How to Make Windows Fit My New Monitor

By Katie Strzeszewski

A new monitor is an exciting purchase, because it can greatly enhance a computer experience. Most often, a computer will recognize the new monitor and automatically adjust its settings to appropriately fit that monitor. Sometimes, though, the auto-adjustment is not visually appealing, requiring you to manually change the display to make it better fit the new monitor. Performing this manual adjustment is simple, although it varies a bit between Windows XP, Vista and 7, and it may take you a few tries before finding the setting that best fits your needs.

Step 1

In Windows XP, click the "Start" button and select "Control Panel." When the Control Panel opens, double-click "Display" to open the Display settings. In Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the Windows logo at the bottom left of the screen and select "Control Panel." Once in the Control Panel, click "Appearance and Personalization."

Step 2

In Windows XP’s Display Properties dialog, click the "Settings" tab. In Windows Vista, select "Personalization," and then "Display Settings." In Windows 7, select "Adjust Screen Resolution."

Step 3

Move the Resolution slider in the Display Settings dialog (in Windows XP, this slider is named Screen Resolution) back and forth; an image at the top of the box will show you a scaled-down version of how your changes affect the screen size. When you think you’ve found a size that fits your new monitor, click "Apply."

Step 4

Click "Yes" in the pop-up box that appears if you wish to make the current settings permanent. If not, click "No" and repeat Step 3 until you find the setting that best suits your system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Different people like to view things in different ways; what makes one user happy might make another user squirm. Keep adjusting the settings until you are happy with the way Windows appears; it’ll help you get the best possible experience out of both your computer and your new monitor.