So, you want to change your Chromebook’s resolution. Maybe you want to turn it down a notch because it’s messing up your videos and photos. Or maybe you want to turn it up to experience full HD glory.
Whatever the case, changing resolution on Chromebooks is easy, but the menu to do so is kind of secret and hidden. Well, it’s not that hidden, but it may be hard to find if you’re new to Chromebooks, or laptops in general.
I wrote this guide to help you find this “secret menu” so you can get to the display settings with ease.
I also wrote a little section at the bottom to help you decide which screen resolution to choose, how to choose, and how to read a screen’s resolution by the pixel count you always see on laptops, TVs, and smartphones.
If you’re not familiar with resolutions in general, I suggest you read the section (it’s at the bottom of the post) after you’ve adjusted your resolution to your liking.
Let’s get going. Here’s what you came for.
Here’s how to adjust your Chromebook’s resolution:
Step 1: Open the information window.
Click the information widget on the bottom right corner of the screen. This is the section of the screen with the sound, WiFi, power, and other displays- not the update box (the one with the arrow). This should be simple and straightforward. All Chromebooks run the same operating system (Chrome OS), so it doesn’t matter what model or make of Chromebook you have- the window is always in the same spot.
Step 2: Click on “Settings.”
This is the on the same row where it tells you the battery status of your Chromebook.
Step 3: Search for “display”.
You’ll be brought to a window with your Chromebook’s internal settings, such as Internet connection and Appearance. In the top right, there’s a search box. Simply type in “display” to get to the resolution options faster.
Step 4: Click on “display settings.”
You’ll be brought to the search results and see a section labeled “Device.” You can change your Chromebook’s touchpad speed, touchpad settings, keyboard settings, and display settings- which is how you change the Chromebook’s resolution. Click on this button.
Step 5: Change the resolution
Click on the field labeled “resolution” and a drop-down menu will appear. You can choose and adjust your Chromebook’s resolution from this menu, and you also have the options to change the orientation and TV alignment. Orientation is used for portrait or landscape display. TV alignment is used if you’re connecting to a TV or other external monitor.
Step 6: Choose your resolution
If you’re not sure what resolution to choose, your Chromebook will give you a few remarks in commas, such as “best.” Generally, larger numbers mean a sharper image. When you hear about full HD resolution, this is what’s meant by it. The first number is the number of pixels going across (horizontally) your screen, and the second number is the number of pixels going up (vertically) your screen. The “native” resolution is what your Chromebook’s display is manufactured for by default.
However, the default Chromebook resolution isn’t always the best, nor is it always ideal. You need to play around with the resolution to get it to do what you’re looking for. If you plan to watch a lot of HD videos or view detailed photos, choose a higher resolution. If you plan to type, write, or code, choose a lower resolution. It depends on your intended use of your Chromebook.
See below for an explanation about resolutions.
Step 7: Change the resolution
Choose your resolution and click “done.” Your screen will most likely flicker for a bit and then you’ll either see larger everything or smaller everything, depending on the resolution you chose.
If you want a bigger picture, choose a lower resolution.
If you want a smaller picture, choose a higher resolution.
And by picture, I mean the whole display- text, pictures, videos, etc. Not just images. Picture = display.
If you’re not sure which resolution to choose or what these numbers mean, see the next section.
How do I choose the right resolution on my Chromebook?
The best way to do this would be through an example.
So, for example, let’s say you have a 800 x 600 screen resolution on your Chromebook. Although most Chromebook models have resolutions way higher than this, or are at least capable of, this is a standard resolution that’s common (or at least used to be).
So, this means that you have 800 pixels going horizontally across your screen and 600 pixels going vertically up your screen. That’s what these numbers mean.
1280 x 800? 1024 x 768? 1920 x 1200? 1366 x 768? 1600 x 900? 800 x 600? What do these numbers mean?
The higher the numbers, the more pixels there are. The more pixels there are, the sharper the image. When a Chromebook says it has “full HD” resolution, this means that there at least 720 pixels vertically. So that means the second number is at least 720. Of course, HD resolution can go much higher than 720 pixels, but that’s generally the lowest vertical resolution to be considered high-definition. This is generally speaking, of course.
In actuality, screen resolution gets a lot more complicated:
So there you have it, your Chromebook’s resolution should now be fine-tuned to just how you want it. And you should now know how to adjust the resolution of your Chromebook for picture perfect cat videos.