Can’t Change Display Resolution in Windows


Are you unable to access the display resolution settings on your PC? You are not alone!

Several Windows users recently have shared that when they tried tweaking display resolution, they found out that the display settings option was grayed out. They could not click on the same, which raises an important issue. What sort of error is this? Is it a software issue that the settings have become inaccessible? Or is it a hardware issue associated with the monitor?

Well, the answer to that is it can be anything! For instance, if you use an older monitor that requires manual tweaking of the resolution, the internal options might not work effectively. However, when it comes to inaccessible resolution settings, many software/OS issues can be the cause. 

Either way, it can be frustrating for a user to have access to the system but be unable to change the display settings as they see fit. If you, too, have felt the frustration, then this post is for you!

In this one, let us look at some of the fixes that will help you eliminate the issue in no time! Let’s begin!

Working Ways to Fix Inaccessible Display Resolution Settings on Windows

Fix 1 – Check for Pending Windows Updates

Step 1 – Press Win+I to bring up the System Settings.

Windows Update selected in system settings

Step 2 – Click on Windows Update from the left pane in the System Settings window.
Step 3 – Click on Check for updates from the opened section to initiate Windows updates search.

windows update

Step 4 – If an update is available, download and install it. If not, the search will say that Windows is up to date.
Step 5 – If you have installed an update during the process, restart your PC for it to take effect. 

Read Also: 9+ Ways To Fix Windows Stuck on “Checking for Updates”

Fix 2 – Update Display Adapter Drivers on PC

2.1 – Manual Method to Update Drivers

Step 1 – Press Win + R to bring up the Run search.
Step 2 – In the Run search, use the command devmgmt.msc. This will open the Device Manage

type devmgmt msc command

Step 3 – In the Device Manager, scroll down to find your Display Adapter drivers.

found graphics driver under display adapters

Step 4 – Right-click on the adapter and click on Check for Updates.
Step 5 – This process will tell if your Display adapter requires an update. Click on the Check wizard and then select the Search for updates automatically to initiate the process. search automatically for drivers

Step 6 – If the update is available, install it on your computer via Windows Driver Update Utility.
Step 7 – After the update is complete, restart your computer.


2.2 – Automatic Method to Update Drivers

Step 1 – Download and install the Advanced Driver Updater on your computer

Step 2 – Run a scan using the tool to find the exact outdated drivers on your PC.

start scan using advanced driver updater

Step 3 – Click on Update All to initiate the update process for drivers. 

Using the automatic method makes more sense as it does not require even a fraction of the effort that the manual method requires. Updating the drivers will help you boost the functionality of the display, updating the existing settings menu and making display resolution settings accessible.

Read Also: Computer Turns On But No Display On Monitor – 5 Effective Ways to Fix

Fix 3 – Use the Maintenance Troubleshooter

Step 1 – Press WIn+R to bring up the Run search
Step 2 – In the Run search, use the Command – msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnosticCommand - msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnostic

Step 3 – The above command will bring up the troubleshooter window.

system maintenance troubleshoot

Step 4 – In the Window, click on next to initiate the troubleshooting process.System Maintenance Detecting Issue

Step 5 – Let the process run until it stops and shows the screen that says “Troubleshooting has Completed.” Restart once it is completed.Troubleshooting has Completed in System Maintenance

Note : The Troubleshooters have changed in Windows 11, so you may see this tool will retire warning while using this method on Windows 11. While it will work, we recommend that Windows 10 users rely on this method.

Fix 4 – Repair Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables

Step 1 – Press Win + R to open the Run search
Step 2 – Use the Command Control Appwiz.cpl to open the Installed Programs list on your screen.

type command-control appwiz.cpl

Step 3 – Spot the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables. Select it, and you will find a Change button on the top bar. Visual C++ Redistributable files

Step 4 – Click on the Change button to open the C++ Redistributables.
Step 5 – From the opened prompt, you may find three options – Repair, Uninstall, Close. Click on Repair

Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable pop up window

Step 6 – Let the process run for a while.
Step 7 – As soon as you get the Setup successful prompt, close the window and restart your PC.

Tip : If it does not work after repairing, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the same.


Fix 5  – Try System Recovery Tools

Multiple recovery tools can be used to ensure that your display resolution settings are made accessible again. You see, after performing all the shared fixes, you must be able to fix the issue. However, if it persists, you may be a victim of corrupt windows. In this situation, recovering is the only method that might help. 

Here are things that you can try – 

5.1 – Try using the safe mode 

Step 1 – Shut Down your PC
Step 2 – Press the power button to turn it back on
Step 3 – Use the Functionality Key ( In some cases, the Tab and in Some Cases, F12) to open advanced booting options.
Step 4 – Use the F5 key or Press 5 to choose Safe Mode with Networking from the available options.
Step 5 – Navigate to check if the Display Resolution settings are now available.

If you have tried accessing the display resolution settings normally, you should try logging on to your PC using the safe mode. It removes all the third-party applications that may be causing hindrances in your PC settings and runs the machine raw. If the safe mode does not get it done, you may be required to restore your PC. 

5.2 –  Reset PC 

Step 1 – Press Win+I to bring up the System Settings window.
Step 2 – Look up Recovery options in the menu.

Look for Recovery
Step 3 – You may find the Reset this PC button after opening the Recovery options. Click on it.

app recovery option

Step 4 – Follow the instructions that appear to keep your files safe and reset the system to factory settings.

System reset is the ultimate way to help you resolve the settings issue. Considering that you have corrupt system files on your PC, it is better to replace them with a fresh new installation, and that is exactly what the Reset this PC button helps you do.

Other than these fixes, if you are using a dedicated third-party GPU such as your AMD, Nvidia, or Intel graphics processors, you can use their application interface to try and manipulate the Display resolution settings, but that is just a way out to ignore the issue, not a solution. 

Hope all these fixes help you resolve the issue. Thanks for reading. That will be all, catch you in the next one!

Read Also : 

Fix – Computer Stuck on Restarting

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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