Change Screen Resolution On the Fly

Ever wish you could change the resolution of your monitor on the fly?

Sometimes web pages are built with such small font or images that they may not be readable on your monitor. Or, if you are building a web page yourself you should check the page in different resolutions to see how others with different resolutions will see your page.

There are plugins and programs you can download to do this but there is also an easy way to change screen resolution on the fly in Windows.

To Change Screen Resolution on the Fly in Windows

  1. Minimize the browser window and all other windows you have open by clicking the minus button in the top right of each window. You could also right click each open window’s name in the taskbar (usually across the bottom of the screen) and select Minimize.
  2. Right click any blank area of your desktop.
  3. Select Properties from the list that appears. If you are using Windows 7, select screen resolution.
  4. Select the Settings tab (far right tab). Skip if using Windows 7, you are already on the right screen.
  5. For thoss using Windows version prior to Windows 7:

    In the bottom left is a section called Screen Resolution that contains a sliding rule. Left click the indicator and slide it. This changes the resolution of your monitor.

    Sliding it to the right will decrease the resolution (make things appear bigger on the screen and less of the web page is visible).

    Sliding the indicator to the right will increase the resolution (make things appear smaller and more of the web page is visible).

    Windows 7

    If you are using Windows 7 there is a drop down list of which resolution settings your monitor supports.

    Select a different setting. Higher set of numbers makes the items on the screen seem smaller. Lower set of numbers makes things bigger on the screen.

  6. Click Apply.

    The screen will flicker and the resolution will be adjusted.

  7. Left click the browser name in the taskbar and the browser window will maximize.

Pretty easy isn’t it.

Changing the resolution back to your original settings or experimenting further is just as easy. Just follow the instructions above and make your changes.

If you clicked the Apply button as you changed the resolution the Display Properties dialog box will still be open. Just slide the indicator either left or right to adjust.

When you are finished experimenting click the Ok button to set the resolution and close the Display Properties dialog box.

Revised: February 23, 2012

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4 Responses to “ Change Screen Resolution On the Fly ”

  1. Pat Geary says:

    Great Tip. I have a show desktop icon to my quick launch bar that makes the desktop readily accessible.

  2. Eric says:

    I hate to make the comparision but within Unix there is a key combination which will allow you to change your screen resolution ‘on-the-fly’

    Like Ctrl-Alt-+ or – anyways, it’s a PITA when you change your screen from a 30 in’ LCD to a 19in’ LCD because the screen went bad, and you have no way to change the resolution without rebooting the machine into Windows VGA mode. If it had an ‘on-the-fly’ resolution hot-key, there would have been no need of rebooting the computer.

  3. Raymond J. says:

    This was a great step by step guide. Thanks a lot. I might give you a link from my computer help website, so I can give my visitors some great content. Thanks for posting. – Ray J. from Mobilt BredbĂ„nd

  4. [...] handle a higher resolution. If it can't then you have to ask someone to test for you. Try this: Change Screen Resolution On the Fly Write down what you had it at before you changed it. If you are using Windows 7, this method will [...]

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