How to Fix the Widescreen View on a Computer to Fit the Window

By Jesse Adams

To ensure that your computer operating system fills the entirety of your monitor, you will need to adjust it to the correct resolution. Both Mac and Windows-based computers offer a variety of display settings and resolutions that manipulate the computer window to perfectly fit the size, shape and resolution of the monitor. While your Mac or PC will generally automatically detect the appropriate resolution for your display, you may have to manually adjust it in some cases, such as with a driver or brand that is not recognized the operating system.

Instructions for Windows XP

Step 1

Rightclick on your desktop and choose the “Properties” option.

Step 2

Click the “Settings” tab.

Step 3

Slide the bar under the “Resolution” heading to appropriate resolution for your monitor. If you are not sure which resolution to use, use trial and error to see which one works best for your monitor.

Step 4

Click the “Apply” button.

Step 5

Select “Yes” to save the settings if that is resolution you want to keep, or click “No” to try another setting.

Step 6

Click “OK” to exit the display properties.

Instructions for Windows Vista or Later

Step 1

Right-click on your desktop and choose the “Personalize” option.

Step 2

Click the “Display Settings” at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3

Slide the bar under the “Resolution” heading to the appropriate resolution for your monitor.

Step 4

Click the “Apply” button.

Step 5

Select “Yes” to save the settings if that is resolution you want to keep, or click “No” to try another setting.

Instructions for Mac OS X

Step 1

Click the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and select the “System Preferences” option.

Step 2

Click the “Displays” icon under the “Hardware” heading.

Step 3

Scroll through the various resolution settings and choose the one appropriate the size of your screen.

Step 4

Close the "Display" and the "System Preferences" menu to save the new display settings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your display will always look best when the resolution is set to be the native resolution of your monitor. For example, if you have a monitor with a native resolution of 1600x900, you should set your computer’s resolution to match that number for a clear, crisp look. You can find the native resolution for your monitor in the owner’s manual for the device.
  • It is recommended that you use a resolution of at least 1024x768 unless you have specific reasons to use a lower setting (such as a software or video requirement).