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Windows XP - Change Screen Resolution

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to change your screen resolution. You might want to change your screen resolution to improve the display quality on the screen. Increasing or decreasing the screen resolution will also make the screen items smaller or larger.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Change Screen Resolution

Start Menu in Windows XP showing selection of control panel

With your computer logged into Windows you should have the desktop loaded. In the lower left corner of the screen click the 'Start' button. A vertical menu will pop up.

On the right of the pop up start menu are many commonly used items. As pictured 'Control Panel' is one of these items.

Click the 'Control Panel' option on the start menu.

Control Panel selecting Display

The control panel will load showing all of the available settings. You will see an icon for 'Display' which we have highlighted in the picture.

With your mouse, double click the 'Display' icon.

The Display properties window will appear.

Display properties box showing settings tab in Windows XP

You will see five tabs along the top of the display properties window. The fifth one is the 'Settings' tab. Click this tab.

In the preview window at the top of the settings box is what your current resolution looks like. Beneath this preview box you will see a section labelled 'Screen Resolution' and a horizontal slider.

As you can see in our example picture our resolution is set to 1280 x 1024 pixels. This is good standard resolution although will depend on your monitor too.

Display properties box selecting settings and resolution in windows xp

Your monitor will normally have a recommended resolution and a maximum resolution too. As you can see the 1280 x 1024 we have is the furthest right and therfore the maximum our graphic card can produce even if the monitor supported a higher resolution.

Use the slider to change the screen resolution lower or higher. You will see the image in the preview window change as you move the slider left or right.

It is difficult to say what your resolution should be. If you have a fairly square screen (4:3 aspect) then 1280 x 1024 is good.

If you have a widescreen monitor then you will need a resolution to fill the wide areas otherwise the image becomes stretched. 1440 x 900 is not bad for widescreen, the higher the beter the quality.

Once you have selected the correct screen resolution click the 'Ok' button at the bottom of the display properties window.

Next tutorial - Create Desktop Shortcuts

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