Screen resolution, also known as pixels per inch (PPI), refers to the number of pixels within an area. Between two screens of the same size but with different resolutions, the one with the higher PPI allows you to see more of what you’re working on.
Here are the common screen resolutions you’ll often encounter and what they mean:
- 1,366 x 768 – High Definition
- 1,920 x 1,080 – Full High Definition
- 1,920 x 1,200 – Wide Ultra Extended Graphics Array
- 3,840 x 2,160 – Ultra High Definition, also known as 4K
Changing your computer’s screen resolution should be a straightforward process. Simply right-click on the Desktop , then choose Display Settings > Advanced Display Settings > Screen Resolution . Choose which screen resolution you want to choose from the options, then click OK . Your computer will show you a preview of how your chosen screen resolution will look like and you can choose whether to keep it or revert back to the previous resolution.
However, several Windows users reported that they can’t change the screen resolution because the options are grayed out. According to the reports, the Windows 10 screen resolution is grayed out after the users installed an update. They can no longer click on the options, so they are unable to change screen resolution on Windows 10.
Other users, on the other hand, reported that they can’t even access the drop down because the window freezes or crashes all of a sudden. There are also some odd instances where the user was able to complete the process of changing the resolution, only to have the screen revert back to the old resolution.
This problem is not a critical system issue because this does not affect the running of the operating system. But it is a huge hassle for those who are working in graphic design, video editing, or other visual-intensive work.
Why Screen Resolution on Windows 10 Is Grayed Out?
Based on the reports, most users who encountered this error has recently upgraded to Windows 10 or installed system updates. This causes incompatibility between your driver and operating system, causing your computer to disable some functions related to the misconfigured drivers.
Although this is the most possible scenario, we can’t ignore other unwanted elements that might be causing your screen resolution options to be grayed out. These factors include:
What to Do If You Can’t Change Your Computer’s Screen Resolution
To rule out these factors from the equation, let’s try these basic troubleshooting steps first:
- Restart your computer. If you just completed installing an update, you need to restart your computer for the changes to apply.
- Clean up your system. Unnecessary files can clog your system, resulting in a whole slew of errors and performance issues. Use Outbyte PC Repair to remove junk files from your PC completely.
- Scan your computer for possible virus or malware infection. Get rid of the infected files, if there are any, using your antivirus software.
- Install all available updates under Windows Update. Search for Windows Update in the Start menu, then click the Check for updates button.
After doing all these steps, restart your computer once again and check if you can now change your screen resolution. If not, try your luck with the methods below:
Method #1: Update Your Display Adapter Driver.
Since this problem is mostly due to an outdated or corrupted display adapter driver, the first thing you need to do is update it. You need to uninstall the driver first, then reinstall the latest version.
To do this:
- Right-click the Start button, then choose Device Manager from the menu.
- Under Device Manager, click on Display Adapters to expand it.
- Choose the name of your display driver, then click Uninstall.
- Click Yes when the confirmation dialog pops up.
- Once the driver has been uninstalled, restart your computer. Windows should automatically try to install the display driver when the operating system loads.
If your computer fails to install the latest display driver, you can check the manufacturer’s website and download it from there. Install the driver manually on your computer and check if updating the driver has fixed your screen resolution problem.
Method #2: Enable GPU Scaling.
GPU allows computers to scale the images on the screen, so that they fit the display vertically and horizontally. Most graphics card, such as Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD, support this option. However, you need to access the graphics card control panel to enable this feature.
- Click on the Intel HD Graphics located in the Notification Area of the Taskbar.
- Click Display.
- Click Maintain Display Scaling, then hit the Apply button.
- Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
- Open your AMD Radeon control panel from the Taskbar.
- Click Display.
- Look for GPU Scaling and turn it on.
- Restart your PC.
- Click NVIDIA from the Taskbar to open its settings.
- Click on Adjust Desktop Size and Position from the left menu.
- Select your scaling mode: Full Screen, Aspect Ratio, or no scaling.
- Choose GPU in the dropdown under Perform scaling on.
- Save your settings and restart your system.
Method #3: Reset Your PC.
If all else fails, your last option is to reinstall Windows to reset all your settings. You don’t have to worry about your files because using the Reset This PC option does not erase any of your data. You also don’t need to rely on an installation media to perform the reset, although the process might take some time.
To perform a factory reset:
- Click Start > Settings (cog-like icon).
- Choose Update & security, then click Recovery from the left menu.
- Click the Get Started button under the Reset this PC option.
- Choose whether you want to keep all your files or delete everything.
- Hit Next > Reset.
Wait for the reset process to be completed, which could take a while. Once done, all aspects of your computer should function properly, including your screen.
Having the correct screen resolution plays a huge role in how things are displayed on your screen. Adjusting your screen resolution should be a simple process that can be done right there on the Desktop. However, sometimes you can’t change the screen resolution because the window freezes or crashes, or the options are grayed out. If this is the case, just follow our troubleshooting guide above to fix this issue.