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Windows 8 has a minimum resolution of 1024x768, unless you are running it in a VM. As such it doesn't support going into 1280x720 (since 720 < 768). Windows 7 allowed this, but the modes are missing from Windows 8.

My video card and monitor support 1280x720

List All Modes

But it is missing from the slider:

1280x768

1152x864

How do I force windows 8 into 1280x720 ?

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What's stopping you from selecting the desired mode (in your first screenshot)? That works for me. –  Bob Dec 14 '12 at 12:00
    
Why don't you just pick 1280 x 800? You are only talking about a small difference and the resolution requirement only exists because of Windows Store Applications. –  Ramhound Dec 14 '12 at 12:12
    
@Bob - For some reason that didn't work the first time, but when I tried it again it worked. Thanks! –  Jim McKeeth Dec 14 '12 at 16:48
    
@Bob If you want to propose that as an answer I will accept it. –  Jim McKeeth Dec 14 '12 at 16:56
    
Well, you can attempt click on the slider and use the arrow keys on the keyboard instead. –  Tom Wijsman Dec 14 '12 at 17:00
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

From Screen Resolution select Advanced Settings and then List All Modes. From here select the desired resolution, OK and Apply.

List All Modes

(Thanks to Bob for this suggestion.)

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AFAIK, you cannot set 1280x720 as your resolution, but you can downscale it to 1024x768. To do this, you simply need to search the key Display1_DownScalingSupported in your registry and change every entry which has value 0 to 1.

After rebooting your system you should have some more resolutions to choose from.

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