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How To Change Your Monitor's Resolution
Step by step...

(Actually, you're resizing the Desktop.)

Change to a higher resolution

Optimize your desktop real estate with this exciting tutorial! Exciting? Sure, if you create something that makes your work more productive, and your play more fun!

Let's get to the point. Screen real estate comes in the following flavors, measured in pixels (the tiny dots that create the images you see on your monitor). Here are the sizes from smaller to larger:

  • 640 by 480

  • 800 by 600

  • 1024 by 768

  • 1152 by 864

  • 1280 by 1024

  • 1600 by 1200

The larger your monitor, the more likely it is that you can set it to a higher resolution. To illustrate, a 19 inch monitor can be comfortably run at 1024 by 768. That's 1,024 pixels wide by 768 pixels high.

You can use this resolution on a small 14 inch monitor if your vision is good enough and the monitor is capable.

A good standard is 800 by 600. You'll be able to make changes in resolution when you finish with this tutorial.

 

Step 1. Right click on any blank portion of the desktop and a menu will appear that looks like this. Properties is selected for you in the example below:

Windows for Newbies explains everything

Select and click Properties with the left mouse button. You will see the Display Properties dialog box. It always comes up with the Background tab selected. Here's the picture:

Learn at home at your own speed

 

Step 2. Click on the Settings tab. The Display Properties box changes to look like this:

Smart people use Windows for Newbies

Note: Your computer will probably have a different graphics card installed.

As you can see by reading the screen, you have a few options. Grabbing the slider bar with the mouse pointer and dragging it to the right provides higher resolutions, dragging to the left gives lower resolutions. Your monitor is running at whatever resolution is listed in the Screen area section of the Display Properties dialog box. If it's 640 by 480, change it to at least 800 by 600 by sliding the bar.

The number of colors may be anywhere from 16 to True Color (32 bit), which gives you millions of colors. Here's a picture of what you'll see when you click the Colors drop down box:

Windows for Newbies SHOWS you all the details

Depending on your graphics card, you'll be able to select one of the options. The better your card, the more colors you can display, and the higher resolution you can use. Experiment with this until you find a level that is optimal for you--attempt the highest number of colors with at least 800 by 600 resolution.

 Step 3. Click OK. You'll see the dialog that says "Windows will now resize your desktop. This could take a few seconds, during which your screen could flicker." If Windows is behaving, the statement made in the box will be accurate. The flickering screen is no problem at all.

Step 4. Click OK to accept the proposed change in resolution. You will receive yet another box for your efforts:

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Step 5. Click Yes, and your desktop will be keep its new size. Click No, and your old settings will be restored. And that's all there is to resizing your desktop--also known as changing resolution.  

 

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