How to Change Your Netbook's Screen Resolution

Get 1024x768 or Higher Resolution on Your Netbook via This Registry Hack

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Many netbooks come with a default 1024x600 pixel (or similar) small screen resolution, which can cause problems in some apps or a lot of awkward scrolling.

If you want to increase the amount of screen real estate you have on your netbook or be able to use apps that require higher-resolution displays, like the Metro-style apps in Windows 8, you might be able to make a registry change to get options for higher resolutions.

Note: If you just want to make a regular change to your screen resolution in Windows, through Control Panel and not the registry, see How to Change the Screen Resolution in Windows.

How to Make the Registry Change

This registry change is pretty straightforward and shouldn't be hard to do. See How to Add, Change, & Delete Registry Keys & Values if you need to familiarize yourself with the inner workings of the Windows Registry.

Important: This registry tweak has been known to cause a BSOD depending on the particular graphics card you have installed. I highly recommend that you make a backup of the registry just in case something goes wrong, after which you can restore the registry file to undo the changes.

  1. Open the registry editor with the regedit command, either in the Run dialog box, Start menu, or Command Prompt.
  2. Scroll up on the left pane to make sure you are at the very top of the tree.
  3. Use the Edit > Find... menu to search for Display1_DownScalingSupported.

    If you don't find this registry key, you can add it in yourself. To do this, make a new DWORD value through the Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value menu, in each of these locations (you may not have all of these):
     
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Current Control Set\Control\Class\{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0000
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Current Control Set\Control\Class\{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0001
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Current Control Set\Control\Class\{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0002

    On the Lenova S10-3T, you might find the key in these places:
     
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Video\(154229D9-2695-4849-A329-88A1A7C4860A\0000
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\(154229D9-2695-4849-A329-88A1A7C4860A)\0000
  1. For each instance of that key (which is likely two or three), change the value (or set the value if you've just made the key) from 0 to 1. Make sure you do this for every instance of the key, otherwise, the hack will most likely not work.
  2. Once done, restart the computer.

When your PC restarts, and you go to change the resolution, you should now see options for 1024x768 and 1152x864 resolutions for your netbook, in addition to any previous resolutions.

Note: Changing the default screen resolution on your netbook will most likely make it look a bit stretched out. You can try going into the advanced display properties for the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (assuming you have an Intel GMA), where you have an option to set the aspect ratio to "maintain aspect ratio."

This has never seemed to work or apply for me but it's still worth a shot.