HBO Max Black, Blue, Grey Bars

HBO Max Black, Blue, Grey Bars On TV Screen – Reasons & Fixes

Are you wondering why the HBO Max app is showing black, blue, or grey bars on any of your TV screen corners while watching a show or movie on the streaming platform?

In this article, you’ll learn why these bars pp up on the corners of your TV screen and how to get rid of them without much effort. 

Why is my HBO Max not full screen?

  • Resolution mismatch between the TV and HBO Max app.
  • Outdated HBO Max app or the Smart TV firmware.
  • App or TV temporarily glitching.
  • Incorrect Picture or Display settings on the TV.
  • Corrupt HBO Max app installation files.

How do I get rid of the black and grey bars when I watch a movie?

1. Change the TV Resolution

The resolution settings on your TV might not be compatible with the content playing on Max, resulting in black/blue/grey bars or a cropped display. 

So, try adjusting the TV resolution to the one on the app, i.e.,1080p, with these steps:

  • Press “Menu” on the remote supplied with your TV.
  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Look for the “Display/Picture” settings.
  • Select “Advanced Display Settings.”
  • Select “Output Resolution” or “Resolution.”
  • Choose “1080p 60Hz.”
  • Press “OK or Enter” on the TV remote to confirm.
  • Exit the settings menu, launch HBO Max, and see if the issue persists.

2. Configure the TV Display or Picture Settings

Another solution to make the HBO Max eliminate corner bars on your TV is configuring the display size setting or aspect ratio. To do this:

  • Press “Menu/Home/Smart Hub” on your TV remote.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Choose “Picture.”
  • Go to “Picture Size Settings.”
  • Select “Picture Size.”
  • Choose “Custom.”
  • Select “Auto Wide.”

The Auto Wide feature is unavailable on some TVs, but you can play with the Aspect ratio settings for streaming HBO Max in full screen. For this:

  • Press the “Menu” button.
  • Select “Picture.”
  • Choose “Aspect Ratio.”
  • Select the desired aspect ratio, “16:9” or “Original,” and see if this fixes the issue.

3. Force Stop the HBO Max App

Sometimes, temporary glitches on HBO Max cause the app to malfunction and display windowed content on your TV.

To fix this, force stop the HBO Max app on your TV this way:

  • Open TV “Settings.” 
  • Select “Apps/Applications”
  • Choose HBO Max.
  • Select “Force Stop.”
  • Press “OK” on the remote supplied with your TV. 

You can also force-stop the HBO Max app by restarting your TV this way:

  • Press the “Power” button on the front panel of your TV to turn it off. 
  • Unplug the TV cable from the primary power supply unit. 
  • Wait 30-60 minutes for the TV system to refresh. 
  • Plug the TV back into the mains and press the “Power” button again to turn it on.

Now try streaming movies and TV shows and verify the content is displayed in a wide mode without seeing black or grey bars.

4. Clear the HBO Max App Cache Data

The next solution is to clear HBO Max cache data to remove any corrupt temporary data files, leading the app to display content in windowed mode with restrictive viewing bars on the TV. Here’s how:

  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Select “Apps.”
  • Choose “HBO Max.”
  • Select “Clear Cache.”
  • Select “Clear Data” and check if the HBO Max is in full screen now. 

5. Update the HBO Max App

Using an outdated HBO Max app version can also result in limited screen display problems due to compatibility issues with your TV.

So, check for any available updates for the app and install them with these steps: 

  • Press “Home/Quick Settings” on the TV remote.
  • Highlight “HBO Max.”
  • Press & hold “Select” on your TV remote.
  • Select “View Details.”
  • Choose “Update” and confirm the action.

Now, open HBO Max, sign in to your account, and verify the fix. 

The steps to update HBO Max might differ based on the make and model of your Smart TV. 

TIP: Reinstalling HBO Max on your TV can help remove any corrupt or outdated installation files that often lead to display issues.  

6. Update the TV Firmware

Outdated firmware on your TV sometimes also interferes with the Max app functionality, resulting in black or grey bars on the screen. To avoid this, update your TV firmware in the following way: 

  • Access “Settings.”
  • Go to “Support.”
  • Select “Update Now.”
  • Afterward, open “HBO Max,” and hopefully, your content will display on full screen now.

7. Factory Reset the SmartTV

If updating the TV firmware did not fix the issue, factory reset it. Here’s how:

  • Access TV “Settings.”.
  • Select “Device Preferences” or “General.”
  • Choose “Reset” and type in your PIN if prompted. 
  • Select “Factory Reset.”
  • Select “Erase Everything.”
  • Reinstall the HBO Max app, and the content should start to display while filling the whole screen.


This article discussed why the HBO Max app shows black, blue, or grey bars on your TV screen and explored 7 tried and tested solutions to regain control of your viewing experience.

We hope these hacks help you get back to enjoying your favorite HBO Max content without viewing restrictions. If the problem persists, contact HBO Max or your TV manufacturer’s customer support to report the problem for further troubleshooting.