The monitor’s screen resolution is often set automatically and adjusted to match the screen size of the device, but the default view may not be correct. In other situations, the user may accidentally change the computer’s screen resolution while working with Windows settings.
In the Windows operating system, screen resolution determines the clarity of images and text displayed on a monitor. When using a high display resolution (such as 1080p or 4K), the items on the screen will appear sharper and smaller so that more items are shown on the screen. In contrast, when using a low resolution (eg 1024 x 800 pixels), you won’t be able to see as many elements on the screen, and they will appear large to you.
Usually, Windows correctly applies the most optimal screen resolution to make elements and text as crisp as possible on your laptop or desktop PC, but sometimes you may need to change this setting manually.
The resolution you can use will always depend on the monitor and graphics card. You can use Windows settings or third party software to change the PC screen resolution to something else.
In this guide, you will learn how to change the screen resolution in Windows in several ways that you can apply on a laptop or desktop PC.
Pay attention to one very important point. You should not change the screen resolution if text or some elements appear small or large to you. You can zoom to change the size of elements or text without changing the screen resolution across the entire Windows operating system or individually. For example, you can change the size of desktop icons, change the scale in the browser or in the Word text editor, in other applications.
How to change screen resolution in Windows 11
First, we will look at how to change the screen resolution in Windows 11 using the operating system settings functionality.
Do the following:
- Press the “Win” + “I” keys to open the Settings app in Windows
- On the System tab, click Display.
- In the “Scale and Layout” section, in the “Screen Resolution” option, you will see the current screen resolution.
- Click on the button with numerical resolution values.
- Select one of the possible resolutions suitable for your computer from the drop-down list.
- Click on the required resolution.
The best choice for your display is the resolution marked “recommended” in brackets, which corresponds to the native resolution of your monitor.
- In the “Save current display settings?” click the “Save” button.
If you do nothing, then after 15 seconds the display settings will return to the previous settings that were on the computer before the changes were applied.
After you complete these steps, the Windows 11 screen resolution will change, and depending on the setting, the items on the screen will become larger and smaller.
How to change screen resolution in Windows 10
Similarly, you can change the screen resolution of your computer in the settings of the Windows 10 operating system.
Consider how to change the screen resolution in Windows 10:
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to “System” and then to “Display”.
- In the “Scale and Layout” section, the “Display Resolution” option displays the current status.
- Set the appropriate resolution.
- In the Save Current Settings? click “Save”.
If you don’t take any action, your changes will be canceled after 15 seconds.
How to set the screen resolution in the properties of the video adapter
On Windows, you can quickly open the settings and change the display settings in the display adapter properties.
Use this instruction:
- You need to right-click on the desktop.
- In the context menu that opens, select the “Display Options” option. In Windows 11, in the first window, you will first need to click on “Show advanced options”.
- In the display settings, under Related settings, click Advanced display settings (Advanced display settings).
- In the new window, click on “Properties of the display adapter for display 1”.
- In the properties window of the video adapter that opens, in the “Adapter” tab, click on the “List of all modes” button.
- The List All Modes window lists all available modes for your monitor.
- Select one of these modes, then click OK.
How to change screen resolution using NVIDIA graphics control
Screen resolution is controlled by the computer’s graphics subsystem’s video adapter. Depending on the manufacturer, your PC may use NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel graphics adapters.
Driver installation includes software for configuring and managing your video adapter. In addition to measuring other parameters, you can use NVIDIA graphics to change the screen resolution of your computer.
Do the following:
- Right-click on an empty space on the screen.
- In the window that opens, click on NVIDIA Control Panel. In Windows 11, first click on the “Show advanced options” item.
- In the NVIDIA Control Panel window, in the sidebar, under Display, select the Change Resolution option.
- By default, the optimal resolution of your monitor is used, opposite which is indicated in brackets – “native”. You can also change the refresh rate here.
- Select another available resolution and then click on the “Apply” button.
- If you need to configure a different resolution, click on the “Settings …” button.
- In the “Settings” window, check the “Enable modes not offered by the display” box, and then click “Create a custom resolution …”.
- Accept the terms and conditions of liability.
- In the Create Custom Permission window, specify a permission that is not present in Windows. When testing a new custom resolution, the display may flicker briefly.
- For Display Mode (as reported by Windows), enter new values for horizontal pixels and vertical lines.
- Click on the “Test” button.
- If the test is successful, in the “Apply Changes” window, you must click on the “Yes” button to save this permission.
If you don’t press the buttons, the current screen resolution will remain on this computer.
Change screen resolution in Intel graphics settings
If your computer has Intel graphics installed, you can use the built-in control panel to change and adjust the screen resolution.
Go through the steps:
- Right-click on the desktop, and in the menu that opens, select “Graphics characteristics …”.
- In the “Intel HD Graphics Control Panel” window for easy settings, you can open the “Display” window to adjust the screen settings in the “Resolution” drop-down menu.
- If you need customization, then close this application window.
- Click again on an empty spot on your desktop.
- In the context menu, first select “Graphics Options”, and then – “Custom Permissions”.
- You will see a warning about the risk of malfunctions and overheating, so make sure you know what you are doing.
- Enter the desired permission settings and click on the “Add” button.
How to change the screen resolution in Windows on the command line
If you want to adjust the screen resolution from the command line, you need to use a third party app. The QRes command line utility allows users to change some monitor settings such as screen resolution, refresh rate, and color depth.
Do the following:
- Download QRes to your computer.
- Unpack the ZIP archive and then place the “QRes” folder in a convenient location.
- Open the folder “QRes”, and in the address bar of the Explorer, type “CMD” and press “Enter” to open the command line in this location.
- In the command prompt window, enter the suggested command with your values to change the screen resolution, and then press “Enter”:
QRes.exe /x:1366 /y:768
The command must contain the path to the QRes.exe file and the supported width (x) and height (y) resolutions in pixels. For example, 1366 x 768, 1440 x 900, 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440 and so on.
- After you complete these steps, the Windows desktop will change to the specified resolution.
Custom Screen Resolution in Custom Resolution Utility
Custom Resolution Utility is an application that changes the screen resolution. Please note that the program does not work with Intel video adapters. It’s also a good idea to stick to the permissions that are usually supported by your device.
The Custom Resolution Utility program is free and does not require installation on a PC, the application is launched from a folder.
Do the following:
- Download the Custom Resolution Utility application from the developer’s web page.
- Once launched, the program will automatically detect your monitor.
- Click the “Add…” button to create a custom permission.
- In the “Standard Resolution” window, you can select one of the proposed resolutions.
- If you click on the “Other resolution” item, then you can specify your screen resolution with the corresponding frequency. Follow basic aspect ratio guidelines to avoid problems.
- When you have finished choosing, run the “restart” or “restart64” file, depending on the bitness of the Windows OS, which are located in the program folder to restart. This action will restart the display adapter and apply your resolution.
If your display stops working, use the “reset-all” executable, which is also located in the program folder, to reset the selected settings.
Possible problems when changing the screen resolution
If you experience screen problems, update or reinstall your graphics drivers. On the official websites of manufacturers: NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, you can select video drivers that are suitable for your computer.
Sometimes, problems happen due to poor quality HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA plugs, adapters or cables.
When adjusting your display settings, you can change your monitor’s resolution to the point where the screen turns off and you can’t see what you’re doing. In this case, you can use the built-in recovery modes of Windows to make your system work again with default settings.
In some situations, the user needs to know how to change the screen resolution on Windows if the wrong resolution is used there. There are several ways to solve the problem by choosing one of the standard modes or setting a custom resolution. You can change the screen resolution using the built-in Windows functions, the device manufacturer’s video adapter control toolbar, the QRes command line tool, the Custom Resolution Utility application.