Black borders on side of screen

Updated: 05/04/2019 by Computer Hope

If you are seeing black borders on the side of your computer screen, select the type of monitor you have from the list below, and review the troubleshooting steps to remove the black borders.

LCD solutions

Photo: an LCD monitor.

If you're using an LCD monitor, follow these troubleshooting steps.

Video driver issue or no video driver installed

Verify you have the latest video driver installed on your computer. For links to many video drivers, see our video card drivers index.

Widescreen display

It is normal for a widescreen LCD to have black borders if you're running a non-widescreen resolution or the program, game, or movie you're watching does not support widescreen.

Microsoft Windows

Make sure to change your resolution settings in Microsoft Windows to a resolution that supports widescreen. Examples of widescreen resolutions are 1280 x 720 and 1600 x 900.


If you upgrade Windows from an older version to a newer version, the display resolution may revert to a default setting. If you see black borders after upgrading Windows, you should change your resolution settings again.


Many DVDs support both widescreen and fullscreen mode. If you're using a widescreen LCD, make sure to display the movie in widescreen format. Additionally, you can change the aspect ratio in many DVD programs to fit your display.

LCD limitation

Due to architectural differences from the standard CRT monitor, an LCD has a set resolution often referred to as native resolution. For example, if an LCD had a set resolution of 1920 x 1080, but a user changed it to something larger, the size of displayed images will decrease, causing a black border to appear. To rectify this issue, most LCD or laptop manufacturers have a utility that can "stretch" the pixel size, allowing smaller images to take up the fullscreen. This action will, however, decrease the quality of the image slightly (especially noticeable when viewing text).

Because the method used to enable this feature varies, it is recommended that you contact your laptop or LCD manufacturer for additional information.

CRT monitor solutions

Illustration: a CRT monitor.

If you're using a CRT monitor, follow these troubleshooting steps.

Video driver issue or no video driver installed

Verify you have the latest video driver installed on your computer. A listing of links to video drivers is on our video drivers page.

Resolution was changed and monitor could not adjust

If the resolution was recently changed, the monitor may not auto adjust or shift to the correct size. If this occurs, the resolution can be changed back to the original setting or you can manually adjust the monitor as instructed below.

Monitor needs to be manually adjusted

If a black border exists on the monitor, it can be resolved by manually adjusting the horizontal or vertical width. Because each monitor is different, the method of adjusting this setting will vary. Consult your monitor documentation. Additional information about these controls, as well as example pictures of the settings, is on our monitor help page. Older monitors may not have the feature to adjust the horizontal setting. If this is the case, refer to the notes below.

Older computer monitor

Older monitors (15" monitors) naturally have borders. When this is not available, it is due to the monitor design and it should be expected to see some black on the left and right of the monitor. If you believe this black area is too big, we recommend you contact your monitor manufacturer for additional information or consider getting a new monitor.

Additional information