TVs are often an expensive investment, and it’s never fun when you see horizontal lines appear out of the blue on your screen. However, despite being rather scary, this issue isn’t unfixable; these horizontal lines on your TV screen can be fixed at home with a few simple methods.
Most often, horizontal lines are an indication of an old TV. However, they’re often not permanent defects and can go away on their own, only to emerge again later. In this guide, we’ll explain the reasons behind this issue and how to solve it for good so you can relish your everyday TV viewing experience.
Table of Contents
7 Reasons Horizontal Lines Appear on your TV
Reason #1: Ageing
The number one cause is obvious – ageing. Unfortunately, all tech has a certain expiry date attached to it. While some TVs perform better for longer, it’s only sometimes determinable when your TV might start malfunctioning.
Some people can only get the maximum number of years out of their TV through their cleaning and maintenance skills and sometimes just sheer luck.
Reason #2: Debris Accumulation
Dust accumulating inside your TV is detrimental. TVs are built to tolerate a certain amount of debris buildup, but cleaning is required nonetheless. Dirt and debris buildup in TV ports can also prevent them from functioning properly.
This prevents your TV from overheating and malfunctioning in the longer run. This is due to the backlight components that allow your TV to light up. Overheating can cause these crucial strips to fall off, causing horizontal lines to disrupt your viewing experience.
Reason #3: Cables & Wiring
Cables and wiring should always be snug in your TV ports. The connection between your device and its power outlet is unstable if they’re loose or frayed. Poor connections cause its displays to malfunction continuously. One of the first signs of loose wiring is if the video quality on your TV is gradually deteriorating.
Reason #4: Incorrect Video Settings
Your TV might perform better if you choose the correct picture quality settings. Incorrect settings can include choosing 4K quality when your TV doesn’t support it. Refer to your TV manual to choose appropriate settings since an image size is too big or small can cause the TV to create horizontal lines to match your settings.
Reason #5: Power Outages
If you live in an area that consistently experiences sudden and continuous power outages, your TV might start to malfunction. In some cases, electrical outlets can get damaged or overheat, which might cause a spark, causing severe damage to your TV components as well.
Powerful electrical shocks due to overheating can cause a complete device shutdown. If you’re lucky, your TV will survive, but the display will continue to malfunction.
Reason #6: Corrupt Files
You might be running applications or operating software that is corrupted. This directly causes a defect in your display due to the corrupted file, such as showing horizontal lines. For example, if your TV randomly turns on and off, portrays screen glitches, and turns off applications on its own, you need to find the corrupted file effective immediately.
Reason #7: Physical Damage
If your TV screen shows obvious damage, such as scratches or a broken screen, you might experience the dreaded horizontal lines. This physical damage isn’t limited to breaking the TV screen but can also be caused by heat.
If you’ve placed your TV near a heat source such as a fireplace, heater, or radiator, your TV screen will malfunction shortly. This is because electronics are sensitive to heat which can cause them to shut down due to damage to internal components.
Can you Fix Horizontal Lines on your TV Screen?
Yes, they can! Although the reasons for such a display malfunction vary, it might be hard to understand where to start. However, if you follow our guide, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to start. One of these fixes will surely sort the horizontal lines out!
Fix #1: Testing New Cables
If the problem lies in your cables, replacing them is the most obvious and harmless trick. However, if your cables are frayed, damaged, or have possibly suffered heat damage, they can be the root of your problem. Such wiring can include your HDMI cable and the coaxial power cable.
Try using other devices and pairing them with your TV to diagnose where the issue is arising from. Hard drives, USBs, FireStick, and Roku, can be used to test your TV’s compatibility.
Fix #2: Power Cycle Your TV
This is the most obvious yet trustworthy method: shutting your TV down and draining it. Power cycling is a method that fixes most glitches on any device, whether a TV, laptop, or router.
Here’s how you power-cycle your TV:
- Unplug it from the electrical wall socket
- Wait 1-2 minutes
- If the back of your TV is hot to the touch, wait at least 20 minutes before reconnecting.
- While you’re waiting to reconnect, hold down the ‘power’ button on your TV to drain it of any residual power
- Plug it back in
- Try using different applications and different devices to see if the issue resolves.
Fix #3: Picture Test
A picture test is an easy way to carry out troubleshooting on TVs. A picture test is a feature available to help you sort out any distortion or glitches you’re experiencing on display and if the image you’re trying to view on your TV screen is even compatible. It will also indicate whether the damage on your screen is permanent or temporary.
However, this feature is limited to some TV models. For example, Samsung TVs have this inbuilt feature in most of their latest TVs. It can diagnose whether poor settings, connections, or signals cause any spots or lines on your TV.
To carry out a successful picture test, you’ll need to follow the simple instructions mentioned below:
- Visit your TV’s home screen
- Open TV settings
- Select the option for ‘Device Care.’
- Press on the ‘Scan’ option
- Let the scan occur for a few minutes
- Pick the option for ‘Self Diagnosis.’
- Scroll down to select ‘Picture Test.’
- Click on the ‘OK’ option, and the test will start operating
In this period, it will display a test pattern to diagnose any issues with your display. You can also attempt to take out HDMI cables and replug them back in to do the test again. If the problem persists, it indicates serious damage.
If you don’t have the option for a picture test, try following this tutorial to diagnose any display issues on your TV screen.
Fix #4: Update Firmware
Glitches such as horizontal lines can occur if you use an outdated operating system. Most smart TVs need their firmware to be regularly updated to operate smoothly. Every TV model has its method for a quick software update. Follow your TV’s guide and update your firmware. You can also update any applications that you may have to their latest versions.
Samsung provides graphical updates over time, so keep an eye out for those if you have a Samsung TV.
Fix #5: Factory Reset
A factory reset can sort out most software problems in no time. Nonetheless, horizontal lines, glitches, and screen freezes are often caused by bad files. In these cases, factory resettings help eliminate any corrupted applications or files you may have. The only downside to this method is that you’ll lose all of your customized video settings. So ensure to remember those once you’re back to default settings.
If you’ve followed this guide thoroughly, we hope one of the fixes, as mentioned above, worked for you. However, since the causes of the horizontal lines on your TV screen are so varied, it can take time to decipher on your own what would fix them for good.
We recommend contacting your TV’s brand customer support service as a last resort. If you’ve been given a warranty, you can replace it under their specific time constraints.