How to Change Screen Resolution on Mac

Are you tired of squinting at your Mac’s screen or wish to increase your screen’s real estate? Or is your external monitor not displaying content the way you wish it were? Changing your screen’s resolution can easily fix these issues for you. However, with the latest macOS Ventura update, changing the screen resolution can be tricky. So, we will show you how to change screen resolution on Mac.

How to change resolution on macOS

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to change screen resolution on macOS, including built-in settings as well as third-party apps. Whether you’re a Mac beginner or an advanced user, this guide will help you find the right resolution for your screen and make the most of your Mac’s display.

Change Display Resolution Using Apple’s Official Method

Apple has a simple method to change the screen resolution on your macOS device. This can be done via the System Settings itself, for both the in-built display as well as external displays.

1. For In-Built Display

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner and click on System Settings.

Official Method Step 1

Step 2: In the System Settings window, scroll down and click on Displays in the sidebar.

You will now be presented with a handful of options, going from Larger Text to More Space. It goes from lower resolution to higher resolution.

Official Method Step 2

You can also hover your mouse cursor over the resolution thumbnail to see the exact resolution in pixels.

Official Method Step 3

Step 3: Click on the resolution of your choice. You might get a prompt asking you if you are sure about your action. Click on Change Resolution to proceed.

Official Method Step 4

And that’s it. The new resolution will be applied automatically.

Official Method Step 5

2. For External Display

Step 1: Click on the Apple icon on the top-left > select System Settings. Now, go to the Displays section from the sidebar.

Step 2: On the Displays page, click on the thumbnail of your external display to switch to it.

ExternalDisplay Official Method Step 2

Step 3: Similar to the previous method, you will see a series of thumbnails going from Larger Text to More Space. You can click on your preferred screen resolution thumbnail to automatically switch to it.

ExternalDisplay Official Method Step 3

Step 4: Additionally, you can select from a list of custom resolutions. Simply control-click or right-click on a thumbnail and select Show List.

ExternalDisplay Official Method Step 4

Step 5: You will now be presented with a list of display resolutions. Click on any resolution to select it.

ExternalDisplay Official Method Step 5

Step 6: If you wish to view even more resolutions, scroll down and enable the toggle next to Show all resolutions. You will now get an even bigger list of various resolutions to choose from.

ExternalDisplay Official Method Step 6

That’s it! However, we weren’t entirely happy with the native screen resolution settings for Macs. Move to the next section to know why.

Limitations in Apple’s Method

Starting with macOS Ventura, Apple has made setting custom resolutions for the in-built display on MacBooks and iMacs quite difficult. You only get a handful of options to choose from. There’s no way to set a custom resolution. Additionally, the options shown here are scaling options and not actual display resolutions.

Furthermore, even for external displays, the list does not include different aspect ratios. Lastly, even if you connect to an HDMI 2.1 output, you do not get the option to output at a higher refresh rate. The maximum shown in the list is 60Hz only.

All of these issues can be easily fixed by resorting to a 3rd-party application called EasyRes. It allows you to easily select from a huge list of screen resolutions for both your in-built display as well as your connected display.

Set Custom Screen Resolution on Mac Using EasyRes

Step 1: Download and install the EasyRes app from the Apple App Store. Once done, click on Open.

Install EasyRes

Step 2: You will get a pop-up window informing you that EasyRes requires access to the Screen Recording facility. However, this is only required if you wish to preview resolution changes. It is not necessary to enable this setting. Just click on OK to proceed.

Install EasyRes Give Access

Step 3: In the Screen Recording pop-up, select Open System Settings if you wish to grant screen recording access. You can also choose to Deny this permission.

Install EasyRes Screen Recording Permission

Now that EasyRes has been installed, you can easily access it from the top Menu bar.

Step 4: Now, click on the EasyRes icon in the menu bar.

EasyRes Dock Step 1

Step 5: Simply hover your mouse over a display to view a complete list of resolutions available. Each resolution will also have its refresh rate mentioned next to it.

EasyRes Dock Step 2

Step 6: Click on the resolution of your choice to apply it.

EasyRes Dock Step 3

And that’s it. You can now easily change the resolution on your MacBook running macOS Ventura or later.

FAQs on Changing Screen Resolution on Mac

1. How to check the screen resolution on macOS?

To check your screen’s resolution, head over to System Settings and click on General from the sidebar. Now, click on About. Under the Displays heading, you will see the resolution of all the displays connected to your macOS device.

2. How do I connect an external display to my MacBook?

You can connect an external display to your MacBook using the ThunderBolt 4 port on the side. Some newer Pro versions also feature an HDMI port for easier connectivity. On the other hand, older MacBook variants sported a MiniDisplayPort which can also be used for connecting an external display.

3. What is Display Scaling on macOS?

The way macOS outputs content is by first rendering the screen at a higher resolution and then scaling it down by a factor of 2x. As a result, you get a higher pixel density, thus resulting in a crisper picture. This process is referred to as display scaling on macOS.

Make the Most out of That Display

Whether you need to increase the size of text or connect an external display to your Mac, adjusting the screen resolution can help. However, with the new macOS update, many users are left wondering how to change screen resolution on macOS.

Thankfully, by following the steps outlined in this article, you should now have a better understanding of changing your Mac’s screen resolution. Also, apart from EasyRes, there are plenty of other useful macOS apps you should check out to optimize your experience.

Last updated on 05 May, 2023

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