1. Open Screen Resolution by clicking the Start button Start button icon, clicking Control Panel, and then, under Appearance and Personalization, clicking Adjust screen resolution.

  2. Click the drop-down list next to Resolution. Check for the resolution marked (recommended). This is your LCD monitor's native resolution—usually the highest resolution your monitor can support.

Resolution based on LCD monitor size

Monitor size

Recommended resolution (in pixels)

19-inch standard ratio LCD monitor

1280 × 1024

20-inch standard ratio LCD monitor

1600 × 1200

20- and 22-inch widescreen LCD monitors

1680 × 1050

24-inch widescreen LCD monitor

1920 × 1200

Laptop screen size

Recommended resolution (in pixels)

13- to 15-inch standard ratio laptop screen

1400 × 1050

13- to 15-inch widescreen laptop screen

1280 × 800

17-inch widescreen laptop screen

1680 × 1050

To get the best color displayed on your LCD monitor, make sure to set it to 32-bit color. This measurement refers to color depth, which is the number of color values that can be assigned to a single pixel in an image. Color depth can range from 1 bit (black-and-white) to 32 bits (over 16.7 million colors).

  1. Open Screen Resolution by clicking the Start button  Start button icon, clicking Control Panel, and then, under Appearance and Personalization, clicking Adjust screen resolution.

  2. Click Advanced settings, and then click the Monitor tab.

  3. Under Colors, select True Color (32 bit), and then click OK.

Windows also contains advanced color management controls. Color management systems ensure that color content is rendered everywhere as accurately as possible—especially for devices such as your monitor and your printer.

Display calibration software helps to make sure that colors are displayed accurately on your screen. If you already have display calibration software from another software provider installed on your computer, you can use that software to calibrate your display. Display calibration devices are often packaged with calibration software. Using a calibration device with the calibration software it came with can help you get the best color on your screen.

Windows also includes a feature for calibrating your display.

For external displays, brightness and contrast are set on the monitor controls, not from within Windows. Most CRT and LCD monitors have buttons or other controls on the front where you can control brightness and contrast. Some open an on-screen menu where you can make these adjustments. If you're unsure of how to adjust these controls, check the manual for your monitor or the manufacturer's website. 

The brightness of most laptop screens can be adjusted within Windows. If you're using a laptop, you can adjust brightness in Power Options.

Windows includes a technology called ClearType that is turned on by default. ClearType allows your monitor to display computer fonts as clear and smooth as possible. This can help make text easier to read over long periods of time without causing eyestrain. It works especially well with LCD devices, including flat-panel displays, laptops, and smaller handheld devices.

It's a good idea to make sure ClearType was not turned off for some reason, especially if the text on your monitor looks fuzzy. You can also set up ClearType to work best with your particular monitor. 

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!