Knowledge Base

Adjust the Screen Resolution, Color Depth, Refresh Rate and Size of Fonts and Icons on your Desktop



By changing your video settings you can change the look of your screen including Icon Size, Font Size and Color depth.


Table of Contents

  1. Set or Change the Screen Resolution
  2. Adjust the Color Depth
  3. Adjust the Refresh Rate
  4. Change the Size of Fonts and Icons

For Instructions to change video settings click your OS here:


Set or Change the Screen Resolution

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Right click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Personalization, and then click Display.

  4. Click the Change Display Settings link.

  5. Select the monitor you want to change, if more than one is connected to your PC.

  6. Click on the Advanced Display Settings link.

  7. Click on the Resolution drop down box to see a list of recommended resolutions for that display.

  8. Click on the one you want, to change the screen resolution, and then click Apply.

  9. Click on keep changes if you want to keep the new settings. If not select revert.

Note: If new settings do not work, Windows® will attempt to revert back to the original settings automatically.
  1. Restart the computer to ensure that the changes stay in effect.

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.

  4. In the Display Properties window, click the Settings tab.

  5. Under Screen resolution, click and drag the horizontal slider control to change the screen resolution, and then click Apply.

  6. When prompted that Windows is about resize your desktop, click OK.

Note: If a Compatibility Warning window appears, click to select Apply the new settings without restarting, and then click OK.
  1. If the new settings are compatible, the screen will reappear with the new settings.

  2. Click Yes if you want to keep the new settings.

Note: If new settings do not work, Windows® will attempt to revert back to the original settings automatically. If the video has become corrupted or an Out of Scan Range error occurs that cannot be automatically corrected, restart the computer. Press during startup, highlight Safe Mode from the Startup Menu, and then press to start the computer in Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, change the screen resolution back to the original settings and restart normally.
  1. Restart the computer to ensure that the changes stay in effect.


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Adjust the Color Depth

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Right click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Personalization, and then click Display.

  4. Click the Change Display Settings link.

  5. Select the monitor you want to change, if more than one is connected to your PC.

  6. Click on the Advanced Display Settings link.

  7. In the Advanced Display Settings window, Select the Display Adapter Properties.

  8. Select List All Modes.

  9. Choose your resolution, color depth and refresh rate from the list and click on OK

  10. Click OK again to exit the properties window.

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.

  4. In the Display Properties window, click the Settings tab.

  5. Click to select the color depth you want from the drop-down menu under Colors.

  6. Click Apply and then click OK.


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Adjust the Refresh Rate

Note: Adjusting the refresh rate is only recommended for cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors, and is unnecessary for laptop LCD screens or flat-panel LCD monitors.
  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Right click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Personalization, and then click Display.

  4. Click the Change Display Settings link.

  5. Select the monitor you want to change, if more than one is connected to your PC.

  6. Click on the Advanced Display Settings link.

  7. Click on the Advanced Adapter Properties link

  8. Click the Monitor tab.

  9. Click the Screen refresh rate drop-down menu under Monitor settings.

  10. Select the refresh rate you want from the available options, and then click Apply.

  11. When you are informed that Windows will now adjust the refresh rate, click OK.

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.

  4. In the Display Properties window, click the Settings tab.

  5. Click Advanced, and then click the Monitor tab.

  6. Click the Screen refresh rate drop-down menu under Monitor settings.

  7. Select the refresh rate you want from the available options, and then click Apply.

  8. When you are informed that Windows will now adjust the refresh rate, click OK.

Note: If a Refresh Rate warning appears stating that you have specified a custom refresh rate, click Yes.
  1. If the new settings are compatible, the screen will reappear with the new settings.

  2. Click Yes if you want to keep the new settings.

Note: If new settings do not work, Windows® will attempt to revert back to the original settings automatically. If the video has become corrupted or an Out of Scan Range error occurs that cannot be automatically corrected, restart the computer. Press during startup, highlight Safe Mode from the Startup Menu, and press to start the computer in Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, change the screen resolution back to the original settings and restart normally.
  1. Close all windows and restart the computer when prompted.


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Change the Size of Fonts and Icons

Adjust the Size of Fonts

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. Right click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Personalization, and then click Display.

  4. Under the Change only the text size title, click the drop down box and select what you want to change. (i.e. Title Bars, Menus, Icons, etc.)

  5. Then select the font size that you want from the drop down box next to it.

  6. Click Apply when your happy with your choice.

Adjust the DPI Setting

  1. This option is no longer available in Windows 10 without making changes to the registry, which we cannot recommend.

Adjust the Size of Icons and Toolbars by Using the Dell QuickSet tool

  1. In the notification area of the taskbar, click the Dell QuickSet icon.

  2. On the menu that appears, point to Icons & Toolbars, and then click the setting that you want.

Adjust the Size of Fonts

  1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, and then click Properties. (Or, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Display.)

  2. In the Display Properties window, click the Appearance tab.

  3. In the Font size box, click the font size that you want.

  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Adjust the DPI Setting

  1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, and then click Properties. (Or, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Display).

  2. In the Display Properties window, click the Settings tab.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. On the General tab, click the DPI setting that you want in the DPI setting box, or click Custom setting to set a custom DPI setting.

  5. Click Apply, and then click OK.

  6. If prompted, restart the computer.


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Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN145162

Last Date Modified: 09/22/2017 10:02 AM


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