How to enable higher screen resolutions on Windows 8

Filed under: Windows 8 

When you are running Windows 8 or 8.1 on an older system, or laptop and it is using an Intel graphics chipset, you might run into an issue with a low screen resolution error. The Metro interface requires a display resolution of 1024 x 768, but that is not always supported by the available display driver on this type of systems.

Typically you can get this on systems with a Intel GMA 3150 or even an Intel 945 series chipset. The driver will only support the 1024 x 600, which will result in an error message stating “This app cannot open” and/or “The screen resolution is too low for this app to run”.

There is a work around available that can work for this problem. It means installing the latest Intel driver for the graphics chipset (pick the latest Windows 7 driver if Windows 8 is not mentioned). Once installed, reboot to make sure everything is working.

After that you need to edit the registry to force the resolution to be changed. So first make a backup of the registry so you can revert back to that in case of problems!

After making the backup, open the registry editor (search for “regedit”), and press Ctrl+F to initiate a search of the registry. You need to search for the term “Display1_DownScalingSupported” and change the value from 0 to 1. After that, close the registry editor and reboot the computer.

The last step is to actually change the screen resolution from the Control Panel and set it to 1078 x 768. After that the apps using the Metro interface should work fine.

In case of problems, just reboot and press F8. Then select the Advanced Repair Options to start Windows in Safe Mode and restore the registry to the original settings. Then reboot and the screen should be fine again (although without the support for the 1078 x 768 resolution).


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