[Can’t decide what docking hardware to buy? Click for a comparison of many popular docking options.]
[Setting up a live Surface demo using the scaling tweak at the Seattle Maker Faire (EMP Museum)]
The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book have 3:2 aspect ratio screens. Certain customers prefer to set the screen to a lower resolution rather than use the built-in scaling feature in Windows 10 especially when plugging in an external monitor or using legacy apps/games that don’t behave well with high-DPI screens. [To understand why this works so well, read last year’s article about the same approach on the Surface Pro 3.] But all the resolution options built-in from the factory are 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio like 1680×1050. When you select these options, you’ll see black bar letterboxing which means you’re not using the full screen! Get back your full 3:2 aspect ratio screen with this simple regkey modification.
A great side effect of this tweak is that with multiple monitors, your mouse pointer won’t get “stuck” between screens since effective resolutions can be matched to your liking rather than having Windows force you to map to its scaling profiles.
Remember, use at own risk – modifying the registry can have side effects and precautions such as backing up your data should be taken before modifying your PC.
- Backup your system
- Download .reg file: http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-components-postattachments/00-10-65-02-47/SP4_2D00_SB_2D00_custom_2D00_resolutions5.reg
- Double-click the .reg file and click OK to import it into your registry
- Having trouble importing a .reg file when downloading via the MS Edge browser in Windows 10? That’s probably because it is auto-renaming to .txt for safety. You can rename it back to .reg or import the .txt file from within regedit.exe. Or just download with Internet Explorer or FireFox instead.
- Reboot OR follow these steps to reset the Intel display driver
- Open Device Manager
- Open the Display Adapters
- Right-click “Intel HD Graphics…” GPU and click “disable”
- Click “Yes”
- After the monitors stop flashing, right-click the Intel GPU again and click “enable”
- Open System – Display – Advanced display settings in control panel and choose your preferred resolution
- If new resolutions are not available, it is most likely because of auto-installed Windows Update drivers changing around the regkeys. Just use the manual method below.
- 2704×1800 (* not quite 3:2 – limited by TCON)
- 1504×1000 (* not quite 3:2 – limited by TCON)
- 1496×1000 (* not quite 3:2 – limited by TCON)
Some resolutions are only applicable to the Surface Book.
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