My Laptop Freezes Lines on Screen (Causes & 6 Proven Solutions)

Plugging in your laptop only to find flickering horizontal lines covering the entire screen is a worrisome sign for us all. The situation can be frustrating in the hour of need – like when you’re about to host a crucial meeting, play a competitive game, or get some demanding job done.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to replace your laptop, rather, there’s a need for some attention. The weird lines are appearing for some reason.

So, why does your laptop freeze lines on screen? Sometimes the culprit could be software conflicts, damaged graphics card, cable problems, or CPU overheating, just to mention but a few.

If you’re a victim, don’t worry. This guide will discuss what causes lines on the laptop screen and fixes that can help resolve the problem to get you back to work.

Why is My Laptop Screen Showing Lines?

The awesomeness of a laptop and any other mobile device is to provide owners with unparalleled ease of access and performance. That said, horizontal/vertical lines running across your laptop screen should actually bother you.

Laptops aren’t cheap for some people, remember. That’s to say, if your display shows abnormal colors, you might run into even greater expenses.

Apparently your laptop screen, like any other computer hardware, freezes with vertical lines because of a range of possible factors, including;

Hardware failure (mostly graphic card issues)

The primary function of a graphic card is to render images to the display. If your card is faulty, your laptop can’t perform as you’d wish. 

Leave alone producing old images, a sagging video card can cause colored lines on the LCD screen. Sometimes bad connection makes your laptop freeze in intervals with colored lines of various lengths.

My old Dell laptop ran perfectly for nearly 3 years. Until one morning, it faded intermittently with two vertical lines on the screen display after a few minutes of use. The problem was hardware failure, particularly with the graphic card (my graphics card was dead).

CPU overheating

You may encounter random lines when your CPU overheats. An overheating CPU causes other sorts of havoc, including system instability, damaging PC components, lagging issues, and even worse.

If you notice thin lines on top of your laptop screen while freezing is going on, then there’s an accompanying rise in your CPU temps.

CPU overheating too often results from;

  • Dust build-up on the CPU fans
  • Overloading CPU
  • Broken fans lead to insufficient airflow

The first step should be to monitor the CPU’s temperature, which is imperative.

Software conflicts

For designers and gamers, software conflicts could see you face occasional colored lines displayed on your Windows 10.

I found that one obvious factor behind this is outdated graphic drivers. Sometimes software glitch hinders the functionality of key hardware such as motherboard, display assembly, and more.

Your laptop works for a couple of minutes but freezes after a couple of minutes of use.

Cable problems

Faulty cables and their poor connections lead to all kinds of problems. Incorrect ribbon cable connections (which connects your laptop screen to the motherboard) result in irritating stripes on the HP laptop LCD screen.

With faulty ribbon cables, there’s a likelihood of oxidation of the contacts. This occurs either on the socket contacts or ribbon contacts. Over time, your working laptop will suddenly exhibit lines.

Your screen display will go into a frenzy, the worst experience for any computer guy. The problem can persist for minutes and even hours.

Why Is My Laptop Freezing And Glitching?

If your laptop randomly freezes or suffers a sudden malfunction when you’re working on something important, insufficient RAM could be the main reason.

Having enough RAM helps keep your system on top because all the programs can run simultaneously while staying in RAM concurrently.

Other reasons include a defective video card, hard drive, pieces of hardware, and outdated drivers.

How to Fix Your Laptop from Freezing with Lines on Screen

Does your laptop develop these lines and sometimes freeze while using? It’s probably because of one of the reasons given above.

The good news is that this common laptop issue can be fixed. Here are the proven troubleshooting tips you should follow to diagnose the problem.

1. Update Graphics Drivers

Tried and tested, I’m persuaded beyond doubt that updating your graphic card drivers is a viable solution for your freezing laptop screen.

Outdated drivers can cause some errors such as MHW graphics device crashes, Esc key not working, and graphic drivers Error code 43.

All these errors can trigger horizontal lines on your Laptop screen. Run windows to keep graphic drivers updated if you’re the machine to perform optimally.

For a tech-savvy person like me, just update them manually. Alternatively, beginners can use third-party performance. That’s one way you can repair flickering PC screen issues.

In Windows 10, the glitch may happen due to incompatible apps. Updating the incompatible apps often fixes the problem. Experts urge users to disable all corrupt apps.

2. Replace the faulty Ribbon Cable

If by any chance the ribbon cable is defective or disconnected, colored lines will appear on your Laptop screen.

Be mindful that every display monitor requires hardware like GPU, motherboard, and cables to operate efficiently.

The cables could also be poorly connected. If so, reconnect the video cable and check whether the lines are gone. Make sure you check out on them keenly before heading over to the next step.

Either way, it’s advisable to replace any defective hardware to eliminate the said issue.

3. Monitor the CPU temperature

If heat coming from the laptop exceeds the ideal temperature, you’ve the right to be worried. It’s no secret that an overheating CPU can damage delicate parts of your PC system, including the LCD screen.

In general, temperatures between 22°C and 60°C are entirely cool for the central processor. Consider cooling down your CPU to counter issues with laptop freezing with annoying lines throughout the screen.

Monitor whether or not there’s sufficient airflow, clean intake fans, GPU cooler offers optimum cooling performance and more.

If the fans are broken, replace them. They should spin properly unless there’s an obstruction to the fans’ workings.

4. Change screen resolution

Incompatible screen resolution is another possible cause of vertical/horizontal lines, largely on your HP laptop screen. If it’s jointly used with the display monitor, expect the catch to occur.

You can troubleshoot the error simply by adjusting your screen resolution. Apply the correct display settings instead.

If all else fails, this one will.

5. Run Windows Troubleshooter

Some users complain about lines on the laptop screen while binge-watching videos. Thanks to the built-in Windows troubleshooter that helps in fixing the problem.

The problem could be widespread, so running the Devices and Hardware troubleshooter is the best option.

Doing so will save you a lot of hassle and frustration.

6. Perform a clean boot

If horizontal lines still appear in your laptop after testing out all other methods in our guide, perform a clean reboot.

‘Performing a clean reboot’ lets you identify the root cause of incompatibility with your OS. The technique also brings up the software conflicts caused by apps running in the background whenever your machine is in use.

Now You can boot your laptop again to determine if the problem still exists.

Any of the above solutions will work for you as long as the right steps are followed. 

Why is My Windows 10 Laptop Freezing?

Outdated drivers, CPU overheating, corrupt system files, and poor cable connections are a few reasons why your laptop is freezing.

Trying the troubleshooting tips given above helps fix coloration on your display.

Final Thoughts

That’s it – now you have the six fixes to solve the horizontal/vertical lines on your laptop screen.

If all of the methods listed above fail, just take your laptop to a computer geek to have it repaired and looked at professionally.

It will be worth your time. Let’s know whether any of these tricks worked for you.

Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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