Change Your Netbook's Screen Resolution in the Registry

Get 1024x768 or higher resolution with this registry hack

Casual business, Shot at creative architect office
Klaus Vedfelt/Taxi/Getty Images

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, one option is to make a registry change to get options for higher resolutions.

If your Netbook's native resolution is 1024x600, increasing it above this by using this registry tweak will result in the quality of appearance will be lower—but at least those apps requiring higher resolution can be displayed.

Make sure you need to make this change to your registry before doing it. First, try changing your screen resolution in Windows through Control Panel to see if higher resolutions are available. If not, you can make these registry changes detailed below to make force a higher resolution option to be available.

How to Make the Registry Change

Tinkering with your system registry is an action you should do carefully. You have probably heard warnings about the risks of altering up your registry, and these are valid—you don't want to play around in your registry without knowing what you're doing. However, this registry change is pretty straightforward and not complex.

This registry tweak has been known to conflict with some systems' graphics cards and may cause a blue screen of death (BSOD) error. Make sure you backup your registry!

Backup Your Registry!

We highly recommend that you make a backup of the registry just in case something goes wrong. If it does, 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.

    Run command in Windows
    Clayton Kroh
  2. Scroll to the top of the left pane to make sure you are at the very top of the registry tree.

  3. In the top menu, click EditFind. In the search field, enter Display1_DownScalingSupported. The search may take a while to complete.

    Search field within Windows Regedit
    Clayton Kroh

    If this registry key is missing, see the next section below on how to add it.

  4. Select Display1_DownScalingSupported in the right pane.

    Select the registry key Display1_DownScalingSupported
    Clayton Kroh 
  5. Click Edit > Modify (you can also simply double-click the key name) and in the Value data field change the 0 to a 1.

    Change the registry key value from 0 to 1
     

    Make sure you do this for every instance of the key you found during your search, otherwise the hack most likely will not work.

  6. 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.

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.

If the Registry Key Is Missing

If you don't find this registry key in step 3 above, you can add it yourself. You will need to make the new Display1_DownScalingSupported DWORD value in each registry key location below.

  1. For the first key, navigate down through the registry by going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Class > {4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} > 0000.

    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
  2. In the top menu, click Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    Menu selections for adding DWORD Value
    Clayton Kroh
  3. Where New Value #1 appears in the right pane, change the name to Display1_DownScalingSupported and tap Enter.

    Entering the name of the newly created key
    Clayton Kroh 
  4. With Display1_DownScalingSupported selected, tap Enter again. In the window that opens, set Value data to 1.

  5. Repeat the previous steps for each of the following additional locations if they exist (not all of these may be present), changing all values to 1.

    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
  6. Restart the computer. Now, go into Display settings, and under Resolution change the setting to a higher resolution.