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Is it possible to force my screen resolution to be something smaller than supported? The smallest one I can have is 800 x 600 but I would like to set it to something like 480 x 320, so when I access it remotely from my phone I can use it full screen but still fit nicely in my phone's screen.

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migrated from Mar 14 '11 at 3:07

This question came from our site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

I think a fair amount of applications would be completely unusable at that resolution. There are remote solutions that offer a good experience even when you can't see the whole screen. Logmein Ignition is pretty good on Android. – Fosco Mar 14 '11 at 3:37
I think so too, but why not give it a try. I don't have Android. – Juan Mar 14 '11 at 16:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, you can set the resolution to anything that your video card supports (fullscreen games support lower resolutions), however you will need a third-party tool to do so.

I just tried it with a few different standalone tools such as QuickRes as well as with ATI Tray Tools and they worked for 640x480 which is not listed in Windows 7’s Screen Resolutions dialog. Using 480x320 did not work with my video card because it is not a supported mode (I only tried 32-bit color and I did not look up the full list of supported resolution/color-depth combinations), but again, the specific options available depends on your video card.

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QucikRes did the trick. I set it to 640 x 480. Thanks. – Juan Mar 14 '11 at 16:57

If you use Remote Desktop (also known as RDP or Terminal Services), the client software can sometimes set an unconventional display resolution.

For example, mstsc.exe will only present standard resolutions, but Mocha RDP (lite and full versions) for the iPhone offer a non-standard resolution that fits the iPhone 1, 3G, and 3G[S] screen perfectly in landscape orientation (I am unsure if it supports the Retina display). I'm sure there are other apps out there that will do the same.

Also, in this case, it doesn't need to be a resolution your computer's monitor or graphics card can support. The resolution on the computer screen will stay set at your normal settings. However, it will show the locked or change user screen, and if you log back in, it will kick out the remote connection.

Also, this is only available in XP Professional, Windows Vista Business/Ultimate, and Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate, or Windows Server 2003 and newer. You cannot connect to a computer running XP Home, Vista Home Basic/Home Premium, or Windows 7 Starter/Home with Remote Desktop (however you can connect FROM these editions with the possible exception of Windows 7 Starter). Also, only one user can be logged on at a time (with the exception of Windows Server with a Terminal Services license). If someone else logs in (as you or any other user), you will be disconnected.

In Windows Server 2003 and newer, you can install the "Terminal Services" role, which allows multiple users to be logged in and active simultaneously over Remote Desktop, plus one active user logged on to the actual physical computer. However, the license for this is very expensive (however there is a 120-day grace period which you could use to test it out and make sure it works the way you need it to).

There are other ways to remotely work with your computer, but as far as I know, only the Remote Desktop feature built-in to Windows will let you use a different resolution than is already in use.

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