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In Windows XP it was possible to set the screen's resolution even higher than supported, so, if I wanted, I could set a very high resolution seeing teeny characters and have a huge screen.

When I migrated to Vista, I was very disappointed that I couldn't enjoy this feature any more.

Now I am using Windows 7.

Any ideas how can increase the screen's resolution off the record?

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Can you elaborate more? What monitor are you using. What resolutions were you able to use before that you can't use now. – Marcin Nov 15 '09 at 22:40
@Marcin it doesn't matter. In XP, the system provided a much lower resolution without limiting it to the connected monitor. I'm looking for a hack. – Shimmy Mar 29 '12 at 22:53
up vote 1 down vote accepted

One of the big changes with Windows Vista was the Aero visual enhancements, which put much more aggressive requirements on the video card. It's quite possible that the video card you have in this new machine won't be able to support the large resolutions you desire. In any case, you will almost definitely need special driver support or a third-party package to enable the higher resolutions. Some of the technet threads (example) indicate that the architectural changes to the display system have broken the previous hacks for these high resolutions, so it may be a while (if ever) before you see support for them.

One alternative is to set the DPI to less than 100%. This would give you smaller fonts and widgets while keeping the resolution matched to your monitor. Apparently, this lower DPI setting was part of the XP interface but was disabled in Vista, so the registry hack may be just what you're looking for.

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control panel > display > screen resolution

  • select the appropriate screen
  • click 'Advanced settings'
  • click 'List All Modes'
  • Pick one and hit OK a few times.
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The highest is already chosen, I am talking about unofficial resolutions. – Shimmy Nov 18 '09 at 19:36

Are you still on the same machine that XP was installed on? If so, make sure you have the latest Win7 drivers for your video card. It's not uncommon for vendor-specific drivers to include specialized settings managers.

For example, I have an HDTV that I use as my monitor, but I cannot set a correct 720p resolution directly from Win7, I have to do it directly from ATI's Catalyst software.

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