Text Pixelating on Computer Displays?
May 12, 2019 7:34 PM   Subscribe

My computer has picked up an odd habit of temporarily pixelating text (see screenshot). What's going on?

The stats:

* Chrome, most current version.
* HP Pavilion Laptop, about 3-4 years old.
* I've got the most up-to-date version of Malware Bytes and ran that scan, it came up empty.

What happens is: periodically when my computer loads a page, some of the text appears like that screenshot- weird pixelated and incomplete. But when I refresh the page, or sometimes even just run my mouse pointer over it, the text appears in its entirety finally.

What's going on?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I don't have windows but I found this on Google's Support Page.
posted by mundo at 8:38 PM on May 12

That might be an internet connection thing. Are you plugged into the router are you on wifi? Does it happen when your near the router or more when you're farther away?

If you think that might be the problem, reboot the router. You can also get a signal booster if this is happening on wifi when you're not right by it.
posted by ananci at 8:47 PM on May 12

More questions. Does it happen only in the Chrome Browser? Does it also occur in Firefox? Here's another Google Support post . Seems like they fixed it by disabling hardware acceleration under advanced settings in Chrome.
posted by mundo at 8:52 PM on May 12

This seems to be a font rendering issue, most likely a setting in Chrome. This support page with a fix has a screenshot which seems to match yours.

Distorted text in Google Chrome
posted by bluecore at 9:23 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]

Both the Windows and Chrome support pages seem to refer to permanent issues with text display (i.e., it always displays that way). In my case it's only intermittent, and sometimes on only part of a page.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:11 AM on May 13

Frequent intermittent text rendering issues were my first reason for taking a dislike to Chrome. I still use it, but only when I absolutely cannot figure out a way to make Firefox do what I want, and I've seen it render text with much the same broken look as your screenshot (sometimes fixed with a refresh, sometimes not) on both Linux and Windows installations so I don't think there's anything wrong with your computer or your OS; I think it's Chrome.

The first thing I'd try in your shoes is dumping Chrome, but since most people are not me and apparently have more patience for Google shenanigans than I do, you may want to try fiddling with your hardware acceleration settings.

If it's just certain pages that do it and nothing else seems affected, try a full refresh of all page resources instead of the usual page-only refresh.
posted by flabdablet at 4:42 AM on May 13

There are known issues with old Intel graphics drivers and many common web browsers that can cause intermittent corruption like your screenshot.

Try temporary disabling graphics acceleration to see if it's this issue:

Settings -> Advanced (at the very bottom of the page) -> System -> "Use Hardware acceleration where possible" set to off, then restart Chrome. If the problem goes away, it may be a graphic driver issue.

This issue was fixed in later drivers. You can update your drivers on the Intel Graphics website, though be warned, their support of old hardware is appalling.
posted by Eleven at 6:39 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Seconding Eleven; this is probably a graphics driver issue. Try either disabling hardware acceleration or updating your graphics drivers.
posted by Aleyn at 11:21 AM on May 13

I had this issue and a restart fixed it. Never found out the cause. Super odd.
posted by one4themoment at 6:23 PM on May 13

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