Vizio TV Stuck On Wide Mode? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

Unlike old TVs with one aspect ratio available, Vizio TVs offer you several options for viewing programs at the best aspect ratio. Most times, your Vizio TV adjusts the display’s aspect ratio for the best with the program you watch. However, you may experience your Vizio TV getting stuck in the Wide Mode aspect ratio.

If your Vizio TV is stuck in a wide mode aspect ratio, the most common problem is a software glitch, an improper setting in your Vizio TV, or a problem with your Vizio Remote control. Remedying the problem is often corrected by power resetting your TV, adjusting the settings, or troubleshooting your remote control or other accessory devices.

Trying to figure out how to unstick your Vizio TV from wide mode can be confounding. However, with some tips, tricks, and step-by-step help, you may be able to get your Vizio TV up and operating normally once again. Let’s start with the most common and easiest problems that can cause a Vizio TV to stick in wide mode.

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A Little About Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is a set of numbers that tell you the height and width of the pictures shown on your Vizio TV screen. On old-style TV’s the aspect ratio was typically 4:3. The pictures they displayed were almost square.

New Vizio TVs can display a wide range of videos in different aspect ratios. Typically, a Vizio TV has an aspect ratio of 16:9. If you watch a show filmed for the old 4:3 ratio, your Vizio TV will display black bars on either side of the screen.

How Vizio Adapts to Old Aspect Ratios

Your Vizio TV has three options for viewing programs on your TV.

  • NORMAL – This setting will display your program at the aspect ratio it was originally filmed. Your Vizio TV will not try to automatically adjust the aspect ratio.
  • WIDE – This setting on your Vizio TV will stretch 4:3 video content to use the entire screen on your Vizio TV. Usually, this means the picture will stretch to a 16:9 aspect ratio and fill the screen with no black bars on the side. However, this may cause distortions in the video that can make watching a bit distracting.
  • ZOOM – Zoom modes allow you to zoom in on a selected portion of the screen. This can work well with some 4:3 aspect ratio videos but may cut off portions of the video image, leaving you missing some action on the screen.

Under some circumstances, your Vizio TV may attempt to choose the best mode for the video it is receiving. You can adjust the aspect ratio modes on the SYSTEM->ASPECT RATIO menu options.

When Your Vizio TV Seems Stuck on Wide Mode

Several issues could be at work keeping your Vizio TV stuck in wide mode. Let’s begin with the simplest and easiest and work our way to the more challenging problems. Sometimes, the most obvious solutions are the ones we overlook.

Step 1: Start with a Soft Reset

Sometimes a soft reset will unstick your Vizio TV from wide mode. Performing a soft reset is as easy as turning your Vizio TV off, waiting a few seconds, and turning the TV back on. You can use the on/off button on your remote control or on your Vizio TV. It is important to wait 15 to 30 seconds before turning your Vizio TV back on.

Step 2: Is Your Vizio TV Really Stuck in Wide Mode?

Are you sure that the show or the TV channel you are watching is not broadcasting in wide mode? Many alternative channels that routinely show older TV shows created for 4:3 aspect ratios convert the shows to a different aspect ratio for rebroadcast. Your Visor TV may be showing the correct mode for the signal it is receiving.

Try to find a channel that broadcasts these programs in their original format. Your Vizio TV may change to show the original aspect ratio of the program.

Step 3: Check the Settings on your Vizio TV

If you manually selected WIDE MODE in the settings menu, your Vizio TV probably won’t change to show programs in the old 4:3 aspect ratio. To check the settings on your Vizio TV, follow these instructions.

  • Turn on your Vizio TV.
  • Press the MENU button on your Vizio remote control.
  • Locate the SYSTEM label on the MENU screen. Highlight the SYSTEM label and press OK.
  • Move the cursor to highlight the ASPECT RATIO option on this screen and press OK on your remote control.
  • Your Vizio TV will show three options on the screen, NORMAL, WIDE, and ZOOM. Move the cursor to highlight NORMAL and press the OK key. This will force your Vizio TV to show programs at the aspect ratio in which they were created.
  • Exit the MENU and test your Vizio TV for correct operation.

If your Vizio TV continues to show every program in wide mode, there are deeper problems. You likely have a conflict with another device or problems with the firmware that runs your Vizio TV.

Step 4: Perform a Firmware Update on your Vizio TV

You should ensure that your Vizio TV has the latest firmware release installed. You can do this by performing a manual firmware update. Remember that to get firmware updates, you must have your Vizio TV connected to the internet.

  • Turn on your Vizio TV and press the V key on your Vizio Remote. The V button looks like a letter V with a small arrow pointing down in the middle of the letter V.
  • From the menu that is displayed on your Vizio TV, select SYSTEM by highlighting the SYSTEM option and pressing OK
  • The first option on the next screen that is displayed should be the CHECK FOR UPDATES item. Highlight this option and press the OK button.
  • Your Vizio TV may prompt you to confirm that you want to perform an update scan. Confirm that you want to perform an update.

Your Vizio TV will start communicating with the Vizio Update website to determine if your Vizio TV has the latest firmware installed. If an update is needed, you will be asked again to confirm the installation. After you confirm, the download and installation will start. This may take several minutes, so be patient.

Your Vizio TV may stop and restart several times. This is normal. You will see a confirmation screen when the update process is completed successfully. Exit back to normal operation and check if your Vizio TV is still stuck in wide mode.

Step 5: Check for Conflicts with Accessory Devices

Many accessory devices such as cable boxes, satellite receivers and DVD players have aspect ratio settings that can conflict with your Vizio TV settings. Different devices and different manufacturers have different approaches to these settings. The variety is too diverse to provide a universal set of instructions for solving a device conflict.

Your best alternative is to consult the user’s manual for each device. The user’s manual will have information and instructions to properly set the aspect ratio features on the device to work best with your Vizio TV.

Step 6: Perform a Factory Reset on your Vizio TV

If your Vizio TV continues to be stuck in wide mode, you may need to perform a factory reset. This is almost a last-ditch effort. A factory reset will put every setting on your Vizio TV back as they were when the TV left the factory. All your settings and other additional information will be gone.

To perform a factory reset on your Vizio TV< follow these directions.

  • Turn on your Vizio TV using the remote control or the on/off button on the TV
  • Press the Vizio/Menu button on your remote control.
  • Select the SYSTEM option on the displayed menu screen.
  • Highlight the RESET & ADMIN option on the menu that is displayed. Press OK to select this option
  • Locate and highlight the RESET TV TO FACTORY DEFAULT menu item. Press OK and then follow the on-screen instructions exactly.
  • Wait for your Vizio TV to turn itself off and then back on. You should see the original SETUP APP that will lead you through the setup steps like your Vizio TV was brand new.

Hopefully, performing a factory reset will unstick your Vizio TV from wide mode. If the problem persists, there may be issues with the video control board or the main control board in your Vizio TV.

Step 7: Time for the Professional

Once you have exhausted the other possible remedies for your Vizio TV that is stuck in the wide mode, you are left with one option. Calling in a trained Vizio service technician is the best alternative at this point.

More than likely, if the problem persists, the video controller board or the main controller board are the culprits. Repairing or replacing one of these components is best left to a professional service technician.

A service technician can advise you on the best options and how much they cost. If your Vizio TV is still in warranty, the service technician can also help you navigate the warranty claims process.

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Getting Your Vizio TV Unstuck

The ultimate goal is always to have your Vizio TV operating at peak performance. When a glitch occurs, such as a Vizio TV stuck in wide mode, you want to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Hopefully, our tips and tricks will help you find the problem and apply the necessary fix.

Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

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