Fix: Low resolution problems in Windows 10

By: Ivan Jenic
6 minute read
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Windows 10 is now the most popular version of Windows with millions of users worldwide, and since Windows 10 is free upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8, it’s no wonder that so many people are using it. However, problems can occur with with your Windows 10, and today we’re going to tell you how to fix low resolution problems in Windows 10.

  • Windows 10 low resolution programs – It’s possible that you screen resolution gets low only when using certain programs.
  • Windows 10 low resolution games – If your screen resolution gets low during playing games, check out our article dedicated to this issue.
  • Windows 10 update changed my display – Some updates can actually disrupt your system, instead of improving it. Changing your resolution is just one of the possible problems.
  • Stuck at Windows resolution – Another common problem is when you can’t change the resolution in the Settings app.

How to Solve Low Resolution Problems in Windows 10

Table of contents:

  1. Update your display driver
  2. Change the registry values
  3. Roll back your driver
  4. Set DPI size
  5. Update monitor drivers
  6. Bonus: Stuck at a certain resolution

Fix: Low resolution in Windows 10

Users have reported that they are limited to low resolutions in Windows 10 and this is an issue because Universal apps won’t run on low resolutions, but there are few workarounds that can help you deal with this issue.

Solution 1 – Update your display driver

Common cause for low resolution is the lack of proper display driver, and in order to fix this you need to update your graphic driver. To do so, you need to visit your graphic card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your graphic card. Just make sure that you find the latest drivers optimized for Windows 10. If no Windows 10 drivers are available you can download Windows 8 or even Windows 7 drivers.

If you download drivers for older version of Windows try installing them in Compatibility mode by following these steps:

  1. Right click the setup file and select Properties.
  2. Go to the Compatibility tab.
  3. Check the Run this program in compatibility mode for and select Windows 8 or Windows 7 from the list.windows 10 low resolution
  4. Click Apply then OK.
  5. Run the installation.

All your drivers need to be updated, but doing it manually is very annoying, so we recommend you to download this driver updater tool (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically.

Update drivers manually

If you don’t want the hassle of updating drivers manually, we strongly suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater.driver updater start window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
    3. driver update dignozingUpon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.

driver updater updates finished

Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Solution 2 – Change the registry values

Installing latest display drivers will most likely solve the problem with low resolution in not just Windows 10, but every version of Windows. But, if you still can’t set the higher resolution, you can try with performing one registry tweak. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Run Registry Editor by typing regedit in the Search box and selecting Registry Editor from the list of results.
  2. When Registry Editor opens you’ll need to search for a specific value, and you can do so by pressing Ctrl +F.
    In the Find window enter display1_downscaling_supported.
  3. Double click Display1_DownScalingSupported key and change its Value Data to 1 and click OK to save the changes.
    Next you need to press F3 to search again. Now repeat the step 4 and 5 for all Display1_DownScalingSupported keys that you find.
  4. After you’ve changed all Display1_DownScalingSupported you can restart your computer.

If you can’t find Display1_DownScalingSupported in Registry Editor try this:

  1. Open Registry Editor and search for LogPixels key. You can search it by Pressing Ctrl+F, or you can navigate to:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Control Panel>Desktop
  2. Find LogPixels and double click it.low resolution windows 10
  3. Set its value to 87. Depending on your screen size, you might need a lower value.

Solution 3 – Roll back your driver

Paradoxally to the first solution, it may actually be your new graphics driver that causes the problem. So, if you recently installed a new update, there’s a good chance that very update causes the low resolution problem. So, we’re going to roll back the freshly updated driver to its previous version:

  1. Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manager.
  2. Find your grahpics card under Display Adapters, right-click it and go to Properties.Windows 10 low resolution programs
  3. Head over to the Driver tab.
  4. Click Roll back driver.
  5. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  6. Restart your computer.

Solution 4 – Set DPI size

There’s a chance your screen resolution isn’t at all low. You just got the wrong DPI size settings. DPI size determines the size of icons on your desktop and other elements. If it’s wrong, your resolution may feel low.

Here’s how to set DPI size in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Display
  2. Now, go to custom scaling, and you’ll see a screen like this:

Now, choose one of these three options and save the changes:

  • Smaller – 100% = 96 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)
  • Medium – 125% = 120 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)
  • Larger – 150% = 144 DPI (Pixels/Dots Per Inch)

Once you’ve chosen the right DPI size, just restart your computer, and you should be good.

Solution 5 – Update monitor drivers

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your grahpics card. And it’s your monitor that actually causes the problem. To check if this is the case, we’re going to update the monitor drivers:

  1. Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Monitors.
  3. Right-click your monitor, and go to Update driver.Windows 10 low resolution games
  4. Let your computer find new drivers for your monitor.
  5. If there are any new drivers available, let the wizard install them.
  6. Restart your computer.

Bonus: Stuck at a certain resolution

If your screen is actually set to low resolution, and you cannot change it from the settings page, there’s one ‘trick’ that may actually be helpful. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Display.
  2. Go to Display adapter properties.
  3. On the Adapter tab, click List all modes.Stuck at Windows resolution
  4. Choose a desired resolution.
  5. Save the changes and restart your computer.

That’s all, this is a common and easy-to-solve issue, so one of these solutions will definitely help. If you have some other screen problems after Windows 10 update, you can check out our article about solving problems with screen in Windows 10. If you have any questions or comments, just reach for our comments section, below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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