How to Change Resolution on Mac

Updated on March 16, 2023
How to Change Resolution on Mac

Mac laptops typically arrive with a given resolution level. This serves as their default resolution setting and will generally vary based on the technical specs of the particular model that you’re holding. Now, while the default resolution is usually good enough as it is, you might want to increase or lower it for several reasons.

This is where things can get a little confusing for people who aren’t yet familiar with how the Mac operating system is laid out.

Yet, changing your desktop or laptop’s resolution is a task that must be done sooner or later. This is where learning how to change resolution on Mac computers can make all the difference!

Having a clear idea of what you have to do to adjust your system’s resolution levels will help you easily bring out the best visuals that the various apps on your computer have to offer.

It bears pointing out that some users opt to only change the resolution settings for specific applications. However, that process can be especially cumbersome. As such, it’s almost always easier and better to just change your default screen resolution.

But how exactly do you get this done?

Here’s everything you need to know about that!

Changing the Resolution on Your Mac Laptop or Desktop

Mac laptops offer various simple and interesting ways that users can modify the resolution levels of their devices. Some of these ways include:

Technique Two – By Using the SwitchResX App

SwitchResX is an app that was specifically designed to make changing the resolution settings on your computer and HDTV a simple and convenient exercise. It’s considered by many users to be one of the easiest ways of getting into the resolution settings of Macs.

With this tool, you’ll usually be able to change any aspect of the resolution of your computer that you want.

You should know that this is a paid app. But having established that, you’re more than guaranteed to get your money’s worth out of the application.

Here’s a simple 10-step guide to using SwitchResX in 2023

Step One – Download and Install the App

The first thing you have to do here is to find, download and install the SwitchResX app. We recommend that you go to the official website of the app to get the software. That way, there’s minimal risk of your privacy being compromised.

Step Two – Access the System Preferences Feature

The next thing you need to do here is to locate the “System Preferences” feature and click on it.

Step Three – Find the Applications Feature

Next, find the “Applications” feature. This will be located on the left-hand side of the SwitchResX tool. Then, check the box located directly beside the “Monitor Applications” option.

Step Four – Activate Final Cut Pro

You now have to add “Final Cut Pro” to SwitchResX’s list of monitored apps. This you can do by hitting the “+” button found at the bottom of the app’s interface. Hit the “Applications” option again and then add “Final Cut Pro”.

Please note that the reason this is essential is that it’s what will ensure that your system’s resolution is automatically adjusted whenever the app is launched.

Step Five – Add a New Display Set

This you can do by just hitting the “Create New Display Set” field. It’ll then present you with your New Display Set Window.

Step Six – Increase Your DPI Setting

This is when you start to really influence the resolution settings of your laptop. So, make sure you push the resolution to the maximum DPI setting allowed on your Resolution field. Then, hit the “OK” option.

Step Seven – Save

Now, you have to make your way to the “File” feature and save your settings otherwise everything you’ve done so far will be lost.

Step Eight – Hit the About SwitchResX button

The About SwitchResX button can be found on the left panel of the app.

Step Nine – Quit Daemon

Find the “Quit Daemon” option and click on it. This button is usually located at the lower portion of the window.

Step Ten – Launch

Finally, you just need to launch the Daemon and you’re done!

Technique Two – By Using Your Mac Computer’s Manual Settings

Maybe you don’t want to risk getting a third-party app on your device. Or you don’t want to pay for any resolution control tools. Well, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to!

You can just use the manual settings readily found on your computer.

Here’s how to do that in 3 steps.

Step One – Access Your Computer’s Display Window

Make your way to the dock panel and select the “System Preferences” feature. After doing this, find the “Hardware” section and hit the “Displays” option. This sequence of actions will open the Display window of your computer.

Step Two – Choose the Perfect Resolution Level for You

Once at the Display window, you’ll be greeted with a wide range of resolution level options, depending on the model and recency of your device. You only need to select the option you feel is ideal for you and your system will configure its resolution to that standard automatically.

Alternatively, you can leave this decision up to your computer itself. Just find and select the “Best For Display” option and your Mac will manage the rest for you.

Step Three – Wait For the AirPlay Icon

Lastly, check the box located beside the “Show Mirroring Options”. This can be found in the menu bar. This will allow the AirPlay Icon to display on your screen. With that in place, connecting to any mirroring compatible Apple TV will be significantly easier.

However, please keep in mind that some Mac laptops won’t feature that option.

And that’s all there is to that.

Wrapping Up

Even though it might appear otherwise in the first instance, the truth is that changing the resolution settings on your Mac isn’t that complicated. You only need to take the time to select which method you want to use to achieve this aim and follow the steps we’ve highlighted above.

With that, you’ll certainly get the best visuals on your computer!

Article by:
Erwin Valles

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