How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Benj Edwards
How to find your mac’s screen resolutionBenj Edwards
Associate Editor

Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast. Read more.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

The resolution (in pixels by pixels) of your Mac’s display determines how much information you can fit on screen and how sharp the image is, so it’s important to know. If you run a full-screen game or application at native resolution, the image will look its best, so here’s how to find out what it is.

First, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, and select “About This Mac.”

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

In the window that pops up, click the “Displays” tab.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

On the next screen, you will see information about the display (or displays) you have built-in or attached to your Mac.

The screen resolution is the set of numbers listed in parenthesis just after the size of the display. For example, the listing here says “27-Inch (2560 x 1440)” which means that the Mac in this image has a 27-inch display with a 2560 x 1140 pixel resolution.

(Note that “About This Mac” always show the native (ideal) resolution of the display regardless of the resolution settings in System Preferences.)

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

If you have more than one display attached to your Mac, you will see all of them in this window. Here’s an example. With an external display, you’ll find its native resolution listed just under its name.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Now that you know your display’s native resolution, you can use it to run games at the best possible quality, find desktop wallpapers that fit your screen exactly, and more.

If you need to adjust your resolution settings, About This Mac makes it easy. Just click the “Displays Preferences” button in this window, and you’ll be taken directly to “System Preferences” where you can tweak your display settings to fit your needs.

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How to find your mac’s screen resolution Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »

Разрешение экрана определяет размер текста и объектов на экране. По умолчанию Mac автоматически использует наилучшее разрешение для дисплея. Рекомендуется использовать разрешение по умолчанию, однако при необходимости можно вручную настроить разрешение с тем, чтобы увеличить размер текста и объектов на экране, или расширить пространство на экране, уменьшив размер текста и объектов.

Настройка разрешения для основного монитора

На Mac выберите пункт меню Apple

> «Системные настройки», затем нажмите «Мониторы» .

Выберите «Масштабированное», затем выберите один из вариантов.

Настройка разрешения для подключенного монитора

Если у Вас несколько мониторов, при подключении монитора отображаются дополнительные варианты разрешения.

На Mac выберите пункт меню Apple

> «Системные настройки», нажмите «Мониторы» , затем нажмите «Настройки мониторов».

Выберите монитор в боковом меню, затем в зависимости от монитора выполните одно из следующих действий.

Нажмите всплывающее меню «Масштабированное», затем выберите масштабированное разрешение для монитора.

Выберите «Масштабированное», затем выберите нужное Вам разрешение.

Можно выбрать «Показать все разрешения», чтобы увидеть все дополнительные разрешения для этого монитора.

В зависимости от выбранного разрешения окна некоторых приложений могут не умещаться на экране полностью. Выбор разрешения с изменением масштаба может влиять на производительность.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Regardless of whether you’re using an external display, or you’re happy with your Mac’s built-in display, your screen resolution settings determine how large text and images appear onscreen, and also affects the sharpness and clarity of everything you see on your Mac.

Every model of Mac has a default resolution that’s designed to give you the sharpest text and the most detailed images, but if you’re unhappy with these default settings, then you can always adjust the screen resolution manually. In particular, you may want to try decreasing the resolution if spending time in front of the computer is leaving you with headaches or eye-strain, as this will increase the size of the onscreen content and take some of the pressure off your eyes. Alternatively, if you love to multitask, then you may want to try increasing the resolution so that you can fit even more apps and windows onto your screen.

In this article I’m going to show you how to adjust the screen resolution on Retina and non-Retina displays, and how to perfect the screen resolution on any external display you may be using with your Mac.

Things to be aware of

Before we get into the ‘how to,’ it’s important to note that not all screen resolutions will be appropriate for your particular Mac. For example, after switching to a different resolution you may discover that certain apps no longer even fit onscreen, or that strips of empty space appear along either side of the screen. You may need to experiment with a few different resolutions, in order to find the one that’s right for your particular Mac.

It’s also possible that selecting a very high resolution may impact your Mac’s performance, as some graphics cards will struggle to display content at higher resolutions.

How to change your screen resolution on a built-in display

You can increase and decrease the screen resolution in your System Preferences:

  • Select the ‘Apple’ logo from your Mac’s menu bar.
  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences… > Displays.’
  • Make sure the ‘Display’ tab is selected.
  • Assuming you haven’t previously edited the screen resolution settings, ‘Default for Display’ should be selected. Give the ‘Scaled’ radio button a click.

The next steps will vary, depending on whether your Mac has a Retina or a non-Retina display:

1. Changing the resolution on a non-Retina Display

When you select the ‘Scaled’ button, you’ll see various screen resolution options, which will vary depending on your Mac’s technical specs.

You can uncover some additional options, by holding the ‘Option’ key and clicking the ‘Scaled’ radio button again, as I’m doing in the following screenshot.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

At this point, you can select any of the available screen resolutions.

2. Changing the screen resolution on a Retina Display Mac

If your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or iMac has a Retina Display, then selecting the ‘Scaled’ radio button will reveal up to five different scaled resolutions for you to choose from, including ‘Larger Text’ and ‘More Space.’

While it currently isn’t possible to set a specific resolution for Macs with Retina Displays, one possible workaround is to attach an external display to your Retina Display Mac. At this point, you’ll be able to set a specific resolution for this external display, which leads us neatly onto our final section.

3. Changing the screen resolution on an external display

If you’re using an external display, then you can specify a separate screen resolution for this display:

  • Navigate to ‘System Preferences… > Displays.’
  • Open the ‘Optimize for…’ dropdown, and select your external display.
  • Hold down the ‘Option’ key and give the ‘Scaled’ button a click.
  • Select a new screen resolution from the list.

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Oliver Haslam
How to find your mac’s screen resolutionOliver Haslam
Writer

Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password’s blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple. Read more.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

You can change the display resolution of your Mac to make text larger or gain more space. There are some predefined scaled resolutions available, but you can get more granular control over your display’s resolution.

Normally a Mac will run its display at the resolution Apple believes is best. There are also four or five different options—depending on your Mac and display and highlighted below—that provide different outcomes. They’re fine, but they’re options to make text bigger or your desktop larger without using the number-based resolutions we all understand. But if you do some digging, you can get some real control over your display by making actual resolutions available to you.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Why is Display Resolution Important?

A display’s resolution is the number of pixels available both horizontally and vertically. A 4K display has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, or 3840 pixels horizontally, and 2160 pixels vertically.

How much information you can see on-screen at any given time is governed by its resolution. Higher resolutions mean that more things can be shown on-screen. Those things could be windows, icons, photos, or text in a document. Because of the larger resolution, however, that also means all on-screen elements are smaller, which is something else to consider.

Larger displays usually also have higher resolutions than smaller ones, especially if they are of good quality.

What Makes Retina, Retina?

The direct link between how many pixels a display has and how much space is available on-screen is broken by Apple’s use of Retina displays. Apple defines a Retina display as one whose pixel density is so high that your eyes can’t see individual pixels when you’re sitting at a reasonable viewing distance.

For you, that means a tack sharp image. And it’s also where scaling comes into effect.

An excellent example of how Retina displays change the way we think of resolutions is the 5K 27-inch iMac with a resolution of 5120 x 2880. You would expect everything to be tiny at that resolution, but because macOS scales everything up, it’s not. Everything looks great because of the high resolution, but because it’s scaled, you can still read it.

Scaling works by taking something that would typically use a single pixel and making it use multiples of two instead. That allows a larger display resolution to be used without shrinking on-screen items to the point of being difficult to see. It also gives you the flexibility of using a display’s native resolution at all times.

Some scaling options are made available by default, and they get the job done. But they’re vague, and there’s a way to select a more precise resolution.

Why Selecting a Resolution Might be Important

If you need to know precisely which resolution you are using, the scaled options won’t cut it. Some apps and games might need specific resolutions to be used, for example.

When selecting a precise resolution, there are more options available than the default ones your Mac shows you. That can be super useful if you have particular needs that aren’t catered for typically.

How to Select a Precise Resolution

There might be times where you want full control over the resolution of your Mac’s display. You can override macOS’s scaling and go back to the old resolution-to-size ratio instead.

Click the Apple logo at the top of the screen and then click “System Preferences.”

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

The Displays preference panel shows the four scaled resolution options, but no actual resolutions. Hold the Option key and click “Scaled” to see them.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Click a resolution to apply it.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Your Mac’s display will refresh, and you can close System Preferences.

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How to find your mac’s screen resolution Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password’s blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple.
Read Full Bio »

It’s simple and easy to see what resolution your screen is. Here are several ways to check.

A screen resolution is how many pixels your monitor can display horizontally and vertically. The higher the resolution, the sharper your display will appear. When you connect a monitor, Windows will automatically choose the recommended resolution.

It can be useful to know your screen resolution for many reasons, like finding a desktop wallpaper that fits or selecting the correct setting when playing games.

We're going to show you how to quickly and easily find out what your screen resolution is.

How to Find Your Screen Resolution in Windows

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Click System.
  3. Beneath the Scale and layout heading, look at the Display resolution dropdown. This shows your current screen resolution (for example, in the screenshot above, 3000 x 2000).

If necessary, use the Display resolution dropdown to alter your resolution. However, once you've found the best resolution, you'll generally never need to change it unless you get a new monitor.

How to Find Your Screen Resolution Using Online Tools

If you don't want to look in Windows Settings, you can also use online tools to find out what your screen resolution is. You don't need to download anything; your browser knows your screen resolution, so websites can detect this and show it to you.

You can simply do a Google search for "what is my screen resolution" and select one of the top results. Alternatively, go direct to a website like RapidTables, BestFirms, or WhatIsMyScreenResolution.

Now You Know Your Screen Resolution

It's really that simple! Should you need your screen resolution for any reason, you now know how to find out—either through Windows or a handy free site.

If you're a gamer and you want your games to look the best, it's handy to know your screen resolution. But then again, you might favor a higher frame rate over a larger resolution.

If you can’t afford a high-end gaming setup, you’ll need to understand the trade-offs between high frame rates and high resolutions when gaming.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Joe was born with a keyboard in his hands and immediately started writing about technology. He has a BA (Hons) in Business and is now a full-time freelance writer who enjoys making tech simple for everyone.

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How can I find out the current resolution the screen is running at, in OS X 10.10?

Under settings -> display (which is where I think it used to be), it shows the refresh frequency, but not the resolution. Using the monitor’s controls, I can see it’s running at 3840×2160, but how would one find this out from OS X?

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

6 Answers 6

You go to apple menu -> about this mac, and there is a Displays tab with the information.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

You can get the resolution in Terminal using system_profiler by issuing the following command:

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

You can see the current resolution in the Display system preferences.

On a Macbook .. Retina, If you have scaled selected for resolution

Hover your mouse over the current scaled selection and the resolution will be shown.

If you have default selected for resolution then the resolution is not shown.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

( I cannot check my non retina desktop at the moment)

But either way you could run this Applescript/Objective – C script from your Applescript Menu or from Script Editor.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType will give you the physical resolution of a Retina display, but it won’t give you the effective (scaled) resolution. If you need that, you can sort of get it with osascript :

Note that if you’re running a multi-monitor setup, this may require some interpretation. For instance, I have a Retina iMac 21" with physical resolution 4096×2304 and scaled resolution 2560×1440; I also have an external portrait monitor running at 1440×2560:

When I run the command above, it reports:

These are the bounds of the desktop relative to the upper left corner of the main monitor:

As you can see, this by itself doesn’t actually give you the scaled vertical resolution of the main monitor (although you can figure it out from the physical aspect ratio).

Another option is the GPL’ed utility screenresolution (which is available through Homebrew if you don’t want to build it yourself). The command line isn’t much like anything else on this earth, but it works:

As a bonus, it also gives you the color depth in bits and, if available, the refresh rate in Hz.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

The resolution (in pixels by pixels) of your Mac’s display determines how much information you can fit on screen and how sharp the image is, so it’s important to know. If you run a full-screen game or application at native resolution, the image will look its best, so here’s how to find out what it is.

First, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, and select “About This Mac.”

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

In the window that pops up, click the “Displays” tab.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

On the next screen, you will see information about the display (or displays) you have built-in or attached to your Mac.

The screen resolution is the set of numbers listed in parenthesis just after the size of the display. For example, the listing here says “27-Inch (2560 x 1440)” which means that the Mac in this image has a 27-inch display with a 2560 x 1140 pixel resolution.

(Note that “About This Mac” always show the native (ideal) resolution of the display regardless of the resolution settings in System Preferences.)

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

If you have more than one display attached to your Mac, you will see all of them in this window. Here’s an example. With an external display, you’ll find its native resolution listed just under its name.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Now that you know your display’s native resolution, you can use it to run games at the best possible quality, find desktop wallpapers that fit your screen exactly, and more.

If you need to adjust your resolution settings, About This Mac makes it easy. Just click the “Displays Preferences” button in this window, and you’ll be taken directly to “System Preferences” where you can tweak your display settings to fit your needs.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Steve Larner Steve Larner carries over ten years of content management, editing, and writing experience in a wide variety of industries. As a tech enthusiast, Steve also enjoys exploring new products and devices and helping others solve their technological problems. Read more August 28, 2020

Whether you use Mojave or Catalina, Mac OS X usually handles display resolution and scaling quite well automatically. Still, those using external displays (particularly third-party displays) may wish to select their resolution manually. Here’s how you can override OS X’s automatic and limited suggestions and choose any supported resolution for your external monitor.

  1. To change the resolution of your Mac’s display, head to System Preferences > Displays. If you have more than one screen connected to your Mac, a new Display Preferences window will appear for each one. Select the window residing on the display you wish to modify.
    How to find your mac’s screen resolution
  2. By default, in recent versions of OS X, you’ll see a “default” recommended resolution for your external display. If you prefer a different screen size, OS X gives you four other options. The exact resolutions will vary depending on the specifications of your external display. Click on “Scaled” to view the display choices.
    How to find your mac’s screen resolution

As referenced above, the external monitor connected to the Mac in the screenshots is a Phillips FTV HDTV, with a native resolution of 1080p. An actual PC monitor usually displays a “Looks like #### x ####” resolution underneath the TV image in the options window.
How to find your mac’s screen resolution
On the Phillips HDTV, OS X suggests a “default” resolution of a Retina-scaled 1080p equivalent, and we have the choice to set other resolutions (“scaled”) including 1280 x 768, 720P, 1080i, and 1080p.

While adequate for the majority of users, these five resolution choices (default and scaled) are missing several “in-between” display options, as well as “low resolution” modes, such as a true 2560×1440 that must be upscaled by the monitor and may be necessary for testing or software compatibility purposes. Thankfully, these resolutions are still accessible, and here’s how to access them.

  1. Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard, and then click the “Scaled” option again.
    How to find your mac’s screen resolution
  2. Once you’ve found your desired resolution, click its entry in the list to switch your display.
    How to find your mac’s screen resolution
  3. If you like a particular setting that fills the screen but cuts off the edges, slide the “Underscan:” slider until it properly fits your display area. The Phillips TV above required this step because the top and bottom areas were not viewable.
    How to find your mac’s screen resolution

When using the above steps, the row of five recommended resolutions gets replaced by a complete list of ALL supported resolutions. Those using a 4K display can also click “Show low-resolution modes” to access the aforementioned low-rez options that will get upscaled via the device. If your Mac is connected to an HDTV, this list may also include alternate refresh rates and display modes if supported by the hardware. Everything you see is based on the TV or monitor model.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

Mac OS X’s cool thing is the previews you get when choosing a resolution using the “Built-in Retina display” option, which is found under the “Optimize for:” section.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

When you hover over the resolution thumbnails within the scaled settings, the system lets you see what a window will look like under that particular setting.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

While your resolution choices will survive reboots, the “all compatible” resolution list described above isn’t always visible. OS X will revert to the default view after you close and reopen System Preferences. Just remember to click “Scaled” while holding the Option key, and you’ll see all compatible resolutions again.

A screen resolution is that the number of pixels your screen can show evenly and in an upward direction. the upper the resolution, the keener your presentation will show up. At the purpose after you interface a screen, Windows will naturally pick the suggested resolution.

It tends to be valuable to understand your screen resolution for a few, reasons, like discovering a piece area backdrop that matches or choosing the correct setting when messing around.

We’re demonstrating the way to rapidly and effectively discover what your resolution is.

How to Find Your Screen Resolution in Windows

  1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Snap System.
  3. Underneath the dimensions and style heading, take a gander at the Display resolution dropdown. This shows your present resolution (for instance, within the screen capture over, 3000 x 2000).

In the event that is important, utilize the Display resolution dropdown to regulate your resolution. Be that because it may, whenever you’ve tracked down the simplest resolution, you’ll for the foremost part never transform it except if you get another screen.

How to Find Your Screen Resolution Using Online Tools

On the off chance that you just would favour not examining Windows Settings, you’ll be able to likewise utilize online instruments to get what your screen resolution is. you do not should download anything; your program knows your screen resolution, so sites can recognize this and show it to you.

You can just do a Google explore for “what is my screen resolution” and choose one amongst the highest outcomes. Then again, go directly to a site like RapidTables, BestFirms, or WhatIsMyScreenResolution.

Now you recognize Your Screen Resolution

It’s actually straightforward! do you have to want your resolution under any circumstance, you currently realize a way to discover—either through Windows or a helpful free site.

Assuming you are a gamer and you wish your games to appear the simplest, it’s convenient to grasp your resolution. However at that time another time, you’ll support a better casing rate over a much bigger resolution.

The three most important factors you need to verify prior to ordering an LCD screen:

1) backlight type;
2) size;
3) resolution.

As you already know from our previous posts, the LCD screens come with different backlight types, and in different sizes. In this article we will focus on finding the screen with the right resolution.

The resolution of the LCD screen refers to the amount of pixels in it. For example, the most common resolution in modern laptops is 1366×768 pixels. This means that there are 1366 pixels in the display horizontally, and 768 pixels vertically. In a nutshell, a pixel is a dot on your screen that changes colors and composes the image. The more pixels you have, the clearer the image will be. Higher resolution displays tend to be more popular amongst gamers, graphic designers, and video enthusiasts.

Most laptop models come with only one size and one resolution; however, some laptops are sold with an optional upgrade to a higher resolution display. The problem is, that even though the cable connecting the LCD to the laptop has the same amount of pins, higher resolution feed contains more data, so dual-channel cable is used during the assembly (vs. a single-channel cable on a lower resolution). As well as that, some video cards are not able to handle the higher resolution; and for these two reasons we do not recommend upgrading or downgrading the resolution.

There are several options to locate the screen resolution.

1. If the original screen is still readable, and there are no external displays plugged in to the laptop:

Step 1: Go to WhatIsMyScreenResolution.com (this will only work if the laptop is set to display the highest resolution).

Step 2: If your computer is running on Windows, right click on the desktop and go to Display Properties. The highest resolution setting in the resolution drop-down menu is the resolution of your laptop screen.

2. If the original screen does not display properly.

Step 1: Check the user’s manual, the box the laptop shipped in, or the laptop itself. Chances are, that at least one of the three will mention the screen resolution.

Step 2: Remove the LCD from the laptop, and locate the model number on the back of the LCD screen. Search for this model on our website.

How to find your mac’s screen resolution

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2 Comments

  1. m Permalink September 13, 2018 3:07 am

“the most common resolution in modern laptops is 1366×768 pixels. This means that there are 1366 pixels in the display vertically, and 768 pixels horizontally.”
Wrong! V & H should be transposed.

  1. LaptopScreen.com Permalink September 13, 2018 4:52 am

Thank you for pointing out this error, we will have this article corrected.