The term “resolution” indicates the number of pixels that can be displayed in a specific unit like dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI). However, when it comes to computer world, it indicates the total number of pixels a monitor can show horizontally and vertically. For example, 1920 x 1080 means, a monitor can display 1920 pixels in horizontal direction and 1080 pixels in vertical direction. There are different standard display resolutions available for Windows computers depending upon the manufacturer. If you are struggling with setting up proper display resolution for your Windows computer, here are some suggestions to fix the issue.
Screen Resolution Problems in Windows Computer
Correct display resolution is important to view the content properly on your screen. Whether you are using a compact laptop or a wide desktop computer, the screen resolution problem can be caused due to many factors. In most cases, the problem comes due to wrong resolution or scaling in Windows settings. However, it could also be due to hardware problems in your monitor. You will notice one or multiple below symptoms when you have screen resolution problems.
- Display going out of the screen and not fitting the monitor width
- Too small or too big icons and text making it difficult to read
- Blurred display distorting the text content in the apps
- Flickering of the screen and crashing of apps
Follow the below options to check and fix the screen resolution problems in Windows 11 based computers.
1. Change Display Resolution Settings
When the monitor display does not work, screen resolution pixels is the first thing you should check.
- Right-click on the desktop and select “Display settings” option.
- This will open Windows Settings app and go to “System” section from sidebar.
- Go to “Scale & layout” section on the right pane and click the “Display resolution” dropdown.
- You will see a list of options and select the screen resolution size marked as recommended in the bracket for your computer model.
- If you are changing the resolution, Windows will instantly show the preview and give you 15 seconds to decide whether you want to keep the selected option or revert back to previous state. Check the display and decide your action based on the result.
Remember, smaller laptops need higher display resolution like 2160 x 1440 pixels. However, you can change to 1920 x 1080 pixels to adjust the screen display comfortable for you.
2. Check Scaling
If the screen display resolution does not fix your problem, the next thing to check is the scaling setting. This helps to adjust text size and app windows within the display.
- You can find “Scale” option just above the “Display resolution” option in the Settings app.
- Click the dropdown and select the recommended option for your computer.
- The scaling options are available between 100% to 225% with 25% incremental range. If you want to set some other custom scaling value, then simply click on the “Scale” option instead of selecting from the dropdown. This will open “Custom scaling” option where you can enter any value between 100% to 500%.
Windows will instantly apply your selection which you can check and decide whether you want to keep the changes or try another scaling option.
3. Change List Mode
Instead of changing the display resolution, you can also try to change the “List Mode” in Windows 11.
- When you are in “System > Display” section of the Settings app, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Advanced display” option.
- On the next screen, select your display that has a problem. If you are using single monitor then it will be always showing “Display 1” Internal Display”. In case if you are using multiple monitors, make sure to select the monitor that has screen resolution problem.
- After selecting the correct display, click on the “Display adapter properties for Display x” link in “Display Information” section.
- This will open monitor and graphics adapter’s properties dialog box. Make sure you are in “Adapter” tab and click on “List All Modes” button.
- You will the complete list of display modes available and change the mode to different one. Click “OK” and then “Apply” to save your changes.
Windows will apply the changes and prompt you with a pop-up to keep the changes or revert back to previous state. Test different modes to decide which mode helps to fix your screen resolution problem.
4. Update Graphics Card Driver
The next option is to update the driver for your graphics card. Sometimes, this can affect your display if the latest driver is not compatible with your monitor. Therefore, make sure to keep a copy of your current driver from the manufacturer before you update to the latest version.
- As explained above, open the monitor and graphics card properties dialog box.
- This time click the “Properties” button under “Adapter” tab.
- This will open the properties of your graphics card. Go to “Driver” tab and click “Update Driver” button.
- Windows will show two options to update your graphics card driver. If you have the latest driver files, then choose “Browse my computers for drivers” and update the driver manually. Otherwise, click on the “Search automatically for drivers” option to get the latest version from online.
After updating graphics card driver, restart your computer and check if that helped to fix your screen resolution problems.
5. Check DPI Settings for App
If you have problem with a specific app, then follow the below instructions to check the DPI settings.
- Locate the problematic app’s application (.exe) or shortcut file in File Explorer. You can use Windows Search to open the file location of the app easily.
- Right-click on the shortcut or application and open its properties.
- Go to “Compatibility” tab and click on “Change high DPI settings” button.
- Enable the option under “Program DPI” and select “I open this program” option from the dropdown.
- Similarly, enable “High DPI scaling override” option and select “Application” from the dropdown.
- Click “OK” button to apply your changes.
Relaunch the app and check if the text and display are aligned properly on the screen. If you have any problem, go back to DPI settings and disable the options to revert back the app display to previous state.
6. Update App and Windows
Sometimes a specific app or Windows OS can have bug affecting your monitor display. In such case, updating the app and Windows OS to latest version will help to fix your problem. For app updates, follow the instructions for individual app like updating from online or from Microsoft Store. Follow the below instructions to update Windows OS:
- Right-click on Start button and select “Settings” option.
- When you are in Settings app, go “Windows Updates” option from the left sidebar.
- Click “Check for updates” button to find if there are any latest Windows versions available for update.
- If you find an update, click “Download & install” button to update your Windows OS.
Note: Major Windows updates can bring lot of new features as well as modify existing features. Therefore, make sure to check the check the details from Microsoft site before updating your computer to avoid unnecessary problems.
7. SFC Scan
In rare cases, corrupted files in your system can cause unexpected problems like affecting the display. In this case, you can try to scan all files and repair them using a default Windows command.
- Right-click on Start menu icon and select “Terminal (Admin)” option. Alternatively, press “Win + X” shortcut keys and select “Terminal (Admin)” option.
- If you are not in the Command Prompt app, press “Control + Shift + Space” shortcut keys in Terminal app and select “Command Prompt” option from the dropdown.
- Type sfc /scannow and press enter key.
- Wait for the system to complete the scanning and repairing process.
Now, check if that helped to fix your screen resolution problems.
8. Other Considerations
Below are some of the additional considerations for fixing screen resolution related issues:
- Video Resolution – if you are struggling with video resolutions, then most video streaming apps/sites offers custom function for selecting the resolution. For example, you can right-click on YouTube videos and select your preferred resolution.
- Dark Mode, Night Mode and Custom Colors – do not confuse with screen resolution with modes available in Windows. If you wrongly setup night mode, dark mode or applied custom colors, reset back from Settings app to use default display options.
- Hardware Problems – you can easily find hardware problems when you notice flickering lines running through the monitor display or shadows appear on the edges. In these cases, you may need to get support from the manufacturer.
In most cases, display resolution and scaling settings help to fix screen resolution problems in Windows 11 computers. If that does not help, you can try other options explained above. If none of the suggestions helped to fix your problem, then you may need to contact your laptop/desktop reseller to get support.