Why does my screen jump up & down?

Written by clare meri Google
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Why does my screen jump up & down?
Problems with your screen can make PCs and laptops unusable. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

When the screen on your pc or laptop begins "jumping," it can be very worrying and can make it almost impossible to use your computer. The motion may be a side-to-side flickering, or an up-and-down motion. It may only occur when you open certain programs or the Internet. There are various diagnoses for this problem that can be attempted to troubleshoot.

Mouse issues

Screen movement that occurs regularly may be due to a faulty mouse. If you have a separate mouse, disconnect it from the PC and check if that stops the screen jumping. If it does, clean the mouse and change the batteries (if it is battery driven) and plug it back in. If the screen stopped jumping while the mouse was disconnected but begins again once the cleaned mouse is attached, you will need to replace the mouse.


Laptops are produced with an inbuilt touchpad, usually situated at the front and middle, below the keyboard. If you are using a separate mouse, it is a common issue that your arm or sleeve may accidentally brush the touchpad when you are using your external mouse, or reaching for the keyboard. This can cause screen jumping. Check if you could be brushing against the touchpad by accident and if so, adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad in your control panel to avoid this happening in the future.

Graphics update

If the screen jumping happens when particular programs are opened, for example an internet browser, it may be that your graphics card driver requires updating. Go to the control panel, and find "Device Manager" under the hardware and sound section. Go to the section containing your graphics card (probably under display adaptors) and right click to select "Update driver software." It is always wise to create a restore point before updating any driver or installing any new software.

Cables and leads

If the incidences of screen jumping are sporadic or if you can make them stop by moving your screen around, it may be that a cable or lead is loose. If you have a separate screen on your PC, check that all the cables and leads are securely plugged in and test the screen. If your laptop screen has a sporadic fault when you adjust the angle of the lid, a cable inside is loose or faulty and you should aim to have this fixed under warranty where possible. Laptops without warranty can be checked by those people confident with hardware, or taken in to a repair shop.

Continual jumping

If your PC or laptop has continual jumping and you have checked the mouse, the graphics driver and the cables, it is likely that there is something more serious affecting the screen. This can be due to a faulty motherboard or graphics chip set. If possible, return the unit under warranty for repair or alternatively, if your warranty has expired, take it to a PC repair shop for diagnosis and repair.

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