Adjust your Monitor for better screen resolution in Windows 10/8/7

The screen resolution settings of Windows PC monitor is an important factor to consider while operating a computer. Right screen resolution facilitates the full view of your computer desktop and better display of contents.

By default Windows 10/8/7 selects the best display settings considering screen resolution, monitor refresh rate and color according to your monitor. If there are separate graphics drivers installed on your PC, then you must install the proper and latest drivers also on your system to make its optimum use. The display settings depend on the type of your monitor, the display settings for an LCD or a CRT monitor is different.

Before you begin, create a system restore point so that you can always go back if you do not like the changes.

Adjust your Monitor for better screen resolution

LCD monitors also called flat-panel displays, and currently, they are majorly used. They are far lighter and thinner than bulky CRT monitors, which contain heavy glass tubes. LCD monitors also come in a wider range of shapes and sizes, which include widescreen screens and standard-width screens, with ratios of 16:9 or 16:10 width-to-height for widescreen models and 4:3 for standard-width models. Laptops also use flat-panel displays.

For both LCD and CRT monitors, it’s the dots per inch (DPI) which all matters, the higher it will be, the better and sharper resolution it will give. The resolution you use depends on the resolutions your monitor supports. At higher resolutions, such as 1900 x 1200 pixels, items appear sharper and smaller, so it gives more space on the screen. At lower resolutions, such as 800 x 600 pixels, fewer items fit on the screen.

Windows allows you to increase or decrease the size of text and other items on your screen while keeping your monitor set to its optimal resolution.

The best display settings for an LCD monitor

If you have an LCD monitor, check your screen resolution. It is suggested to keep your Monitor resolution to its native resolution to let it gives you the best display experience.

  1. Right click on the desktop and then select Screen Resolution.
  2. Click the drop-down list next to Resolution. Check for the resolution marked (recommended). This is your LCD monitor’s native resolution—usually the highest resolution your monitor can support.

Adjust your Monitor for better screen resolution

The monitor’s manufacturer or reseller should also be able to tell you the native resolution for your LCD monitor. (CRT monitors don’t have a native resolution.)

An LCD monitor running at its native resolution usually displays text better than a CRT monitor. LCD monitors can technically support lower resolutions than their native resolution, but text won’t look as sharp, and the image might be small, centered on the screen, edged with black, or look stretched.

Read: Fix Font size problem when working with multiple apps.

Resolution based on LCD monitor size

Monitor size Recommended resolution (in pixels)
19-inch standard ratio LCD monitor 1280 × 1024
20-inch standard ratio LCD monitor 1600 × 1200
20- and 22-inch widescreen LCD monitors 1680 × 1050
24-inch widescreen LCD monitor 1920 × 1200
Laptop screen size Recommended resolution (in pixels)
13- to 15-inch standard ratio laptop screen 1400 × 1050
13- to 15-inch widescreen laptop screen 1280 × 800
17-inch widescreen laptop screen 1680 × 1050

Set the color for an LCD monitor

To get the best color displayed on your LCD monitor, make sure to set it to 32-bit color. This measurement refers to color depth, which is the number of color values that can be assigned to a single pixel in an image. Color depth can range from 1 bit (black-and-white) to 32 bits (over 16.7 million colors).

  1. Right click on the desktop and then select Screen Resolution.
  2. Click Advanced settings, and then click the Monitor tab.
  3. Under Colors, select True Color (32 bit), and then click OK.

The right display settings for a CRT monitor

For a CRT monitor, it’s important to change the screen resolution to the highest resolution available that provides 32-bit color and at least a 72-Hertz refresh rate. If the screen is flickering or viewing the screen is uncomfortable, increase the refresh rate until you are comfortable with it. The higher the refresh rate, the less likely there will be any noticeable flicker

Resolution based on CRT monitor size

Monitor size Recommended resolution (in pixels)
15-inch CRT monitor 1024 × 768
17- to 19-inch CRT monitor 1280 × 1024
20-inch and larger CRT monitor 1600 × 1200

Set the color for a CRT monitor

Windows colors and themes work best when you have your monitor set to 32-bit color. You can set your monitor to 24-bit color, but you won’t see all the visual effects. If you set your monitor to 16-bit color, images that should be smooth might not appear correctly.

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select Screen Resolution.
  2. Click Advanced settings, and then click the Monitor tab.
  3. Under Colors, select True Color (32 bit), and then click OK. (If you can’t select a 32-bit color, check that your resolution is as high as possible, and then try again.)

Do remember to always use the best graphics drivers available for your PC – although Windows does have default device drivers in it – but for best results always check support & download section of hardware manufacturer’s website of your device manufacturer. Intel, NVIDIA, and ATI are some well-known names in graphics memory manufacturers list.

This post will help you fix problems after moving to larger Monitor with higher Screen Resolution.

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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.