What Is Ghosting On A Monitor? (Explained)

Quick Answer:

The monitor ghosting effect on is a temporary image artifact noticeable when certain fast-moving objects are on the monitor.

It seems the fast-moving object is leaving a series of pixels or “ghosts” behind. It generally occurs because of an issue with the monitor of your PC setup. 

What Is Ghosting On A Monitor? (Explained)

It often ruins gaming or streaming experiences as the image quality gets blurry. Ghosting can be evidently seen in fast-moving scenes or games as the trails keep on getting more noticeable with the image’s speed.

Although very annoying, this ghosting problem is easily fixable, and you will not even have to change your hardware or make any changes to it. 

What Is Ghosting On A Monitor? (Explained)

What Causes Ghosting?

There are multiple reasons why this can be happening to your monitor. Let’s look at some of them and identify whether your monitor issues fit in any of them or not. 

  • Ghosting is usually caused by LCD monitors and especially cheap ones. These monitors do not have a fast enough response time to show the moving object like it was made. Hence, the image comes first, and your monitor reacts after leaving a trail of the image as a “ghost”. 
  • Sometimes it can just happen because your LCD monitor has a slower response time. It can be because your monitor might be old and be as updated as the pixels of the image. 
  • At times, ghosting occurs due to a problem in the cables through which your monitor is having this issue. It also occurs because of other devices that your monitor is connected to or placed with. Believe it or not, even a printer placed close enough can cause ghosting. 
  • If the monitor settings of your PC are set incorrectly, there is a chance that it can lead to ghosting. 
  • Overclocking your monitor to obtain higher refresh rates and pushing your monitor’s capacity can cause similar symptoms to ghosts. 

Ghosting can happen on any monitor, but it generally occurs on a cheap PC. If you have a high-quality monitor with good specifications, ghosting is less likely to occur. 

How To Fix Ghosting On Monitor?

It is crucial to know what is actually causing the problem to fix any problem.

Once you get an idea of what is wrong, you can quickly fix that but imply some change. It is particularly the reason why we discussed the causes of ghosting. 

Suppose you are still confused about the cause of your issue.

In that case, you can start by trying out the solutions that require the least effort and eventually figure out the problem with your monitor. 

1. OverDrive Issue

Almost all monitors have a setting called the overdrive function. By allowing this setting, your monitor’s response time is pushed so that ghosting can be stopped. You should change the overdrive setting until the issue is resolved and you no longer see ghosting. 

But you have to be careful while using the overdrive function, as too strong overdrive will lead to inverse ghosting.  

Different manufacturers give different names to the setting.

For example, Acer monitors have an Overdrive function, BenQ monitors have it as AMA, ASUS monitors have this setting as Trace free, etc. You will have to check what your monitor has. 

Overdrive Issue

2. Monitor Visual Effects

In a rare instance where the Overdrive function does not fix your problem, the next thing you need to try is a Monitor Visual Effect.

All monitor screens generally have visual effects like Perfect Clear, Dynamic Contrast, Motion Smoothing, and Noise Reduction already turned on. 

By switching them off, there is a chance that you can get rid of your ghosting problem. 

3. Frames per Second Rate

This issue is specifically for gaming-related ghosting. If the game you are playing has a higher frame per second (FPS) than your monitor’s refresh rate, then ghosting is bound to occur. 

All you will have to do is change your settings and adjust your frames per second rate to that of your monitor’s refresh rate. 

3. Cables & Hardware

Checking your cables and other hardware is a way to determine whether the issue is with your monitor or an external thing.

To check this, you need to take a different cable for your monitor, plug it in and check. If your ghosting is resolved, then get a new cable. 

If the issue still persists, we know that your monitor has the problem. 

4. Update your Drivers

This one is specifically for gaming too. If you have an issue while gaming on a PC, try updating your drivers. You can update your driver through the Nvidia control panel.

The Nvidia G Sync and Nvidia Surround have specific features to eliminate or reduce monitor ghosting. 

5. Damaged Monitor

If you have tried all these fixes and none work, then the last thing is that the monitor you are using is damaged. Your monitor has a bad response time.

At this point, you can not do much but either minimize the effects of ghosting through the above modification or get a new monitor. 

If you wish to buy a new monitor, there are certain things that you may want to keep in mind. If you check these boxes, then chances are you will never face a ghosting issue after that. 

  • Refresh Rate – Every screen has a refresh rate. It is the time it takes to update with a new image per second. A 60Hz panel will refresh the image 60 times, whereas a 120Hz panel refreshes it 120 times. Higher the refresh rate, the better the image quality. 
  • Response Time – The time a panel takes to react to a change in color is known as response time. For example, suppose you have a monitor with a response time of 1ms. In that case, it takes your monitor only a second to respond to a change in color in the object. Lower the number, the better the response time. 
  • Lag – A lag occurs when a screen displays the graphics with a delay. You should pick a monitor that has a low input lag. There is no measure for this, and the best way is to look at reviews. 

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