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How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Your display’s resolution determines the size of text and objects on your screen. By default, your Mac automatically uses the best resolution for the display. While it’s best to use the default resolution, you can manually set the resolution to make text and objects appear larger on your screen, or adjust it to make text and objects appear smaller so you have more space on your screen.

Set the resolution for your primary display

On your Mac, choose Apple menu

> System Preferences, then click Displays .

Select Scaled, then select one of the options.

Set the resolution for a connected display

If you have more than one display, additional resolution options are available after the display is connected.

On your Mac, choose Apple menu

> System Preferences, click Displays , then click Display Settings.

Select your display in the sidebar, then do one of the following, depending on your display:

Click the Scaled pop-up menu, then choose a scaled resolution for the display.

Choose Scaled, then select the resolution you want to use.

You can select “Show all resolutions” to see additional resolutions for the display.

Depending on how you adjust the resolution, some app windows may not fit entirely on the screen. Using a scaled resolution may affect performance.

Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password’s blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple. Read more.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

You can change the display resolution of your Mac to make text larger or gain more space. There are some predefined scaled resolutions available, but you can get more granular control over your display’s resolution.

Normally a Mac will run its display at the resolution Apple believes is best. There are also four or five different options—depending on your Mac and display and highlighted below—that provide different outcomes. They’re fine, but they’re options to make text bigger or your desktop larger without using the number-based resolutions we all understand. But if you do some digging, you can get some real control over your display by making actual resolutions available to you.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Why is Display Resolution Important?

A display’s resolution is the number of pixels available both horizontally and vertically. A 4K display has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, or 3840 pixels horizontally, and 2160 pixels vertically.

How much information you can see on-screen at any given time is governed by its resolution. Higher resolutions mean that more things can be shown on-screen. Those things could be windows, icons, photos, or text in a document. Because of the larger resolution, however, that also means all on-screen elements are smaller, which is something else to consider.

Larger displays usually also have higher resolutions than smaller ones, especially if they are of good quality.

What Makes Retina, Retina?

The direct link between how many pixels a display has and how much space is available on-screen is broken by Apple’s use of Retina displays. Apple defines a Retina display as one whose pixel density is so high that your eyes can’t see individual pixels when you’re sitting at a reasonable viewing distance.

For you, that means a tack sharp image. And it’s also where scaling comes into effect.

An excellent example of how Retina displays change the way we think of resolutions is the 5K 27-inch iMac with a resolution of 5120 x 2880. You would expect everything to be tiny at that resolution, but because macOS scales everything up, it’s not. Everything looks great because of the high resolution, but because it’s scaled, you can still read it.

Scaling works by taking something that would typically use a single pixel and making it use multiples of two instead. That allows a larger display resolution to be used without shrinking on-screen items to the point of being difficult to see. It also gives you the flexibility of using a display’s native resolution at all times.

Some scaling options are made available by default, and they get the job done. But they’re vague, and there’s a way to select a more precise resolution.

Why Selecting a Resolution Might be Important

If you need to know precisely which resolution you are using, the scaled options won’t cut it. Some apps and games might need specific resolutions to be used, for example.

When selecting a precise resolution, there are more options available than the default ones your Mac shows you. That can be super useful if you have particular needs that aren’t catered for typically.

How to Select a Precise Resolution

There might be times where you want full control over the resolution of your Mac’s display. You can override macOS’s scaling and go back to the old resolution-to-size ratio instead.

Click the Apple logo at the top of the screen and then click “System Preferences.”

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

The Displays preference panel shows the four scaled resolution options, but no actual resolutions. Hold the Option key and click “Scaled” to see them.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Click a resolution to apply it.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Your Mac’s display will refresh, and you can close System Preferences.

Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast. Read more.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

The resolution (in pixels by pixels) of your Mac’s display determines how much information you can fit on screen and how sharp the image is, so it’s important to know. If you run a full-screen game or application at native resolution, the image will look its best, so here’s how to find out what it is.

First, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, and select “About This Mac.”

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

In the window that pops up, click the “Displays” tab.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

On the next screen, you will see information about the display (or displays) you have built-in or attached to your Mac.

The screen resolution is the set of numbers listed in parenthesis just after the size of the display. For example, the listing here says “27-Inch (2560 x 1440)” which means that the Mac in this image has a 27-inch display with a 2560 x 1140 pixel resolution.

(Note that “About This Mac” always show the native (ideal) resolution of the display regardless of the resolution settings in System Preferences.)

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

If you have more than one display attached to your Mac, you will see all of them in this window. Here’s an example. With an external display, you’ll find its native resolution listed just under its name.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Now that you know your display’s native resolution, you can use it to run games at the best possible quality, find desktop wallpapers that fit your screen exactly, and more.

If you need to adjust your resolution settings, About This Mac makes it easy. Just click the “Displays Preferences” button in this window, and you’ll be taken directly to “System Preferences” where you can tweak your display settings to fit your needs.

Though it’s generally recommended to use the ‘Default for display’ screen resolution option, Mac users who connect their computer to an external display or TV may find it helpful to be able to see, access, and use all possible display resolutions for a particular screen. This can be particularly useful if a display Mis either showing at an incorrect screen resolution, or if you’d like to use a specific resolution that is not shown in the available ‘Scaled’ resolutions list of Mac OS X.

Reveal All Possible Screen Resolutions for a Display Connected to a Mac

This works to reveal additional screen resolution choices for any display connected to a modern Mac, it also applies to all modern versions of Mac OS X:

  1. Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu in Mac OS X
  2. Click on “Display”
  3. Under the ‘Display’ tab, hold down the OPTION / ALT key while you press on the ‘Scaled’ button alongside Resolution to reveal all available screen resolution options for the display
  4. Choose the resolution desired from the complete list of available screen resolutions, then close out of System Preferences as usual

You must hold the Option key when clicking on ‘Scaled’ to reveal all possible screen resolutions for the external display(s), and if you have multiple external displays in use on a Mac, you’ll want to hold the option key when choosing “Scaled” and selecting a resolution for each connected display.

For example, here’s the default selection of “Scaled” resolutions shown on a particularly 24″ external display connected to a MacBook Pro:

Now after holding down the OPTION key while clicking on the “Scaled” radio button, many additional screen resolutions are revealed as available to use:

Though these additional choices become available, they may not necessarily look right, and they may not render correctly, so just because they’re shown as options does not necessarily indicate you should use them for that particular screen.

Note this does not apply to Retina displays, where changing the resolution is a bit different and is only offered in scaled views rather than numerical resolutions anyway.

As mentioned above, sometimes this trick can be necessary to be able to select the proper screen resolution for an external display, which, although it’s pretty rare, can present itself as an improperly set screen resolution, usually at a lower resolution than what the display can handle. If you encounter that problem, sometimes simply using the Detect Displays feature after disconnecting and reconnecting the screen to the Mac can be sufficient to have the external display find and use the proper screen resolution.

Topmost photo of dual screen configuration borrowed from this Mac setup post

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Steve Larner Steve Larner carries over ten years of content management, editing, and writing experience in a wide variety of industries. As a tech enthusiast, Steve also enjoys exploring new products and devices and helping others solve their technological problems. Read more August 28, 2020

Whether you use Mojave or Catalina, Mac OS X usually handles display resolution and scaling quite well automatically. Still, those using external displays (particularly third-party displays) may wish to select their resolution manually. Here’s how you can override OS X’s automatic and limited suggestions and choose any supported resolution for your external monitor.

As referenced above, the external monitor connected to the Mac in the screenshots is a Phillips FTV HDTV, with a native resolution of 1080p. An actual PC monitor usually displays a “Looks like #### x ####” resolution underneath the TV image in the options window.
How to select an exact display resolution on your mac
On the Phillips HDTV, OS X suggests a “default” resolution of a Retina-scaled 1080p equivalent, and we have the choice to set other resolutions (“scaled”) including 1280 x 768, 720P, 1080i, and 1080p.

While adequate for the majority of users, these five resolution choices (default and scaled) are missing several “in-between” display options, as well as “low resolution” modes, such as a true 2560×1440 that must be upscaled by the monitor and may be necessary for testing or software compatibility purposes. Thankfully, these resolutions are still accessible, and here’s how to access them.

  1. Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard, and then click the “Scaled” option again.
    How to select an exact display resolution on your mac
  2. Once you’ve found your desired resolution, click its entry in the list to switch your display.
    How to select an exact display resolution on your mac
  3. If you like a particular setting that fills the screen but cuts off the edges, slide the “Underscan:” slider until it properly fits your display area. The Phillips TV above required this step because the top and bottom areas were not viewable.
    How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

When using the above steps, the row of five recommended resolutions gets replaced by a complete list of ALL supported resolutions. Those using a 4K display can also click “Show low-resolution modes” to access the aforementioned low-rez options that will get upscaled via the device. If your Mac is connected to an HDTV, this list may also include alternate refresh rates and display modes if supported by the hardware. Everything you see is based on the TV or monitor model.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Mac OS X’s cool thing is the previews you get when choosing a resolution using the “Built-in Retina display” option, which is found under the “Optimize for:” section.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

When you hover over the resolution thumbnails within the scaled settings, the system lets you see what a window will look like under that particular setting.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

While your resolution choices will survive reboots, the “all compatible” resolution list described above isn’t always visible. OS X will revert to the default view after you close and reopen System Preferences. Just remember to click “Scaled” while holding the Option key, and you’ll see all compatible resolutions again.

How can I find out the current resolution the screen is running at, in OS X 10.10?

Under settings -> display (which is where I think it used to be), it shows the refresh frequency, but not the resolution. Using the monitor’s controls, I can see it’s running at 3840×2160, but how would one find this out from OS X?

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

6 Answers 6

You go to apple menu -> about this mac, and there is a Displays tab with the information.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

You can get the resolution in Terminal using system_profiler by issuing the following command:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

You can see the current resolution in the Display system preferences.

On a Macbook .. Retina, If you have scaled selected for resolution

Hover your mouse over the current scaled selection and the resolution will be shown.

If you have default selected for resolution then the resolution is not shown.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

( I cannot check my non retina desktop at the moment)

But either way you could run this Applescript/Objective – C script from your Applescript Menu or from Script Editor.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType will give you the physical resolution of a Retina display, but it won’t give you the effective (scaled) resolution. If you need that, you can sort of get it with osascript :

Note that if you’re running a multi-monitor setup, this may require some interpretation. For instance, I have a Retina iMac 21″ with physical resolution 4096×2304 and scaled resolution 2560×1440; I also have an external portrait monitor running at 1440×2560:

When I run the command above, it reports:

These are the bounds of the desktop relative to the upper left corner of the main monitor:

As you can see, this by itself doesn’t actually give you the scaled vertical resolution of the main monitor (although you can figure it out from the physical aspect ratio).

Another option is the GPL’ed utility screenresolution (which is available through Homebrew if you don’t want to build it yourself). The command line isn’t much like anything else on this earth, but it works:

As a bonus, it also gives you the color depth in bits and, if available, the refresh rate in Hz.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Macs ship with the display set at a certain resolution, and Apple defines this in the technical specifications for each model. But with Retina displays, these numbers can get confusing: there is the display’s resolution and the “looks like” resolution used on the Mac. Resolutions on Retina Macs look like half the actual number of pixels measured vertically and horizontally because of “pixel doubling.”

For example, if you have (as I do) a 5K iMac, the display resolution is 5120×2880, but the Displays pane of System Preferences tells me that it looks like 2560×1440.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

The Displays pane of System Preferences offers a choice of display resolutions.

That’s the default resolution, but you can change this if you want. To do so, you must first check Scaled in the Displays pane, as I have in the screenshot above, and you then see five options. These range from larger text to more space, with the Default setting in the middle.

If you have aging eyes or just want to see less on your display, try one of the settings to the left of the Default option. If you want to see more on the display—with smaller fonts, menus, etc.—then try one of the settings to the right. When you hover over one of these options, the Displays pane shows a text saying that “Using a scaled resolution may affect performance.” This is because your graphics card might not be able to keep up with a higher resolution (i.e., when things look smaller), or that some of your apps may not display correctly.

The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has a native resolution of 2560×1600 and uses a default “looks like” resolution of 1280×800. Things are a bit different with Apple’s 12-inch Retina MacBook. Its display has a resolution of 2304×1440, but the default “looks like” resolution it uses is not half that, but a bit more: 1280 x 800, just like the 13-inch MacBook Pro. So it looks like the same number of pixels, but on a display that’s one inch smaller diagonally. Naturally, these laptops offer other scaled options; each lets you choose from a total of four resolutions, from 1024×640 to 1440 900 (12-inch MacBook) or 1680×1050 (13-inch MacBook Pro).

If you have a second display connected to your Mac, you can choose a resolution for that display, also from the Displays pane of System Preferences. Select the display in the preference pane’s popup menu, then hold down the Option key and click the Scaled button to see your options.

Even more resolutions

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Resolutionator offers a wider range of resolutions, and also lets you switch quickly from the menu bar, or using a keyboard shortcut.

Maybe you want even more choice in the resolution of your display. If so, you can use Many Tricks’ $3 Resolutionator. This utility lets you quickly switch resolutions without going to System Preferences, but also lets you choose from non-Retina resolutions. For example, in the screenshot below, you can see the options available on my 12-inch MacBook. I could choose to set its display to 2560×1600; that’s not the resolution that looks like half that, which is the default, but a resolution that actually uses using every pixel of the display.

Naturally, things are quite small at that resolution, so you probably won’t want to do this often, but there may be times when you want to keep your eye on several windows at a time, and only a high resolution like that will work.

When I work on my MacBook, I sometimes switch resolutions. When I’m focusing on writing, I use the native resolution, which makes texts large enough that I don’t need to strain, but if I have a lot of windows open, I sometimes go to a higher resolutions to get a broader view of what I’m doing. Try changing resolutions on your Mac; you may find that it’s easier to read texts, or that you can see more, than at the default resolution.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Regardless of whether you’re using an external display, or you’re happy with your Mac’s built-in display, your screen resolution settings determine how large text and images appear onscreen, and also affects the sharpness and clarity of everything you see on your Mac.

Every model of Mac has a default resolution that’s designed to give you the sharpest text and the most detailed images, but if you’re unhappy with these default settings, then you can always adjust the screen resolution manually. In particular, you may want to try decreasing the resolution if spending time in front of the computer is leaving you with headaches or eye-strain, as this will increase the size of the onscreen content and take some of the pressure off your eyes. Alternatively, if you love to multitask, then you may want to try increasing the resolution so that you can fit even more apps and windows onto your screen.

In this article I’m going to show you how to adjust the screen resolution on Retina and non-Retina displays, and how to perfect the screen resolution on any external display you may be using with your Mac.

Things to be aware of

Before we get into the ‘how to,’ it’s important to note that not all screen resolutions will be appropriate for your particular Mac. For example, after switching to a different resolution you may discover that certain apps no longer even fit onscreen, or that strips of empty space appear along either side of the screen. You may need to experiment with a few different resolutions, in order to find the one that’s right for your particular Mac.

It’s also possible that selecting a very high resolution may impact your Mac’s performance, as some graphics cards will struggle to display content at higher resolutions.

How to change your screen resolution on a built-in display

You can increase and decrease the screen resolution in your System Preferences:

  • Select the ‘Apple’ logo from your Mac’s menu bar.
  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences… > Displays.’
  • Make sure the ‘Display’ tab is selected.
  • Assuming you haven’t previously edited the screen resolution settings, ‘Default for Display’ should be selected. Give the ‘Scaled’ radio button a click.

The next steps will vary, depending on whether your Mac has a Retina or a non-Retina display:

1. Changing the resolution on a non-Retina Display

When you select the ‘Scaled’ button, you’ll see various screen resolution options, which will vary depending on your Mac’s technical specs.

You can uncover some additional options, by holding the ‘Option’ key and clicking the ‘Scaled’ radio button again, as I’m doing in the following screenshot.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

At this point, you can select any of the available screen resolutions.

2. Changing the screen resolution on a Retina Display Mac

If your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or iMac has a Retina Display, then selecting the ‘Scaled’ radio button will reveal up to five different scaled resolutions for you to choose from, including ‘Larger Text’ and ‘More Space.’

While it currently isn’t possible to set a specific resolution for Macs with Retina Displays, one possible workaround is to attach an external display to your Retina Display Mac. At this point, you’ll be able to set a specific resolution for this external display, which leads us neatly onto our final section.

3. Changing the screen resolution on an external display

If you’re using an external display, then you can specify a separate screen resolution for this display:

  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences… > Displays.’
  • Open the ‘Optimize for…’ dropdown, and select your external display.
  • Hold down the ‘Option’ key and give the ‘Scaled’ button a click.
  • Select a new screen resolution from the list.

Before you go

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– Oct. 19th 2021 8:50 am PT

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

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The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro were announced to much fanfare yesterday, with one of the hero features being the new Liquid Retina XDR display. In addition to larger physical size and smaller bezels, mini-LED high contrast ratio and 120Hz ProMotion refresh rates, the screens also feature increased native resolutions with higher pixel density.

This brings with it a new selection of scaled screen resolution options in System Preferences. Most notably, the high-end MacBook Pro once again features a native 2x resolution as standard…

The Retina MacBook Pro was first introduced in 2012 with a display resolution of 2800 x 1800. Like all Retina displays before it, Apple rendered the interface at 2x scale, which meant available screen real estate in macOS was the same as a 1400 x 900 display, but everything was twice as sharp.

However, many customers wanted the ability to show more content on screen at once. In order to mimic denser displays, Apple offered simulated software scaling modes.

To do this, the OS renders at a higher resolution and then shrinks the rendered content down to fit inside the native pixel grid of the display. This gives users more real estate for on-screen windows, however the scaling is imperfect (as it’s not an integer scaling like 2x is) and therefore produces resizing artifacts, like slightly blurry text.

For pixel purists, this kind of scaling is far from ideal, bordering on sacrilegious. To make matters worse, Apple set the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro to a scaled resolution by default; the 2x native resolution was available in System Preferences as an option, but it wasn’t the default. The default 16-inch MacBook Pro scaling mode simulated a 1792 x 1120 display. This compromise of panel resolution and UI density felt awkward for a pro machine. (After launch, future version of macOS changed the stock 15-inch display settings from “Best for Retina” to a scaled resolution as well.)

However, Apple has fully answered these complaints with the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro generation. The native display resolution is now 3456 x 2234, representing an increase of PPI from

220 PPI to 250 PPI. By default, macOS Monterey will render the OS at 1728 x 1117 — a perfect 2x Retina scaling. Moreover, this perfect 2x resolution is effectively the same as the simulated scaled resolution of the previous generation, so now users get the higher-density UI but with actual pixels backing it, rather than scaling trickery.

The higher-density panel on the new 14-inch MacBook Pro features a 3024 x 1964 native resolution, which will be presented to users as 1512 x [email protected], another reasonably roomy option for a screen of that size.

So, the new defaults are what most people should use in terms of utility and they will get the best Retina-crisp display quality at the same time. As always, Apple also offers scaled screen resolution options for people that want more or less space.

Based on code findings in the Monterey RC, we can see that the available resolution options for the new MacBook Pro are:

16-inch MacBook Pro

  • Looks like 2056 x 1329
  • Default: Looks like 1728 x 1117
  • Looks like 1496 x 967
  • Looks like 1312 x 848
  • Looks like 1168 x 755

14-inch MacBook Pro

  • Looks like 1800 x 1169
  • Default: Looks like 1512 x 982
  • Looks like 1352 x 878
  • Looks like 1147 x 745
  • Looks like 1024 x 665

Just like the current laptop lineup, the MacBook Pro supports five different virtual resolutions, with one offering more space than the 2x default, and the others increasing UI and text size for easier readability.

Of course, screen resolution is just one of the new features of the new MacBook Pro screens; customers will also benefit from wider color reproduction, fluid 120Hz ProMotion animations, extreme dynamic range thanks to the mini-LED backlight system, and more.

The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are available to order now, with first deliveries beginning next week.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Last Updated on Nov 23, 2021

Would you like to manually adjust the screen resolution on Mac? or mac display settings for an external monitor. Sometimes users can’t satisfy with his or her Mac’s display resolution because toolbar items are too small. It may happen because those users want larger size Text or big objects on Mac display. Default resolution has already been set to show the sharpest text and most detailed image which has been given by Apple in its Mac devices like, MacBook, MacBook Pro or iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Mini, etc.

we are happy to help you, submit this Form, if your solution is not covered in this article.

Get here about manually adjust resolution if necessary through this tip; you can change primary and connected display resolution in the same Display pane of system preferences of Mac. To learn here, both adjust the resolution for Primary display as well as connected display. After increasing the resolution of your screen, you’ll get better image resolution, and large text compares to previous as well that impact graphics performance depending on which application are you using. Follow beneath the given step to adjust the screen resolution on Mac.

Step on Vary/ Adjust Screen Resolution on Mac

Step 1. Click on ‘’Apple logo’’ icon, from the top side Menu of your Mac

Step 2. Select ‘’System Preferences …’’

Step 3. Click on ‘’Display’’ Presences

That’s it. In this Display pane of system preference, you can increase/ decrease or adjust Primary and Connected display resolution. At bellow you can learn both kinds of options, you can follow anyone as you’ve to need.

  • Most common Display Resolution for External Display are, 1920×1080, 1600×900, 1080p, 720p and more..

For, Primary Display- adjust screen Resolution on Mac, in the open Display Pane,

  • Select Scaled then next select your desire resolution options.

This is the way for Secondary Display; if you’ve more than one display and you want to changes in connecting display resolution, then additional options are also available. A way for Connected Display to adjust Resolution

  • In same Display pane
  • Press the options key while you click on a scaled option to see the additional resolution for the second display, now you can adjust the scaled for secondary display.
  • iMac (Retina 5k, 27-inch display, Late 2014) Scaled resolution choiceHow to select an exact display resolution on your mac
  • Mac Book Pro with 15-inch display Scaled resolution choiceHow to select an exact display resolution on your mac
  • Mac Book Pro with 13-inch display Scaled resolution choiceHow to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Change Menu Bar Size & toolbar items on Mac

Mac users can change Top Mac Bar iCon size, Menu Text items size from Mac settings. Here are the steps for changing the menu bar size on Mac. The change is not too big but you can get the advantage of the Limited fixed options from Two different sizes, One is Default and the Second is Larger.

  1. Go to the Apple Logo from top Mac menu >System Preferences.
  2. Select Accessilibity Option.
  3. Select from option box, Menu Bar sizeLarge” and “Default“.
  4. That’s it.

After changed resolution, if the image can’t appear you can go for the no pictures after changed resolution. Would you like the default resolution which is given by Apple? If no then write us why that resolution you want to change for. As well you can get up to after set manual resolution in your Mac then leave your reply on how to seem this tip on adjusting screen resolution on Mac OS X.

jaysukh patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

There’s more to your Mac’s display settings than just brightness.

Having a beautiful Retina display doesn’t do you any good if you can’t see what’s on it. Thankfully, MacOS has a number of settings to help you see more clearly what’s on your Mac’s screen, from making text and icons larger to increasing the contrast and reducing the transparency of windows.

1. Scaled resolution

For Macs with Retina displays, you can’t lower the native resolution to a specific resolution in order to increase the size of text and icons like you can on other laptops and displays. That’s never a great idea anyway because you lose sharpness in the bargain for larger, more legible letters. Retina displays offer what Apple calls “scaled resolutions” to bump up size of text and icons. Open System Preferences and go to Displays. On the Display tab, you’ll see two options at the top of the window for Resolution: Default for display and Scaled. Choose Scaled and, depending on the size of your Retina display, you’ll have four or five options. Choose one of the two options on the Larger Text side to make it easier to read what’s on your display.

How to select an exact display resolution on your macScreenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

2. Increase text size

If you don’t have a Retina display, you can still make text bigger on an app-by-app basis.

Having troubling reading emails? Well, in the Mail app, you can bump up the font size by opening the Mail app and going to Mail > Preferences > Fonts & Colors and clicking the Select button next to Message font and choosing a font size larger than the default of 12.

Similarly, in the Messages app, go to Messages > Preferences > General and move the slider at the bottom for Text size to the right.

In many other apps, including both Chrome and Safari, you can increase text size (along with everything else) by hitting Command-Plus. You can then lower it by hitting Command-Minus. And to return to the normal zoom level, hit Command-Zero.

3. Increase desktop text and icons

If your desktop icons are too small to be useful, you can increase their size along with the text of their descriptions. Right-click on the desktop, choose Show View Options and you’ll get options for increasing Icon size and Text size. (You’ll find similar options for text and icons in Finder by opening a Finder window and clicking View in the menu bar and then choosing Show View Options.)

4. Increase pointer size

If you keep losing track of your Mac’s tiny cursor, you can make it bigger by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and moving the slider to the right for Cursor size. (If you have the box checked for Shake mouse pointer to locate, then you just need to wiggle your mouse or your swipe your finger quickly back and forth on your MacBook’s ($478 at Amazon) trackpad to greatly increase its size briefly so you can get eyes on it.)

5. Brightness automation

Let MacOS adjust the brightness of your display based on ambient lighting by enabling auto-brightness. Go to System Preferences > Displays and on the Display back, check the box for Automatically adjust brightness.

6. Transparency and contrast settings

There are two settings on the Accessibility page of System Preferences worth checking out to see if they might work for you. Click Display from the left panel and then check the box for Increase contrast. It reduces transparency in windows and makes the borders of buttons, tabs and other items more legible. If the increasing contrast is too stark a change for you, then try checking the box for the setting right below it for Reduce transparency. It makes the semi-transparent headers of windows a solid gray.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

7. Night Shift

Staring at a blue screen before bed can shift your body’s natural clock and make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. With Apple’s Night Shift feature, the colors of your display are shifted away from cold, harsh blues to the warmer end of the spectrum during the evening hours. To enable and schedule it, head to System Preferences > Displays and click the Night Shift tab. You can set it to come on from sunset to sunrise or manually set a time period for it to be active. You can then use the slider below to adjust the color temperature of the effect between less warm and more.

How to select an exact display resolution on your macIf you’re one of many people who regularly or permanently work from home, you’ve probably thought about how much more convenient it will be to work using two monitors instead of one. Mac users who wish to use two monitors but don’t know how should follow these tips.

First, check which displays your Mac device supports by doing the following:

  • Click the Apple Menu (located on the left-hand side of the screen) then click About This Mac. Then click Support >Specifications (under Mac Resources).

You will then be directed to an Apple web page indicating your device’s technical specifications. Under Display and Video Support, you will see some details similar to the following*:

Display

  • Retina display
  • 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
  • Supported scaled resolutions:
    • 1680 by 1050
    • 1440 by 900
    • 1024 by 640
  • 400 nits brightness
  • Wide color (P3)
  • True Tone technology

Video Support

Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display at millions of colors and:

  • One external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz

Thunderbolt 3 digital video output

  • Native DisplayPort output over USB-C
  • VGA, HDMI, DVI, and Thunderbolt 2 output supported using adapters (sold separately)

*This is for a 13-inch MacBook Air (M1, 2020) model.

Extended mode versus mirror mode

Connecting to an external display lets you choose between:

  • Extended mode – uses the external display to extend the image displayed on your main Mac device. To activate extended mode:
    • Click Apple menu >System Preferences >Display >Arrangement.
    • Make sure the Mirror Displays checkbox is unticked.

Note: This may not work on older Mac devices such as early 2015 models or older.

  • Mirror mode – reflects or “mirrors” the exact same image on your main device onto the external screen. To activate video mirroring:
    • Click Apple menu >System Preferences >Displays >Arrangement.
    • Tick the Mirror Displays checkbox.

AirPlay mode

Those who have an Apple TV can use AirPlay to use their TV as a second screen. Apple TV is designed for use with TVs, but it can also be used to connect to HDMI-enabled computer monitors.

To use AirPlay mode as a second display:

  • Turn on your TV and Apple TV.
  • In the menu bar (the topmost bar on the screen), click the Control Center icon.
  • Click Screen Mirroring then select your Apple TV.

To enable AirPlay to mirror your main Mac device:

  • Click the AirPlay icon and select Mirror Built-in Display.
  • To use your TV as a separate display, click the AirPlay icon, then choose Use As Separate Display.

To turn off AirPlay:

  • Click the AirPlay icon, then select Turn AirPlay Off.

Your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and other Apple devices have functionalities you may not have yet explored. To get more productivity hacks and/or hardware support, call our IT experts today.

There’s plenty of reasons you might want to adjust your Mac display settings. From making text look bigger to switching to Night Shift or changing the resolution on your Mac — System Preferences has it all.

For some reason, whenever I get a new Mac, I really enjoy the process of adjusting my display settings; getting them just perfect, to my liking, is so satisfying.

If you have eye issues, the display settings will help you set your Mac up so it’s easier to use.

Let’s take a look at how to adjust the brightness on your Mac and some other helpful settings waiting to be discovered in Accessibility and Display.

Here’s how to find your Mac Display settings:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Select the Apple Menu> System Preferences> Display

If you’re here because your Mac is experiencing weird screen issues, like flickering or buzzing lines, you might want to troubleshoot by changing the resolution on your Mac.

How to change the resolution on your Mac

Your display’s resolution decides the size of icons and text on your screen.

By default, your Mac will show the sharpest text and the most detailed images suited to your Mac, but it is possible to adjust.

If your Mac has a Retina display, you might have noticed that you can’t select a specific resolution. Instead, Retina displays provide “scaled resolutions,” which means Apple gives you the best screen resolution options for your Mac so you can maintain sharpness and text legibility.

Here’s how to use scaled resolutions:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Open your display settings using the above instructions.

Select the Displays tab.

To make text and icons look bigger, select an option from the Larger Text. To make text and icons look smaller, choose an option from More Space.

New Macs have a feature to automatically adjust brightness — just tick that checkbox under Brightness.

Tip: If you want to increase or decrease font size within an app, or perhaps on a browser window, but not entirely across your whole Mac, press the Command Key and + to increase or – to decrease.

If your Mac doesn’t have a retina display, you can still change the text size within each app. This is usually found within the General settings for each app.

How to optimize the rest of your Mac

If your goal is to get the perfect display performance, why stop there? One of the ways to make your Mac shine is to optimize its memory usage and storage. Have you heard of CleanMyMac X? This is the most famous optimization kit for Mac.

For example, when your Mac slows down, it has a tool to “Run Mac maintenance scripts.” That and other tools from its collection could slightly improve the performance of your Mac.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Select Maintenance from the left sidebar and press View All Tasks.

Choose Run Maintenance Scripts and press Run.

Running maintenance scripts is an excellent way of quickly solving issues on your Mac. It removes temporary files, rotates logs, and runs optimizations to solve many problems.

How to change Desktop icons

If, after using scaled resolution, you find that your Desktop icons are just a bit on the small side, you can change this independently while keeping all the other scaled settings; here’s how:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Right-click on your Desktop.

Select Show View Options.

Increase icon and spacing size using the sliders.

You can also increase icon description text size and placement here.

If you’re wondering, hmm, well, now my screen and icon sizes are great, but what about my pointer? Jump to the next step.

How to change pointer size

You might want to increase or reduce the size of your pointer to match your new screen resolution. Your pointer settings are located somewhere different; here’s how to access and adjust:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Select the Apple icon> System Preferences> Accessibility> Display.

Now select the cursor tab, use the slider to adjust your cursor size.

How to adjust contrast and transparency

If you’ve played around with your brightness, but you’re still not satisfied, you can always adjust your contrast; here’s how:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Select the Apple icon> System Preferences> Accessibility> Display

Now check increase contrast; you can also use the slider below.

This option will add a border to tabs, buttons and many more items, making them easier to see. But, it’s not for everyone, so instead, try reducing transparency. Here’s how:

Follow the exact steps from above, except this time, check Reduce transparency.

This makes all semi-transparent headers a solid gray color.

How to activate Night Shift

Enabling Night Shift means that your Mac will automatically shift the colors of your display after dark to warmer tones. This is to reduce exposure to blue light in the evening.

Night Shift uses your Mac’s built-in clock and geolocation and will automatically change display colors depending on the sunset in your location; in the morning, your regular settings will resume. Here’s how to enable it:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Reaccess your display settings.

Select the Night Shift tab.

From the drop-down, select Sunset to Sunrise or custom to create specific times.

Select from the scale how warm you want the color temperature.

So here we are at the end; we’ve looked at changing the resolution on your Mac and a few other tricks in your Mac display settings. Don’t forget, if you’re having issues with a slow, overheating, cluttered Mac, etc., check out CleanMyMac X — this is a swiss-army knife app for Mac.

I’ve just started the game on my Mac Book Pro, and for some reason the game won’t let me pick resloutions other than 1024×768, 1280×800 and 1440×900. All of which look crappy on a retnia display.

Is this by design or a bug?

System specs:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)
Mac OS 10.13.6
2.5 GHz Intel Core i7
16GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB
Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

No, it’s not by design, I use a MacBook Pro touchbar 2017, and I’m using a higher resolution, without doing anything special.
Four possibilities I can think of.

• it’s a limitation of your hardware (1) because of a bug (I don’t know !), you might need to manually enable your discrete graphic card (by disabling auto-switch in macOS’ Settings > Power Saving)

• it’s a limitation of your hardware (2), your integrated and discrete graphic cards both can’t handle a higher resolution for the game (sounds surprising though, it usually allows you to do it, even with very bad results)

• I’m running macOS Mojave Public Beta, maybe there’s an issue with the engine that Mojave fixes

• this one is more like a workaround I’ve been using with some bad macOS ports, forcing a high non-retina resolution. For this, you can use DisplayMenu (available on the Mac App Store for free). There, you are able to pick various screen resolutions, retina and non-retina. The best is to pick the real unscaled resolution of your screen (2880×1800), and then launch the game, it should now allow you to pick every resolution up to 2880×1800. The only drawback of this workaround is that it messes up your Dashboard and desktop layout (not harming any data of course, but it can end misplaced when you revert to your “retina” resolution).

-screen-width yourwidth -screen-height yourheight

start option for the game in steam

or try -show-screen-selector maybe there are more options for you

-screen-width yourwidth -screen-height yourheight

start option for the game in steam

or try -show-screen-selector maybe there are more options for you

Shame it wasn’t fixed with the update. Surely can’t be difficult to fix and it’s not a hardware fault as it has higher resolutions available when connected to an external monitor

It’s actually a very common issue with macOS games, so it might not be as easy as you think. Could be something related to the engine. macOS is such a sandbox, it allows 2880×1800 for some contents (video, images), scales other elements… I wouldn’t be surprised it’s a a mix between Apple not caring at all about video games, and engine companies not caring much about macOS 😛
In the meantime, Display Menu solves the issue, and it’s free. You can also select “more room” in macOS’ settings, so you’ll have access to 1680×1050 (and to be honest, higher res will be hard for a MBP unless it’s a 2018 one maybe — also, the UI isn’t vector, it’s not rendered at 2880×1800 anyway).

After playing with most options, now I play in 1440×900 in maximum quality mode, and because I play like 60cm away from the screen, it’s totally fine. I’m too busy managing the hospital anyway 😛 I prefer the lighting quality over sharpness.

Shame it wasn’t fixed with the update. Surely can’t be difficult to fix and it’s not a hardware fault as it has higher resolutions available when connected to an external monitor

It’s actually a very common issue with macOS games, so it might not be as easy as you think. Could be something related to the engine. macOS is such a sandbox, it allows 2880×1800 for some contents (video, images), scales other elements… I wouldn’t be surprised it’s a a mix between Apple not caring at all about video games, and engine companies not caring much about macOS 😛
In the meantime, Display Menu solves the issue, and it’s free. You can also select “more room” in macOS’ settings, so you’ll have access to 1680×1050 (and to be honest, higher res will be hard for a MBP unless it’s a 2018 one maybe — also, the UI isn’t vector, it’s not rendered at 2880×1800 anyway).

After playing with most options, now I play in 1440×900 in maximum quality mode, and because I play like 60cm away from the screen, it’s totally fine. I’m too busy managing the hospital anyway 😛 I prefer the lighting quality over sharpness.

Thanks for your response. Possibly is difficult, but it’s still not ideal. I’m sure they could have found a way before release. I’ve been playing Surviving Mars on Medium graphics at 2880×1800, so I’m sure a significantly smaller ‘map’ area and simpler graphic based game such as Two Point Hospital should be able to render in native resolution. It runs fine at that resolution when plugged into my TV (and even higher resolutions), so I still think it’s a bug. Nevertheless, thanks for your suggestions, if only the devs were as responsive!

So it looks like this is some kind of issue with the game not correctly detecting the screens native resloution / Mac OS scaling feature. Odd as I’ve not had this issue under Mac OS before with other games including other Unity Engine Games, they detect my rentina display and give appropriate screen resloution options.

For some reason I think Two Point Hospital is picking up on the Mac OS scaling ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, as that is set to “looks like 1440×900” by deafault. And when I overide that to looks like 1920×1200. I get the option to use resolutions up to that setting.

Using the display menu app from the app store I can even play at native resloution.

Unfortunatly Setting the screen resloution manualy though the start up options doesn’t work. -show-screen-selector does bring up a resloution selector but it’s still capped at 1440×900, unless i change scaling settings or use display menu.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

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Most computer displays have the option to change the resolution to cater to the user’s visual needs. For example, some users with vision problems prefer larger text while others prefer more white space. You can easily change the resolution so that the display looks comfortable for you.

By default, Mac’s display is usually set to use the Default for display screen resolution option. Mac users who connect their computer to an external display or TV may find it helpful to be able to see, access, and use all possible display resolutions for a particular screen. This can be particularly useful if a display Mis either showing at an incorrect screen resolution, or if you’d like to use a specific resolution that is not shown in the available ‘Scaled’ resolutions list of Mac OS X.

But sometimes screen resolutions get suddenly changed out of the blue. Some users have noticed that their Mac has higher than usual screen resolution. When they open their Desktop, the display looks off because the icons were either too small or too far away. There are times when the display is oversized and out of proportion, making the display unpleasant to the eye.

Aside from being an eyesore, the user’s productivity is also affected because the screen does not function properly when the Mac screen resolution is higher than usual. Some of the icons or items that should be displayed on the screen are either cut off or too small to read. The affected users have tried changing the screen resolution, but it doesn’t work. Changing the resolution changes nothing and the screen remains the same, which can be very annoying.

Pro Tip: Scan your Mac for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.

In some instances, the user finds that the screen is suddenly bigger than the monitor and only a part of the Desktop can be seen. The user has to move around the mouse to see the rest of the screen. Changing the Hz and the colour also do not help.

There are many reasons behind this problem, which we will tackle one by one below. We’ll also discuss in this article how you can get your display back to normal.

Why Mac Has Higher Than Usual Screen Resolution

If you’ve recently installed a software on your Mac, your screen resolution might have been affected by the new installation. This is particularly true for apps that affect the appearance of your Mac, such as boot theme customizers. If the problem happened right after the installation, then the culprit is clear as day and this will help you resolve the problem easily.

Sometimes the problem is caused by accidentally enabling Zoom. When you unknowingly press Control while scrolling, this will enable the Zoom function of your Mac and the screen will appear larger than usual.

You also should check for any malware that might have infected your computer and performed the changes to your display. Junk files and corrupted files can also affect your computer’s performance and cause your display to be messy.

How to Fix Screen Resolution Higher Than Usual on Mac

When your screen looks weird and the Mac screen resolution is higher than usual, it can be hard to perform any kind of work. A simple browsing activity can result in strained and tired eyes if the display is too big or too small. Reading would become a huge challenge, much less doing actual work.

So if your Mac has higher than usual screen resolution, here are some of the things that you can do to get your old screen back to normal.

Fix #1: Change Your Screen Resolution.

By default, macOS automatically selects a default resolution that is best for your display. However, you can manually change the resolution by following the steps below:

  1. Head to Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Choose Scaled, then pick any of the scaled resolutions, depending on the model of your Mac.

If you’re using an external monitor to extend your desktop, you can select a preferred resolution for each screen. To find additional resolutions for your external display, press and hold the Option button while clicking on the Scaled button.

Fix #2: Make Sure Zoom is Disabled.

Pressing Control while scrolling automatically activates the Zoom function on your Mac — and you might not even be aware of it. The only sign this problem is caused by Zoom is when you restart your Mac and the screen goes back to normal for a few seconds before reverting to the screen with a higher resolution.

To fix this, you simply need to disable the Zoom function on your Mac by following the steps below:

  1. Click the Apple menu, then open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Accessibility > Zoom.
  3. Make sure that Zoom is turned off.

The combination Option + Command + 8 also enables Zoom and you can use the same keyboard shortcut to toggle it off.

Fix #3: Uninstall Recently Installed Apps.

If you have recently installed a new program or software on your computer when the problem happened, then you’ve clearly got your culprit. What you can do is to uninstall the app temporarily by going to the Finder > Applications folder, and then dragging the app’s icon to the Trash. Empty the Trash to completely remove it from your Mac. You should also clean up any leftover files of the app by using Mac repair app.

If the problem was resolved by uninstalling that application, then you can only find an alternative that won’t cause the same problem. But if uninstalling didn’t help, then your problem is probably caused by another factor.

Final Thoughts

Your Mac should automatically choose the best resolution for you, so if your display has suddenly gone crazy, then there is something wrong with your Mac. If your Mac screen resolution is higher than usual, you can simply follow the steps above to change it back to normal. And if doing all the fixes above doesn’t work, you might need to reinstall macOS just to resolve this problem.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

When you connect the Apple TV to any display, it tries to automatically detect and pick the correct resolution. In case it fails, you could be stuck with a less-than-ideal picture quality. Here’s how you can quickly change your Apple TV’s screen resolution.

The first thing you should do is check the optimum resolution for your display. This will usually be mentioned in the product listing on the display manufacturer’s website. If it’s not there, it will be mentioned on the box that the display shipped with. In some cases, after you connect it, the display will show a dialog box onscreen with the correct resolution.

Once you’ve determined the right display resolution, open the “Settings” app on your Apple TV.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Next, select “Video and Audio.”

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Navigate to the “Format” option.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

This page shows some standard display resolutions such as 4K HDR 50Hz, 1080p SDR 60Hz, etc. Here, you can select the resolution for your display.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

The only issue is that these are not exact values and may not match the recommended resolution for your display. To get that, scroll to the bottom and select “Other Formats.”

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

This is where you’ll see exact display resolution values such as 2560×1080 HDR 60Hz, along with other resolutions not mentioned on the previous screen. Select the correct display resolution here.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

If Apple TV manages to switch to the correct resolution, it’ll show a message that states that it was successfully able to change the resolution. Choose “OK.”

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

That’s all you need to do here. In case the switch to a different resolution is unsuccessful, you might see a black screen for several seconds, and your display could even switch off on its own. Press the Menu button on your Apple TV remote to return to the original resolution, and then you can try to change it to a compatible resolution again.

Want to play games on the Apple TV? Try connecting a PS4 controller or an Xbox controller to the Apple TV for a better gaming experience.

RELATED: 14 Apple TV Remote Tips and Tricks You Should Know

There’ve been quite a few posts on the lack of 2K (and now with Big Sur 11.3.1, 4K) resolutions on M1 Macs. Some of the answers are along the lines of “we can’t support resolutions your display doesn’t support,” so I wanted to share some evidence that there’s more to the problem than that.

I have two identical 27″ LG 4K displays. One is connected directly
via HDMI to my Thunderbolt dock. The other is connected through a DisplayLink adapter from Plugable. I’ll share exact model numbers below. I connected three different MacBooks to the dock, and took screenshots of their available display resolutions. I’m including screenshots that show that the problem isn’t with the display capabilities, since both are identical, and also that the lack of display resolutions is especially a problem on the M1 Macs.

In each screenshot is the Displays preference pane showing a list of available resolutions. The display that is directly connected has a full set of available resolutions. The display connected through DisplayLink has only a few available resolutions.
The first is on my M1 MacBook Pro. It has very few resolutions on the DisplayLink adapter, including no 2K or 4K options.

The second screenshot shows my Intel MacBook Pro (May 2020 model). On the DisplayLink adapter we have several more available resolutions including 2K and 4K, though still not the full set of resolutions available on the direct connection.

The third screenshot shows my Intel MacBook Air (March 2020). The set of available resolutions matches that of the Intel MacBook Pro; 2K & 4K available on both displays, but the DisplayLink side is still missing a few.

Note that on the M1 DisplayLink adapter there are only three resolutions to choose from, topping out at 1920×1080. This DisplayLink adapter isn’t really serving a useful purpose for me without the additional display resolutions. I may end up disconnecting it and uninstall the DisplayLink software, and figure out another solution.

I hope these screenshots help call attention to the nature of the problem and help get it fixed.

2x LG Displays: LG 27UD68P-B
Plugable DisplayLink adapter: USBC-6950UE

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How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Check tutorial of How to Show All Possible Screen Resolutions for a Display in Mac OS X

So after a lot of requests from our users here is a guide about How to Show All Possible Screen Resolutions for a Display in Mac OS X.

While it is generally recommended to use the screen resolution option ‘Default for display’, Mac users who connect their computer to an external display or TV may find it helpful to be able to see all possible display resolutions for a particular screen. open and use. . This can be especially useful if you see a Miss screen with an incorrect screen resolution, or if you want to use a specific resolution that doesn’t appear in the list of available Mac OS X ‘Scaled’ resolutions.

Reveal all possible screen resolutions for a display connected to a Mac

This works to reveal additional screen resolution choices for any display connected to a modern Mac, it also applies to all modern versions of Mac OS X:

  1. Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu in Mac OS X
  2. Click on “View”
  3. In the ‘View’ tab, hold down the OPTION / ALT key while pressing the ‘Scaled’ button next to Resolution to view all available screen resolution options for the screen
  4. Choose the desired resolution from the full list of available screen resolutions and close System Preferences as usual

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

You must hold down the Option key when clicking ‘Scaled’ to see all possible screen resolutions for the external monitor (s), and if you are using multiple external monitors on a Mac, you must hold down the option key while dialing “Scaled” and select a resolution for each connected display.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

For example, here’s the default selection of ‘scaled’ resolutions displayed on a special 24 ″ external display connected to a MacBook Pro:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Now after you hold down the OPTION key while clicking on the “Scaled” radio button, many additional screen resolutions are revealed as available for use:

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

While these additional choices will become available, they don’t necessarily look good and may not display correctly, so just because they show up as options doesn’t necessarily mean you should use them for that particular screen.

Note that this doesn’t apply to Retina displays, where changing the resolution is a bit different and is only offered in scaled displays rather than numeric resolutions anyway.

As mentioned above, sometimes this trick may be necessary to be able to select the correct screen resolution for an external display, which, while quite rare, can present itself as an incorrectly set screen resolution, usually at a resolution lower than what the display can handle. When you run into that problem, sometimes just use the detection screens feature After disconnecting and reconnecting the display to the Mac, it may be enough to allow the external display to find and use the correct screen resolution.

The top photo of the dual screen setup, borrowed from this Mac installer post

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How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

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  • How to Maximize Across to Two Monitors

When you have a lot of applications and documents to work with, it’s often useful to set up two monitors on your Mac to provide you with an extended desktop space. Instead of having the same wallpaper on dual screens, you can configure your Mac to display one image on one display and a different image for the other display. For example, you could use a nature image for wallpaper on your first display and use an image of a person for the second smaller display’s wallpaper.

Click the Apple logo at the top of the Mac’s display, and then click “System Preferences.”

Click “Desktop & Screen Saver.” Two windows will open. The “Desktop & Screen Saver” window will appear on your primary display, and the “Secondary Desktop” window will appear on the second display. Each window has image folders in the left pane.

Click the name of a folder in the “Desktop & Screen Saver” window to display thumbnail images. If you don’t see the folder you want to use, click the “Plus” icon and select the folder on your Mac containing the images you want to use for your desktops. The folder name will then appear in the left pane of the window.

Click the thumbnail of an image to select it. If your selected image doesn’t have the same exact proportions as your display, you can adjust how the image will appear. Click the drop-down menu next to the image’s thumbnail, and then select an option for displaying the image, such as “Fill Screen,” “Fit to Screen” or “Stretch to Fill Screen.”

Click the name of a folder in the “Secondary Desktop” window and select a thumbnail image of the picture you want to display. Adjust the display options with the drop-down menu as required, just as you did for the desktop image for the first monitor.

Now that Apple has introduced the Retina display to the MacBook Pro line, it’s only a matter of time before it starts appearing on other Macs as well. What kind of screen resolutions can we expect once that happens?

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 15.4-inch Retina display with a massive 2880×1800 resolution, or 220 PPI (pixels per inch). Apple quadrupled the resolution; you can fit exactly four “old” 1440×900 screens in the new one.

Let’s assume that 220 PPI is the target for Apple to call a laptop or desktop display “Retina.” They don’t want to go too far under that. The major criterion is that you shouldn’t be able to see the individual pixels of the display at a normal viewing distance.

Let’s also assume that Apple will use the approach of doubling both the horizontal and vertical resolution, like they did with the MacBook Pro with Retina display, and before that, the iPhone and iPad.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

The future Mac Retina displays

How well does this method of doubling the horizontal and vertical display resolution work for all current Mac displays? Quite well, it turns out. Retina resolutions bolded:

  • 11-inch MacBook Air: 1366×768 –>2732×1536 = 270 PPI
  • 13-inch MacBook Air: 1440×900 –>2880×1800 = 255 PPI
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: 1280×800 –>2560×1600 = 227 PPI
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro: 1440×900 –>2880×1800 = 220 PPI
  • 21-inch iMac: 1920×1080 –>3840×2160 = 205 PPI
  • 27-inch iMac: 2560×1440 –>5120×2880 = 217 PPI

Amazingly, the Retina version of the 11-inch MacBook Air would have more pixels than today’s 27-inch iMac.

In turn, the massive resolution of a 27-inch Retina screen would have 7.1x as many pixels as a full HD TV (which is 1920×1080).

Quick note: Apple will probably pick one single resolution for the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Having two different resolutions like today doesn’t seem very good for production efficiency. Also, it would be weird if the 13-incher and 15-incher had the same resolution, so our guess would be the slightly lower 2560×1600 resolution for 13-inch Mac screens. On the other side that would put it below a doubled 11-inch display. So, time will tell.

This actually makes sense

This “scale” of PPI might actually makes sense, and would mirror the way resolutions are distributed between the different Macs today.

The smaller the screen, the closer you are expected to be to it. For example, the latest iPad has 264 PPI, which is pretty close to what the 11-inch MacBook Air would have with a doubled resolution.

We think this is pretty much what we’ll end up with. It may seem fantastic, but just consider that already today the new 15-inch MacBook Pro’s Retina display has more pixels than Apple’s 27-inch monitors. We’re set for a drastic leap in screen technology.

Final words

Why double the resolution? We’re no experts, but perhaps there are fabrication advantages to that. I.e. cram in exactly four new pixels in each old one. Or perhaps Apple just prefers to reuse the method it developed for creating the iPhone and iPad screens. It may have the technology for much of that already in place, so why reinvent the wheel?

Apple’s 27-inch monitors are pretty popular here around the Pingdom office. Lots of screen real estate, especially when you have two. We’re salivating at the thought of a Retina version.

So, Apple, when is that 5120×2880 27-inch display coming?

Data sources: We got the screen resolutions and exact measurements from Apple’s website, and for the PPI numbers we used the handy PPI calculator by Sven Neuhaus. Saved us some math juggling, so thank’s Sven!

Notes on display size: Apple’s 11-inch screen is actually 11.6 inches. The 13-incher is 13.3 inches, the 15-incher is 15.4 inches, and the 21-incher is 21.5 inches. Those are the measurements we used when calculating PPI. Just in case you’re counting along at home and your numbers don’t match ours.

For customers who are running Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or newer in a Virtual Machine, you may have noticed that you can no longer set a custom display resolution beyond the default 1024×768 in either VMware Fusion and vSphere, regardless of the amount of video memory that has been allocated. The reason for this behavior is that Apple has changed the way in which it remembers previously used modes and would automatically fall back to this versus retaining the custom mode using the Display Preferences. Given this is a non-trivial fix, VMware Engineering has been working hard on a providing a workaround which would still allow users to set a custom resolution from within the GuestOS.

The workaround that has been developed is a tiny standalone command-line utility called vmware-resolutionSet which runs within the Mac OS X Guest and allows you to configure a custom display resolution. You will need to ensure you have VMware Tools installed and running before you can use this utility. As of right now, customers can get a hold of this utility by filing an SR with VMware Support and referencing PR 1385761. Although this tool has not been officially released and must go through the standard release process, the plan is to include it in a future update of VMware Tools and will available for use with both VMware Fusion and vSphere.

UPDATE (12/11/15) – Thanks to reader @elvisizer, it looks like the latest VMware Fusion 8.1 release now includes an updated version of VMware Tools (10.0.5) which includes the vmware-resolutionSet utility. You can find it under ‘/Library/Application Support/VMware Tools’. One thing to note is that there is a known issue right now for VMware Fusion 8.1 related to NAT and port forwarding, you may want to hold off on upgrading if you rely on this feature.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

The syntax for the vmware-resolutionSet utility is pretty straight forward, it accepts a width and height argument. Make sure to use “sudo” if you want the display resolution to persist through a system reboot. For example, to set a 1920×1080 resolution, you would run the following command:

./vmware-resolutionSet 1920 1080

Note: Ensure you have sufficient video memory configured for your VM for larger display resolutions. In the example above, I have 16MB configured for my Mac OS X VM which would give you a max resolution of 2560×1600.

If everything was successful, you should see that both the “Requested resolution” and the “Effective resolution” match in the output. If output does not match, it most likely means you need to increase the video memory and you can refer to this VMware KB 1003 for more details. If we take a look at our Mac OS X VM, we should now see that our new custom display has taken effect. Below is a screenshot of a Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) running on vSphere 6.0 Update 1 configured with a 1920×1080 resolution.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac
One other thing to note is if you plan on using higher display resolution than 2560×1600, you may need to configure some additional VM Advanced Settings due to use of framebuffers that are larger than 16MB. In this case, you would need to also add the following two advanced settings to the VM which can be done using the vSphere Web/C# Client or the vSphere API. For example, if I want a 2880×1800 display resolution, I would add the following:

svga.maxWidth = “2880”
svga.maxHeight = “1800”

Lastly, I would like to give a big thanks to Michael Udaltsov, the Engineer who is responsible for creating the workaround and providing me with some additional context to this change in behavior. I know our customers will greatly appreciate this workaround!

There are many questions about resolution issues on askubuntu but no question/solution seems to solve my issue.

I’ve a 12.04/precise host system and installed Ubuntu 12.04/precise as guest system as well. After installation I had the option of selecting 1024×768 (4:3) and 800×600 (4:3) as resolution in display settings. After installing guest additions the options 1280×960 (4:3) and 1440×1050 (4:3) was added to the list. Now 4 in total all having the 4:3 ratio.

I then activated full screen mode (host+f) and got the guest running in native 1920×1200 (16:10) for my screen. After deactivating full screen two more options had been added to the resolutions dropdown list, 1920×1200 (16:10) and 1600×1200 (4:3).

I want to run the guest in 1920×1080 (16:9) so I can easily record screencasts in “full-hd”. Last time I had this problem the solution was to run “VBoxManage controlvm nameofyourVM setvideomodehint width height colordepth” command from the host but now I want to know if there is any easier way to solve this?

16 Answers 16

  1. Go to the File menu and activate Environment setting or in more recent versions is: Preferences .
  2. Select Display and change the setting for Maximum guest screen size to hint which allows you to set an arbitrary size for both width and height (e. g. 1920 and 1200).
  3. Reboot the virtual machine and enjoy it.

Further modification to the answers from @sangsoo-kim and @wery-nguyen for more clarity and improved utility:

  • Start the VirtualBox application on your host
  • Select your Windows guest VM from the list of VMs
  • Goto File > Preferences on the VirtualBox app menu
  • Select Display from the list of preferences
  • Change Maximum Guest Screen Size pull down to None

Now start the VM and you’ll be able to resize the host container window to any dimensions you want, and the VM will automatically adjust!

This does require that the matching version of VirtualBox Guest Additions is installed and running inside your VM. Check the status bar inside your Windows VM for a small VirtualBox icon (usually has a yellow star). If you have that icon in your Windows VM status bar it means the Guest Additions are installed. Confirm that the version number matches the VirtualBox App version running on your host (hover over that icon to see the Guest Additions version number and do a “Help > About” in the Virtual Box app to see that version number).

p.s. You can also do this while the Windows VM is running, if that doesn’t work, restart the VM after making the change.

Edit Aug 22, 2018 — you may also have to twiddle with the Adjust Windows Size and Auto-resize Guest Display items on the VirtualBox View app menu to get resize working correctly.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

Just install Virtualbox Guests Additions but before be sure you have DKMS in terminal:

after this install guests additons,restart pc and you got the right screen ratio.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

(8 years later) this worked for me

then go to display settings and you should find it

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

I faced the same problem with KDE neon as host and Ubuntu 20.04 a guest.

I changed the machine setting in the Virtual Box Manager, Display tab.

Instead of using VMSVGA (I do not know how this setting was set) I put VBoxSVGA. This worked for me.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

This is based on the answer of @Sangsoo Kim which works well for me:

  1. Go to File -> Preferences
  2. Go to Display
  3. Change Maximum Guest Screen Size to Hint
  4. Enter 1920 x 1200 as a width and height.
  5. Restart the virtual machine and voila! It just shows the right resolution.

I tried a lot, but just changing the graphics settings/graphics controller in the host machine’s options from VMSVGA to VBOXSVGA started the Ubuntu VirtualBox immediately in the right resolution for me, i.e. 1920×1080.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

I had the same issue, i installed fresh ubuntu, then updated all packages + dkms, then rebooted in fullscreen. Installed the Guest Additions while being in fullscreen mode, and rebooting in fullscreen.

This fixed it for me.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

I know there has benn a long time since last activity in this thread but this helped me and is thanks to you. In my case the tools where already installed.

  1. install dkms
  2. enter full-screen mode
  3. uninstall the tools
  4. reboot
  5. install the tools again

Running linux 18 on VirtualBox 6.1, I tried several things here. This is what worked for me

Start the ubuntu virtual environment.

Terminal: sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-x11

Turn off ubuntu.

In the virtual box window: File -> Preferences -> Display -> Maximum Guest Screen Size: None

In applications, open Displays -> Click Resolution (now I had to drag the window, because it couldn’t display the various resolution options) -> Choose a different setting (long list to choose from) and press Apply.

How to select an exact display resolution on your mac

TLDR: If you have 2 monitors, move the vm window to the second monitor, alter resolution in the vm, then move it back.

If you google this issue, there are a lot of threads with the same symptom, all with different solutions. It’s clear that this is a symptom that can be caused by multiple root causes. I had multiple Linux Distros (Ubuntu 20.04, 21.04 and 21.10, Debian 10 and 11, and Manjaro) as vms that could not display 1080p resolution , but could display 4:3, 16:10 and lesser 16:9 resolutions. Both of my monitors are maximum 1920×1080, so that should be the obvious inherited resolution of the guest.

This problem occurred both in virtualbox and vmware player. I moved my vm to my second monitor, noticing that after doing so I was able to full screen the vm and set resolution to 1080p. I was then able to move the vm back to my primary monitor, retaining the 1080p resolution. For some reason, something about my primary monitor is preventing guests from including 1920×1080 in the list of available resolutions, despite it being a 1080p monitor.

Since it happens on both vmware and virtualbox, its probably not obvious that its a bug in the virtualization software. That being said, if the host can detect my resolution on first boot of my newly formatted pc, the guest should be able to as well, and the logic for that detection would seem to be at fault. For my particular use case, its probably very hard to reproduce and thus not been debugged. Interestingly Fedora 34 got it right the first time, it was able to identify my correct resolution without me having to manually set it.

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How to see fullscreen display with RDP when connecting to my MacinCloud server? Print

Modified on: Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 12:46 PM

Use the appropriate connection file

After downloading your RDP connection files as directed in the email containing your login information, you will find that the .zip you acquired contains a variety of connection files.

Using the resolution of your native monitor for reference, simply use the connection file labeled with that same resolution when connecting to your server.

If you do not see a connection file that matches your native monitor’s resolution or experience other issues with this, please read on below.

Manually adjust with RDP’s “Display” option

The exact steps to find and adjust your RDP’s display options varies depending on the RDP software you choose to use, though most should have a ‘Display’ or ‘Resolution’ setting in the software’s appropriate settings/options/preferences.

Here is an example step-by-step on how to do this with Microsoft Remote Desktop:

1. Open Microsoft Remote Desktop

2. Click ‘Preferences’

3. Click ‘Resolution’

4. Click your desired resolution

5. Connect to your server directly through Microsoft Remote Desktop (After adding it to your server list by clicking ‘New’)

If you need a 4k display

If you have a 4k native monitor, note you will need to choose the appropriate add-on during checkout when purchasing your server for this to work. Standard connection files without this add-on and standard RDP options will not provide a 4k display option.

If you already have a server and wish to have 4k display capability, please reach out to our support staff .

If you continue to experience issues with connecting to your server with a fullscreen display, please contact our support staff .

So, my Panasonic 42″ Plasma will do 720p and I have my Mac Mini hooked up and ready to go. The Snow Leopard 720p preset looks great except the menu bar at the top of my screen is mostly missing. Is there third party software or some hidden setting that will allow me to have more precise control of the output to fit the TV dimensions properly?

Это хороший вопрос?

5 Ответов

16

4

1

Brady, check to see if there is an option to turn off overscan on your TV. this will let you gain back the

5% you lose to overscan.

Был ли этот ответ полезен?

I actually tried that and the result was smaller than the TV display dimensions. Is there no happy medium? 🙁

hmm.. Also make sure the aspect ratio is right.. I know my tv has some funny settings.. Apart from 16:9 and 4:3 it has “full” and “just” maybe overscan and full would be the right size?

hooking up my mac minin to a hotel LED via HDMI, and lost the top menu, then went in to System Preferences to Display and uncheck overscan and display return to normal

1

I also have a mac mini attached to an LCD TV. Go to display settings In the system prefs of the mac, and make sure that overscan is checked “on” in the options tab.. On the TV, make sure its set to “dot by dot” or whatever setting correctly maps the pixels 1 to 1. In other words, all zooming and other resizing features must be off. On my TV, the setting is called “view mode”, and I cycle through until “dot by dot” is selected.

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1

This page explains why, sadly, a TV will never look as good as a monitor, when hooked up to a computer.

Long story short, lots of legacy TV and broadcasting baggage means a “television”, even with a nice, perfect, digital HDMI connection, won’t ever be sharp.

UPDATE, December 2020: IGNORE MY OLD COMMENT ABOVE. (Unless you’re trying to connect an old computer to an old TV.) A lot has changed in 8 years. This actually works now. TVs no longer run at the odd resolution of 1366×768. Most are one of the two actual HD resolutions: 1280×720 or 1920×1080. These can be run just fine via HDMI. You can even run a 4k display as long as you have good enough cables. You might still need to check for overscan settings.

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Does not the ‘detect display’s button in system preferences automatically determine the screen dimensions necessary?

And have you checked that the aspect ratio of your TV is possible for the mini?