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Games Running Amuck on Your XP?

written by: Thomas P. Walton•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 12/15/2008

Quickly bring sanity and order back to your computer screen resolution. If you’ve played games on XP, then you should read on to learn how to fix your screen resolution.

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    Resolution Distorted!

    Have you ever had trouble with your computer acting quirky after playing a video game? Certainly! You have had the experience of witnessing your Windows screen go from normal to an eight hundred by six hundred pixel screen. It is as if Godzilla’s spawn were populating your computer with monster sized icons! This is common, and it isn’t anything too serious to worry about. But if you’re planning on doing some serious work after playing a few rounds of your favorite shooter game, it is a good idea to just go ahead and restart the operating system. If you’re in a hurry to check your email in between games, then you might have trouble with your screen display. Aside from restarting your Windows session, the next best thing that you can do is reset your screen resolution back to normal.

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    Resetting Windows XP Resolution

    Right-click anywhere on the desktop background with your mouse. A side-out menu will appear next to your mouse pointer.

    Select “Properties” from the side-out menu. A window will open on your screen. This is the Display Properties Window.

    Click on the tab labeled “Settings”.

    On the settings screen you will see a label reading “Screen Resolution” just above a slider bar. Under the slider bar is the number of pixels for your screen resolution. If your screen is distorted after playing a video game, then the resolution here will read 800 by 600 pixels. Simply slide the bar to reset your resolution.

    Standard resolution is about 1024 by 768 pixels, particularly for wide screen laptops running Windows XP. For higher resolution, slide the bar all the way to the right. The highest resolution will read 1280 by 800 pixels, and it is a good resolution for reading very crisp text/ fonts on the screen, though you may have to zoom-in to read documents in Microsoft Word. The typical setting is 1024 x 768 or higher.

    Click the Apply button to test the new resolution. After a moment the screen will go through a brief transition. If you are happy with what you see, click on the OK button to accept the changes to your screen resolution.