Skip to main content
  • Place orders quickly and easily
  • View orders and track your shipping status
  • Create and access a list of your products
  • Manage your Dell EMC sites, products, and product-level contacts using Company Administration.

Picture Appears Stretched, Distorted, or Shrunken on My Laptop Screen

Summary: Investigate the possible causes of the video issue experienced on your Dell PC LCD

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


The image of the laptop screen appears stretched, distorted, or shrunk.


Possible Cause of Perceived Display Problems on LCD Screens

The Dell portable computers with high resolution displays are optimized for specific resolutions. As a result, using display resolutions that are different than these optimal settings can result in visual distortions on the screen.

For example: If a computer has a 15.0+" SXGA+ screen with an optimized resolution of 1400x1050 and the screen's current resolution is set to 1280x1024 pixels, the display will shrink resulting in a black border surrounding the edges of the screen. Also, all other lower resolutions may be stretched to fit the screen. No border will be visible, but fonts may appear slightly fuzzy.


Verify the LCD Type

Since the resolution settings vary from system to system, it is important to determine what type of LCD screen you have before adjusting your display resolution. To verify which LCD screen you have installed on your computer, you will need to view your invoice. Depending on your system model, your invoice should contain an entry similar to this:

220-2838 I8100,15 UXGA,PIII,1GHZ,T

Notice that the highlighted section above, while this example is for a Dell Inspiron 8100 computer, shows that the size of the screen is 15 inches and that the format of the screen is UXGA.

Adjust the Screen Resolution, Color Depth, and Refresh Rate

Adjust the screen resolution, color depth, and refresh rate in the Windows operating system.

LCD and Flat-Panel Monitor Types With Associated Native Resolutions

Table 1 and Table 2 specify LCD and flat-panel monitor types with associated native resolutions:
Native resolution of a LCD is the one under which the screen looks best. Operating Systems and programs give often various selection of resolution. If possible, it is advised to select a native resolution.
Table 1: LCD and Flat-Panel Monitor Types
Type Aspect Ratio Resolution Number of Pixels
VGA 4:3 640 x 480 307,200 pixels
SVGA 4:3 800 x 600 480,000 pixels
XGA 4:3 1024 x 768 786,432 pixels
WXGA 16:10 1280 x 800 1,024,000 pixels
QVGA 4:3 1280 x 960 1,228,800 pixels
SXGA 5:4 1280 x 1024 1,310,720 pixels
SXGA+ 4:3 1400 x 1050 1,470,000 pixels
WXGA+ 16:10 1440 x 900 1,290,000 pixels
WSXGA 16:10 1440 x 900 1,290,000 pixels
WSXGA+ 16:10 1680 x 1050 1,764,000 pixels
UXGA 4:3 1600 x 1200 1,920,000 pixels
WUXGA 16:10 1920 x 1200 2,304,000 pixels
QXGA 4:3 2048 x 1536 3,145,728 pixels
QSXGA 5:4 2560 x 2048 5,242,880 pixels
QSXGA+ 4:3 2800 x 2100 5,880,000 pixels
QUXGA 4:3 3200 x 2400 7,680,000 pixels
Table 2: Pixels Per Inch
10.4" 77 96 123 168 192 246
11.3" N/A 88 113 155 177 227
12.1" N/A 83 106 145 165 212
13.3" N/A N/A 96 132 150 192
14.1" N/A N/A 91 124 142 182
15.0" N/A N/A 85 117 133 171
16.5" N/A N/A N/A 106 121 155
15.4" N/A N/A 98 128 147 N/A
NOTE: For help with specifics on your Dell system or additional troubleshooting support, search the Dell Support Web site. Dell provides you with the troubleshooting tools necessary to resolve most problems.

Update the Video Driver

If adjusting the resolution or font size did not resolve your issue, the problem might be the video driver. For information on downloading and installing video drivers, refer to the Dell Drivers and Downloads section of the support site.

Additional Information for Troubleshooting Video Problems

Please visit the Dell Online Diagnostics tool which can run tests on your Dell system, identify issues and offer a resolution.

Additional Information

Article Properties

Affected Product


Last Published Date

05 Jan 2024



Article Type