How to Change Resolution on Mac: A General Guide

Welcome to the world of Mac! Changing the display resolution on a Mac can sometimes seem like a tricky task, especially for new users. However, with just a few simple steps, you can easily customize your Mac screen resolution to match your preferences.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of changing your Mac’s screen resolution. We’ll also provide some helpful tips and explanations along the way, so you can fully understand the process and make the most of your Mac’s display capabilities.


Step 1: Open System Preferences

First, you’ll need to open the System Preferences menu. You can do this by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.”

Step 2: Select Displays

Once you have the System Preferences menu open, select “Displays.” This will take you to the settings for your Mac’s display.

Step 3: Choose the Resolution Tab

Within the Displays settings, you’ll see a few different tabs at the top of the menu. Choose the one that says “Resolution.”

Step 4: Select the Resolution You Want

Within the Resolution tab, you’ll see a list of different resolution options. Choose the one that suits your needs and click on it to select it.

Step 5: Check for Compatibility

Before applying your chosen resolution, make sure that it is compatible with your Mac and the program or application you’re currently using. Some resolutions may not work with certain programs, so be sure to double-check compatibility before proceeding.

Step 6: Apply Your Chosen Resolution

If your chosen resolution is compatible and you’re happy with your selection, click “Apply” to set the new display resolution for your Mac.

Step 7: Test the New Resolution

Once you’ve applied the new display resolution, check to make sure it looks good on your screen. You can do this by opening an application or program and making adjustments as necessary.

Step 8: Make Further Adjustments (Optional)

If you’re not happy with the new resolution, you can always make further adjustments using the same process. Simply return to the Displays settings and select a different resolution.

Step 9: Save Your Settings

Be sure to save your new display settings once you’re happy with them. You can do this by clicking on the “Save” button within the Displays settings menu.

Step 10: Restart Your Mac (Optional)

In some cases, you may need to restart your Mac in order to fully apply the new display settings. If you’re experiencing any issues, try restarting your computer and seeing if the new resolution works properly.

Step 11: Experiment with Different Resolutions

Once you’ve mastered the process of changing your Mac’s display resolution, don’t be afraid to experiment with different options to see what works best for you. You may find that different resolutions work better for different applications or tasks.

Step 12: Seek Help If Needed

If you’re still having trouble changing your display resolution or are experiencing other issues with your Mac’s display settings, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional or online resource.


Changing your Mac’s display resolution can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple once you understand the process. The key is to find a resolution that works well with your computer and the programs you use, while also taking into account your personal preferences.

There are several different factors to consider when changing your Mac’s display resolution, including compatibility, clarity, and ease of use. By following the steps outlined above and experimenting with different resolution options, you can find the perfect display settings for your Mac and make the most of your computer’s capabilities.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use the “Scaled” Option

When selecting a new display resolution, choose the “Scaled” option to see all of the available resolutions for your screen. This can help you find the perfect resolution for your needs.

2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Some Macs have keyboard shortcuts that allow you to quickly change your display resolution. Check your Mac’s user manual or search online to see if this is an option.

3. Consider Your Eyesight

When selecting a display resolution, consider your eyesight and any visual impairments you may have. Choosing a higher resolution can make text and images smaller and more difficult to read.

4. Experiment with Different Resolutions

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different resolutions to see what works best for you. You may find that certain resolutions work better for certain programs or tasks.

5. Use External Displays

If you have an external monitor or display, you may be able to achieve a higher resolution than your Mac’s built-in display. This can provide a better visual experience for certain tasks or programs.

6. Use Apps for Custom Resolutions

There are several apps available that allow you to create custom display resolutions on your Mac. This can be a helpful option for users with specific needs or preferences.

7. Check for System Updates

Sometimes, display resolution issues can be caused by outdated system software. Be sure to check for updates regularly and install them as needed.

8. Call Apple Support

If you’re still having trouble with your display resolution or have other issues with your Mac, don’t hesitate to call Apple Support for assistance.

9. Use Anti-Glare Screens

If you’re experiencing glare or reflections on your Mac’s display, using an anti-glare screen cover can help eliminate these issues and improve clarity.

10. Use Night Mode

Many Macs now come equipped with a Night Mode feature, which adjusts the display’s color temperature to reduce eyestrain and improve your viewing experience in low-light settings. Try using this feature for a more comfortable and enjoyable visual experience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Changing Resolution on Mac


1. Better visual experience: By changing the resolution, users can enjoy a better visual experience as the screen appears more clear and vivid.

2. Ability to fit more on the screen: When changing the resolution, users can fit more content on the screen, such as longer documents or bigger pictures.

3. Increased productivity: With the ability to fit more on the screen, users can multitask more efficiently and be more productive.

4. Customizable settings: Users can customize the resolution settings according to their specific needs and preferences.

5. Compatibility with external displays: Changing the resolution allows Mac users to connect and use external displays with varying resolutions.

6. Enhanced gaming experience: Gamers can enjoy more immersive and better performing games by changing the resolution to match their monitor or display.

7. Improved accessibility: By increasing or decreasing the resolution, users with visual impairments can adjust their settings to better suit their needs.

8. Better for photo and video editing: Changing the resolution can provide users with more accurate and detailed views of their work, allowing for more precise editing.

9. Reducing strain on the eyes: With a higher resolution, text and content is easier to read, reducing eye strain and fatigue.

10. Compatibility with older applications: Some older applications may require specific resolutions to work. Changing the resolution allows users to run these applications without issues.


1. Smaller font size: While a higher resolution may provide better clarity, it also means that fonts and text may appear smaller.

2. Limited hardware capabilities: Older or lower-end Macs may not support certain high resolutions, limiting users’ abilities to change their display settings.

3. Performance issues: Changing the resolution to higher levels may cause performance issues, especially with older Macs or those with lower hardware configurations.

4. Glitches and errors: In some cases, changing the resolution may cause glitches, errors, or even crashes in certain applications or the system itself.

5. Incompatibility with certain software: Some software may not be able to properly adjust to non-standard resolutions, causing issues for the user.

6. Increased power consumption: Higher resolutions require more processing power, leading to increased power consumption and shorter battery life for laptops.

7. Reduced screen real estate: While higher resolutions may provide better visuals, it can also reduce the amount of area on the screen, making it harder to fit all necessary content.

8. Decreased frame rate: Changing the resolution on Macs with integrated graphics may decrease the frame rate when playing games or using graphically intensive software.

9. Compatibility issues with external displays: Some external displays may not be compatible with certain resolutions, causing distortion or other issues.

10. Need for frequent adjustment: Changing the resolution for different tasks or software may become tedious and require frequent adjustment, leading to wasted time and frustration.


1. How do I change screen resolution on a Mac?

Go to System Preferences, select “Displays”. From there you can adjust the resolution under the “Display” tab.

2. What is the recommended screen resolution for my Mac?

The recommended resolution is the one that says “Default for display”.

3. Can I set a custom screen resolution?

Yes, click on “Scaled” and choose “More Space” to get a higher resolution or “Larger Text” to get a lower resolution.

4. My screen resolution is too high and everything is too small, what can I do?

You can lower the resolution by selecting “Scaled” and choosing “Larger Text”.

5. I am using an external monitor, can I adjust the resolution?

Yes, just connect the external monitor and go to System Preferences>Displays>Arrangement to choose the resolutions for each monitor.

6. How do I change the screen resolution in Safe Mode?

Restart your Mac and hold down the Shift key until you see the login screen. Then go to System Preferences>Displays to adjust the resolution.

7. Why does changing the screen resolution affect performance?

Higher resolutions require more processing power, which can slow down your computer.

8. How do I reset resolution to default?

Go to System Preferences>Displays and click on “Default for display”.

9. What should I do if my Mac doesn’t support the resolution I need?

You can try downloading the graphics driver for your monitor, or use a different monitor that supports the desired resolution.

10. Can I change the resolution on a specific application?

No, the resolution is determined by the display settings and applies to all applications.

11. What is pixel density?

Pixel density refers to the number of pixels per inch on a screen. Higher pixel density means sharper images.

12. Does changing the screen resolution affect the aspect ratio?

Yes, changing the resolution can affect the aspect ratio of the screen, which may cause distortion or stretching of images.

13. What is the difference between resolution and screen size?

Resolution refers to the number of pixels on the screen, while screen size refers to the physical dimensions of the screen.

How to Change Resolution on Your Mac

If you own a Mac, you know that sometimes you need to adjust your display settings to get the perfect picture. One of the most common adjustments you might need to make is to change the resolution of your screen. This article will walk you through the steps to change the resolution on your Mac.

Conclusion and Closing

The process for changing your Mac’s resolution is simple and straightforward, and can improve your overall user experience if done correctly. Whether you’re trying to optimize your screen for work or play, knowing how to adjust your display settings is an essential skill for any Mac owner.

After changing your resolution, be sure to test different settings to find the one that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different resolutions and aspect ratios to find the perfect one for your needs.

Thank you for reading, and happy resolution adjusting!