How to Change the Screen Size on a Laptop

by M.L. Browne
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

The display adapter, comprised of video drivers and a plug-in card or display circuit, generates the signals that display images and data on a laptop screen. The display adapter controls the maximum resolution (VGA, XGA, UXGA, WXGA and so on), how many colors can display (for example, VGA adapters can provide up to 256 colors) and how frequently the image refreshes itself (for example, 60Mhz, 75Mhz, 90Mhz). Laptop screens are generally smaller than monitor screens, so having ways to change the screen resolution as needed are important. Set a higher resolution to display more pixels per inch, and a lower resolution to increase the size of objects on the screen.

Resolution Change in Windows

Step 1

Open "Start" and click "Control Panel."

Step 2

Click "Adjust Screen Resolution" under "Appearance and Personalization."

Step 3

Use the "Resolution" drop-down slider to select the desired resolution and click "Apply." The screen displays at the new resolution.

Click "OK" to keep the new screen resolution, or use "Revert" to return to the previous resolution.

Resolution Change in Windows 2000 or XP

Step 1

Open "Start" and click "Control Panel."

Step 2

Click "Display" and then select the Settings tab in the Display Properties window.

Step 3

Use the slider bar under in the screen resolution section of the applet to change the resolution and click "Apply." The screen repaints at the new resolution.

Click "Yes" to keep the resolution, or answer "No" at the prompt to revert to the original settings.

Resolution Change in OS X

Step 1

Click the Apple logo in the menu bar and select "System Preferences."

Step 2

Click "Displays" under the "Hardware" section.

Select the "Display" tab in the utility that opens and choose the resolution for your screen display.


  • Note that the OS X "Displays" utility allows you to mark a checkbox that causes the "Displays" icon to display in the menu bar for easy access.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

M.L. Browne has been freelance writing and editing since 1998. She has created online help systems for enterprise-level applications. Browne won the international "Dream Bali Holiday" competition (2001). Her documentary series, "The Soul of Afghanistan," won the 2003 ACM Home Town Awards. Her articles appeared in Bali Echo Magazine, Expository Magazine, and the Winchester Star. She is a member of NWU, STC, and IWWG.

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