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How to Improve Screen Resolution on Windows Vista

written by: •edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 7/6/2009

This is a brief outline of how to change the screen resolution in windows Vista.

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    Adjust Resolution

    Increasing screen resolution can make things clearer and sharper on the screen. It will also make things look smaller so you can fit more on the desktop. Lowering the resolution will do the opposite, making everything larger.

    Choosing which resolution to use is purely based on your needs. There is no hard and fast rule here – just because you can have high resolutions, doesn’t mean you have to use them. The best way to decide is to try each resolution and see which one fits your eyesight, screen placement and environment.

    The screen resolution you can have depends on your display and your hardware. To find out, you can right click on the desktop and choose Personalize, then Display settings. Another dialog window will appear with a screen and a slider bar. The left end of the bar is the minimum resolution your screen or display adapter can cope with, and the right is the highest resolution it can handle.

    Move the slider until the screen display looks how you want it to look and then click Apply. For the best screen leave “Colors’ as ‘Highest (32bit).”


    If the desired screen resolution isn’t displayed, you need to click the Advanced Settings button to access a different set of options. In the new window there should be a monitor tab, open this and remove the check from the “Hide modes that this monitor cannot display” box.

    When you return to the Display Settings window there should be more settings you can select from the slider bar. By default Windows Vista doesn’t display screen resolutions if it doesn’t think your hardware can display them. Unfortunately it doesn’t always get it right, so a little intervention in needed.

    As a rule of thumb, a recent LCD screen will natively support the following resolutions.

    • 14 to 15” – 1024x768
    • 17 to 19” – 1280x1024
    • 20 to 23” – 1600x1200
    • 24” or more1900x1200

    The other side of the equation is the display adapter. If your adapter cannot support a particular resolution, it will not be accessible through the process above. The only way to change that is to upgrade the graphics card.