I want to run the Microsoft SDK Simulator on Windows 7 but it requires 1280 x 960 or greater, whereas I have just 1280 x 800 on my laptop.

I remember when using Windows XP it give me a lot of choices between resolutions even though the resolution of the screen is so small.

On Windows 7 it doesn't offer other resolutions bigger than the maximum, is there any workaround or software that allows higher resolution?

This is a video I took using Windows XP, you can see that when the resolution exceeds the maximum, not the whole desktop is shown on the screen but once I hover on the sides the desktop moves to show the hidden sides.


Note that I am not using any software and I didn't do any hardware modification, this has always worked for me, not like what the answers mentioned.

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    that's a virtual desktop as i described below. you're probably getting it via your GPU drivers, or possibly your laptop OEM's installed a virtual desktop utility. my nvidia drivers allow the same thing (on XP), but i had to set "allow non-supported modes" in the driver's advanced config to get it to show me the bigger resolutions. Oct 6 '09 at 13:54
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    so how to allow this on windows 7?
    – user3864
    Oct 6 '09 at 18:48

I have developed a solution which allows you to have a scrolling desktop on Windows. It's complete freeware and there are multiple ways to enhance your desktop. Yes, in both sides, not only horizontal.


Standard is pressing Ctrl+ (moving mouse to the edges) or CtrlShift+ (mouse move) and 4 others.

  • this is a clever utility [basically, it allows you to pan the existing windows on a screen, it doesn't per se expand your desktop, the desktop stays the same size]. Very interesting, and working here for win7.
    – rogerdpack
    Apr 8 '14 at 19:05
  • 1
    Also, it does not allow you to make windows larger than the screen size, or to display programs requiring a higher screen resolution to work.
    – Alex
    Mar 23 '15 at 17:56
  • Your tools are cool, but I have something different on mind and have wondered ... would it also be possible to downscale a custom resolution higher than the maximum supported by a monitor to fit in monitors native resolution? In other words. Display 2560x1600 on 1920x1200 monitor.
    – Qwerty
    May 12 '17 at 10:08

Yes you can increase resolution over windows7 maximum. How?

This hack works only on Windows 7 netbooks.

  • Type in Win+R and put 'regedit' (without the quotes) into the box.
  • Search for ‘Display1_DownScalingSupported’ and change the value from '0' to '1'.

Then you need to restart your computer. Afterwards you may be able to scale your screen resolution to something larger than your computer’s physical restraints. However, be aware that these tweaks might not work on all netbooks (it was tested by users on the 1000H, 1005He or the 1005HA Asus devices) and might cause software instability when changing between options (or when rebooting--may cause a black screen on certain laptops).

Got the link here.

  • NB that this basically only allows you to "display 1280x1024 on a 1024x768 monitor" (not virtually extend a 1024x768 monitor) AFAICT
    – rogerdpack
    Apr 8 '14 at 18:31

I had a problem with a netbook, with a low resolution of 1024x600. I was able to find a good solution though: I found GiMeSpace.

In the free version it allows you to pan endlessly in the horizontal direction, using the extended (commercial) version (still very cheap) you can pan in both directions (horizontally and vertically).

It allows you to resize windows to become larger than your maximum screen size. It works in Windows 7. It makes the netbook a bit more usable for those programs that really require a larger screen.

  • (nowadays it has no free version, only trialware). Anyway this doesn't actually extend the desktop, but it does "move windows" (like infinite screen) to give you the illusion of more space [FWIW].
    – rogerdpack
    Apr 8 '14 at 19:18
  • However, it does allow you to make windows larger than the screen size: something that Infinite_Screen does not do. Too bad the free version does not do that.
    – Alex
    Mar 23 '15 at 18:15

If you can't set a higher screen resolution, you may try these as workarounds:

  • Use an external monitor that can display the resolution you need.

  • Run another copy of Windows in a VM, and set the VM's screen resolution to the size you need. (Probably won't be helpful, as the VM's window won't be completely visible unless the VM viewer allows you to scale the guest desktop down.)

  • Use a Virtual Desktop. Basically, a virtual desktop is a desktop that's larger than your actual display resolution. What you see on the monitor is called a viewport, and doesn't display the whole desktop. Windows doesn't do this natively, but you might have luck using nView (if you have an NVidia GPU), or a 3rd-party desktop shell replacement. (The wikipedia links list a few.)


It seems that you can go above the maximum communicated to Windows 7 by the monitor.
However, these are hardware and software hacks that are not really safe.
I don't take any responsibility for the articles below - it's your decision.

Allowing any screen resolution on Vista (also works for Win7).
It explains the problem and shows how you can hack your video cable so that your monitor places no constraints upon Windows.

A shareware that includes a tool for flashing your monitor's Extended Display Identification Data (EDID), though it is not guaranteed to work for all monitors, and requires the registered version. Please also note that should you destroy the monitor's EDID, this monitor is a dead lose.

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    Thsi is what it says in the first article: "NOTE: This modification is intended for CRT monitors. It is NOT recommended that you do this on an LCD monitor. "
    – alex
    Oct 3 '09 at 20:29
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    good workarounds, but I can't apply them since it's a laptop with no external screen.
    – user3864
    Oct 3 '09 at 20:32
  • You can probably use PowerStrip on the internal monitor, but I advice against using it at all. Why don't you get yourself a larger external monitor as a solution?
    – harrymc
    Oct 4 '09 at 6:11
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    This basically only allows you to "display 1280x1024 on a 1024x768 monitor" (not virtually extend a 1024x768 monitor) is that right?
    – rogerdpack
    Apr 8 '14 at 18:32

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