How to Make My Computer Picture Fit the Screen on the TV

By David Weedmark

In an ideal world, connecting a computer to a TV should be as simple as turning on a monitor -- but in practice, it's not always that easy. When you attempt to connect your computer to a television, you may find the image to appear distorted or smaller than it should be. The solution to both problems lies in knowing your TV's preferred resolution. Once you know this, you can use Windows to set the output image to exactly what the TV was programmed to accept.

Step 1

Connect your TV to your computer, ideally using an HDMI cable. HDMI transfers both high definition video and digital audio. Change the TV's input source to the port you connected the computer to. Wait a few moments until the computer screen appears on the TV. In many cases, the computer will display fully on the screen.

Step 2

Check the TV's user guide to see what resolutions it supports if the computer screen isn't filling the entire TV screen. For most 1080p HDTVs, the ideal resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60Hz. Older HDTV models may only support 1080i HD resolution, which is 1366 by 768 pixels.

Step 3

Put the cursor in the bottom right corner of the Windows screen and move it upward. Select "Settings," then click "Change PC Settings." Click "PC and Devices" and then click "Display." Drag the resolution slider that appears on the screen to the resolution recommended for your TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have an advanced video card on your computer, you may be able to use its software to change the resolution. Launch the card's software and select the resolution recommended by the TV manufacturer.
  • Information in this article applies to computers running Windows 8.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.