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

Summary: This article takes you through changing the Video settings in various Windows operating systems using the default utilities.

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

Article Content


Symptoms

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 operating system here:

Note: All the instructions below take the control panel window as showing its default settings. (for example, Control Panel comes set to Category View, you can then change it to Large or Small Icon View.)
 

 

Set or Change the Screen Resolution

 

 

Setting the resolution in Windows 11, and Windows 10

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. You can either right-click Start, and then click Control Panel or click on start and type Control Panel and click the icon that appears.

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

  4. Select the monitor that you want to change, if more than one monitor is connected to your computer.

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

  6. Click the resolution that you want, and then click Apply.

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

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

Setting the resolution in older versions of Windows

  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 reappears with the new settings.

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

Note: If new settings do not work, Windows® attempts 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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Cause

 

Adjust the Color Depth

 

 

Adjusting the Color Depth in Windows 11, and Windows 10

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. You can either right-click Start, and then click Control Panel or click on start and type Control Panel and click the icon that appears.

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

  4. Select the monitor that you want to change, if more than one monitor is connected to your computer.

  5. Click the Display Adapter Properties link.

  6. Select List All Modes.
  7. Choose your resolution, color depth and refresh rate from the list and click on OK.

  8. Click OK again to exit the properties window.

Adjusting the Color Depth in older versions of Windows

  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.
 

Adjusting the Refresh Rate in Windows 10

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. You can either right-click Start, and then click Control Panel or click on start and type Control Panel and click the icon that appears.

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

  4. Select the monitor that you want to change, if more than one monitor is connected to your computer.

  5. Click the Display Adapter Properties link.

  6. Click the Monitor tab.

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

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

  9. When you are informed that Windows is adjusting the refresh rate, click OK.

Adjusting the Refresh Rate in older versions of Windows

  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 that you want from the available options, and then click Apply.

  8. When you are informed that Windows is adjusting 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 reappears with the new settings.

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

Note: If new settings do not work, Windows® attempts 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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Resolution

 

Change the Size of Fonts and Icons

 

 

Adjust the Size of Fonts

  1. Close all open programs.

  2. You can either right-click Start, and then click Control Panel or click on start and type Control Panel and click the icon that appears.

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

  4. Under the Change the size of text, apps, and other items title, click the drop-down box. Then select the font size that you want from the drop-down box.

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, go to Icons and 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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Article Properties


Affected Product
Desktops & All-in-Ones, Inspiron 3452, Inspiron 5488, Inspiron 15 7572, Inspiron 7580, Inspiron 20 3064, Inspiron 3264 AIO, Inspiron 3265, Inspiron 3452 AIO, Inspiron 24 3464, Inspiron 24 5488, Inspiron 27 7775, Inspiron 3252, Inspiron 3268 , Inspiron 3655, Inspiron 3656, Inspiron 3668, Latitude 5290 2-in-1, Latitude 5290, Latitude 7290, Latitude 3390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390, Latitude 3490, Latitude 5490, Latitude 5491, Latitude 7490, Latitude 3590, Latitude 5590, Latitude 5591, OptiPlex 3050 All-In-One, OptiPlex 3050, OptiPlex 3060, OptiPlex 5050, OptiPlex 5060, OptiPlex 5250 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7050, OptiPlex 7060, OptiPlex 7450 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7460 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7760 All-In-One, Vostro 5370, Vostro 14 3468, Vostro 5471, Vostro 3578, Vostro 15 5568, Vostro 3470, Vostro 3670, XPS 27 7760, XPS 8920 ...
Last Published Date

05 Oct 2021

Version

5

Article Type

Solution