How to Change the Screen Resolution of Displays in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
The screen resolution setting determines how much information is displayed on the screen. It is measured horizontally and vertically in pixels. At lower screen resolutions, such as 640 x 480, fewer items will fit on the screen, but they will appear larger. At higher resolutions, such as 1600 x 1200, more items will fit on the screen but they will appear smaller. The resolution modes will vary with each computer based on the video card device, monitor size, and video & monitor drivers. If the screen looks distorted or fuzzy, then you may have an incorrect screen resolution size set for the monitor.


This tutorial will show you how to change the screen resolution of each separate display (monitor/screen) for all users in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

It is recommended to set a monitor to it's native resolution to get the best display on it.

Note   Note
Table of Common Native Resolutions of Screens

LCD/LED Monitor Screen Size Native Resolution
14-15 inch 1024 x 768
17-19 inch 1280 x 1024
20-23 inch 1600 x 1200
24 + inch 1900 x 1200
17-18 inch Widescreen 1280 x 800
19 inch Widescreen 1440 x 900
20-23 inch Widescreen 1680 x 1050
24-29 inch Widescreen 1920 x 1080 to 1920 x 1200
30 + inch Widescreen 1920 x 1080 to 2560 x 1600
Laptop Screen Size Native Resolution
13-15 inch 1400 x 1050
13-15 inch Widescreen 1280 x 800
17 inch Widescreen 1680 x 1050
Tablet Screen 1366 x 768

warning   Warning

  • Windows 8 does not allow each user to have their own screen resolution settings. Changing the screen resolution while signed in any user account will change it for all users.
  • If you have more than one display, then they will each need to be set to Extend desktop to this display instead of a duplicate option to be able to set a separate screen resolution per display.
  • To access the Windows Store and to download and run modern apps, you need an active internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.






OPTION ONE
To Change Screen Resolution of Displays in Screen Resolution Settings

1. Do step 2 or 3 below for how you would like to open Screen Resolution.


2. Right click or press and hold on an empty area on your desktop, click/tap on Screen resolution, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

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3. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Display icon.

A) Click/tap on the Change display settings link in the left pane, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

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4. Select a display (ex: monitor) that you want to change the screen resolution of. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If needed, you can click/tap on the Identify button to have the display number briefly appear on each display to help know which one to select.

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5. Do step 6 or 7 below for how you would like to change the screen resolution of the selected display.

6. To Select Only a Screen Resolution

A) In the Resolution drop down menu, select a screen resolution that you want for the selected display, click/tap on Apply, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: It is recommneded to use the native resolution of the display. The native resolution will be the one with (Recommended) next to it. This will usually be the highest resolution that the display can support.

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7. To Select a Display Mode with Screen Resolution in Advanced Settings

A) Click/tap on the Advanced settings link. (see screenshot below)

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B) In the Adapter tab, click/tap on the List All Modes button. (see screenshot below)

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C) Select a display mode that you want for the selected display, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

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D) Click/tap on Apply, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 7B)

8. If the selected screen resolution or display mode looks good to you, then click/tap on Keep changes. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If not, then you could either click/tap on Revert or wait 15 seconds to undo the screen resolution change to go back to what the screen resolution was prior to changing it.

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9. When finished, click/tap on OK in the Screen Resolution window to close it. (see screenshot below step 4)






OPTION TWO
To Change Screen Resolution of Displays in PC settings

NOTE: This option is only available in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.

1. Open PC settings, and click/tap on PC & devices on the left side. (see screenshot below)

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2. Click/tap on Display on the left side of PC & devices. (see screenshot below)

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3. At the top on the right side, select a display (ex: monitor) that you want to change the screen resolution of. (see screenshot below step 2)
NOTE: If needed, you can click/tap on the Identify link to have the display number briefly appear on each display to help know which one to select.

4. On the right side under Resolution: (current resolution), move the slider left or right to select the screen resolution that you want for the selected display. (see screenshot under step 2)

5. On the right side, click/tap on the Apply button. (see screenshot under step 2)

6. If the selected screen resolution or display mode looks good to you, then click/tap on Keep changes. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If not, then you could either click/tap on Revert or wait 15 seconds to undo the screen resolution change and go back to what the screen resolution was prior to changing it.

Click image for larger version

7. If you like, repeat steps 2 to 6 for any other display you wish to change the screen resolution of.

8. When finished, you can close PC settings if you like.




That's it,
Shawn