due to a Windows update, etc. which results in the black bars on the side of the monitor. Therefore, to fix it, you will have to change your display settings. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Desktop, right-click and select Display settings.
    Open Display Settings
  2. First and foremost, make sure your scaling is set to 100%. If you are using an old version of Windows 10, you will see a slide on the top of the Display panel. Make sure it is 100.
  3. If you are using the latest version of Windows 10, you will be able to see a drop-down list under ‘Scale and layout’. Make sure it is 100%.
    Changing the Scaling
  4. After you have rectified your scaling, click on the drop-down menu under Resolution and try changing the resolution to see if it fixes your issue.
    Changing the Resolution
  5. If you are on an older version of Windows, click on ‘Advanced Display settings’ and change the Resolution from there.
    Display Settings – Windows 10

Also, if you are using a TV as your monitor, you can isolate your issue by changing the Aspect ratio of your TV to ‘Screen Fit’ or ‘Full 100%’ from the TV settings.

Solution 2: Reinstall Your Video Adapter Driver

In some cases, your video adapter driver can be the guilty party that is causing the issue. Therefore, to eliminate such a possibility, you will have to reinstall your video adapter driver. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the Start Menu, type in Device Manager and open it up.
    Device Manager In Windows Search Box
  2. Expand the Display adapters list.
  3. Right-click on your Display adapter and select the ‘Uninstall device’.
    Uninstalling Video Adapter Driver
  4. Once the driver is uninstalled, restart your system so that the driver is installed again automatically.
  5. Check if it fixes your issue.

Solution 3: Manually Install Video Adapter Driver 

At times, your issue might not be isolated by installing the video adapter driver automatically. In such an event, you will have to install your driver manually. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open up the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Display adapters list.
  3. Right-click on your video adapter driver and select the ‘Uninstall device‘.
    Uninstalling Video Adapter Driver
  4. After that, head to your manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver for your video card.
  5. Install the driver and reboot your system.
  6. Check if it helps.

Solution 4: Changing Settings from Game/NVIDIA

Another reason why you might not be able to use fullscreen on specific applications is because the mode is either disabled or over-ridden by the game or program which you are trying to run in full-screen. This is a very common scenario and is also applicable for third-party graphics applications like NVIDIA Control Panel.

Selecting the “Game Settings” option

Navigate to the application/game’s settings and make sure that the mode is no switched off. Also, if you have a dedicated graphics card, then check that graphics card’s settings.

Note: If you are using a TV as a monitor, consider turning off the Overscan.

Solution 5: Disabling Game Modes

Game modes are scripts/programs which take control of your computer’s graphics hardware and essentially, the OS itself to maximize the performance of the game and improve the gameplay. However, there are instances where these ‘game modes’ disable the full-screen capability of the computer until they are activated.

In this case, try to disable all currently running game modes or ‘optimizer’. You can also uninstall them using the application wizard. Restart the program which wasn’t running in full-screen and see if the issue is resolved. You can also check the task manager to see which applications are running (Windows + R and ‘taskmgr’).

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Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Monitor not Displaying Fullscreen on Windows 10

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