How to Change the Screen Resolution in Windows

How to increase or decrease your screen resolution

The screen resolution on your monitor will determine the size of text, images, and icons on the screen. Setting the correct screen resolution is important because a screen resolution that is too high results in text and graphics that are too small which could cause unnecessary eyestrain.

On the other hand, using a resolution that is too low results in sacrificing valuable screen real estate because text and images are so large. The trick is finding the resolution that best suits your eyes and monitor.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 7.

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Screen Resolution Settings in the Control Panel

Screen Resolution in right-click menu on Windows 7 desktop

Right-click your computer’s Desktop and select Screen Resolution from the menu that appears. The Screen Resolution window will appear. This setting is part of the Control Panel in Windows 7 and can be accessed from the Control Panel as well.

If you use more than one monitor on your computer, you will have to set the resolution and other options for each monitor individually by selecting the monitor you wish to configure.

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Set the Recommended Resolution

Windows 7 Resolution settings

Select the Resolution drop-down to select a screen resolution that works best for you from the list. Windows 7 will automatically determine the best resolution based on your monitor and will indicate the recommendation with Recommend next to the recommended resolution.

When choosing a resolution for the display, remember that the higher the resolution, the smaller things will appear on the screen, the reverse applies with lower resolutions.

If you think that the recommendation isn’t important, you may want to reconsider. Some monitors, specifically LCDs, have maximum resolutions that look best on the display. If you use a resolution that is not the maximum resolution, images may appear blurry and text will not be displayed correctly, so next time you shop for a monitor, make sure that you choose one with a maximum resolution your eyes can deal with.

If the maximum resolution results in small text and elements on the screen, you may want to consider changing the font size in Windows 7.

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Save the Screen Resolution Changes

Keep Changes button in Screen Resolution window

When you are done changing the screen’s resolution, select OK to save the changes. You may need to confirm the changes. If so, select Keep changes to continue.

If you are uncertain about which resolution to choose, select Apply instead of OK to view the changes. You will have 15 seconds to save the changes before the screen resolution reverts to its original state.

If you are not satisfied with the selected resolution, simply repeat the previous steps to set the resolution that desire.

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