I want to change the display from 32-bit color-depth to 16-bit. Changing the color depth in Windows XP was easy, but it appears that Microsoft removed the option or moved it to some hidden, advanced setting in Windows 7 and later. Does anyone know where this setting is?

2 Answers 2


Does anyone know where this setting is?

  1. "Start" > "Control Panel" > "Display" > "Screen Resolution".

  2. Click "Advanced settings".

    enter image description here

  3. Select the "Monitor" tab.

  4. Choose "High Color (16 Bit)" in the "Colors" popdown.

    enter image description here

  5. Click "OK".

  6. Click "OK" a second time.


@DavidPostill's answer is great. But, it may not work on VirtualBox. I'm posting this for those who came here, like I did, looking for an answer, but found that it didn't work in VirtualBox.

How to Change Color to 32-Bit in VirtualBox Windows 7 Guest OS:

  1. Select the Advanced Settings, as described by DavidPostill.
  2. Click on the Adapter tab.
  3. Click the List All Modes button, bottom left.
  4. This is the key: You must select one of the 32-bit modes to be able to do the next step.

Choose one of the 32-Bit modes

  1. In my system, 1280 by 960, True Color (32-bit), 60 Hz is the best setting
  2. Select OK to close out of the List All Modes selection window
  3. Now, if you click into the monitor tab, you should see that "True Color (32-bit)" is already selected.

I hope this has been helpful.

Screenshot showing all relevant windows open simultaneously

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