How to Change the Aspect Ratio in Windows 10

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Change Aspect Ratio Windows 10

There are many reasons why you may need to change the aspect ratio of your laptop’s display. Sometimes when you install or upgrade to a new version of Windows on an old device, you’ll find that things on the display after upgrade look stretched or otherwise askew. This often happens because the new version of Windows doesn’t support the laptop’s old GPU. In this scenario the old driver can’t work with the latest Windows version. So, Windows uses a generic driver which doesn’t support all resolutions or aspect ratios. Frustrating indeed. But keep reading to find a solution right here.

How to Change the Aspect Ratio

Can you change the aspect ratio directly in Windows if the GPU doesn’t have the compatible driver? No. But check out these simple steps below to resolve the issue by changing the aspect ratio for Windows 10.

  1. Go to your control panel.
  2. Click on “Appearance and Personalization.”
  3. Navigate to “Adjust screen resolution.”
  4. You should find an “Advanced Settings” section, click it.
  5. Find the graphics control tab (this step varies depending on your display adapter).
  6. Select “Adjust Desktop Size and Portion.”
  7. Check the “Scaling” section.
  8. Choose the aspect ratio scaling mode.
  9. Select your ratio and apply.

Defining Aspect Ratio

If you’re wondering what your screen size is, you might want to check out your aspect ratio – it’s the screen’s width and height. For instance, if your aspect ratio is 1:1, both width and height should be the same size.

Aspect ratios don’t generally have a specific scale unit. You can have an 8-inch x 8-inch screen and its ratio would be 1:1. Or a 6-inch x 4-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

Aspect ratio is a comparison of the width to the height of what appears on your display. It’s a ratio of numbers that are universally understandable, no matter what unit of measurement you’re using. In other words, aspect ratio is the same whether you’re using CM (centimeters) or IN (inches).

That being so, things can get confusing since aspect ratio doesn’t account for the exact size of the display. That’s where the difference between screen size and aspect ratio becomes more apparent.

For example, an image on your laptop could have a 4:3 aspect ratio. But the size of the display is 14-inches.

How to Calculate Aspect Ratio

An easy way to calculate aspect ratio is to consider your display’s resolution. Resolution is the number of horizontal (width) pixels on a screen by the number of vertical (height) pixels.

For instance, a laptop display could have a 1920×1080 resolution. This means that there are 1,920 horizontal pixels and 1,080 vertical pixels, which makes for a sharper image than a display with a 1366×768 resolution.

Using a 1200×1000 resolution example, divide the 1200 (width) by 1000 (height) by first finding the common denominator. In this case it’s “2”. Then, use that number to divide the width and height and what you get is 600 and 500, respectively. That means your aspect ratio is 6:5.

If you find the aspect ratio represented by a single number, it’s only the decimal version of the fraction provided. A 6:5 would be a 6/5 fraction, making it 1.2.

Why Change the Aspect Ratio?

Aspect ratios vary greatly depending on the device you’re using. For instance, your laptop, phone and tablet have different aspect ratios.

You may need to change the aspect ratio of your display in Windows 10 for instance so that whatever is represented on your screen fits properly.

Adjusting the aspect ratio also helps when working with social media, blogs, posts, and more. It’s mostly useful for correcting the size of a video or image.

Common Aspect Ratios

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive way to determine which aspect ratio you should use, then you’ll want to pay special attention to this section. Below are the most common aspect ratio proportions and their use cases.

1:1

A 1:1 aspect ratio (or square aspect ratio) is mostly used for social media profile pictures. This aspect ratio can also help you size personal photographs.

But one thing’s for sure, it’s best for screen sizes like phones as opposed to larger screens like a television.

3:2

This aspect ratio is similar to 1:1 when it comes to use case. It’s also the aspect ratio most popular for mobile sensor detection as well as some videos.

4:3

The 4:3 aspect ratio resembles a rectangle, which makes it the most ideal for laptop displays supported by the latest version of Windows. It also works perfectly if you want to hook up your laptop to a TV.

16:9

If you’re looking for the largest frame, a 16:9 aspect ratio will most likely cover it. Since the images produced are exceptionally wide, this aspect ratio is often characterized as panoramic. That’s why a 16:9 aspect ratio is widely used for TVs and, in some cases, cinemas.

Issues You Might Run into When Changing the Aspect Ratio in Windows 10

Even though these steps for changing the aspect ratio in Windows 10 are simple enough. There’s one issue to be aware of.

Since the steps involve use a graphics control panel, some PC laptops might have a harder time opening it. When this happens it usually means that your adapter driver could be outdated. There are a few ways to resolve this issue.

Your antivirus software might be affecting your graphics control panel. A quick easy fix is to simply disable it temporarily.

You could also just uninstall and reinstall it which will help reset the program.

Once you’ve uninstalled the graphics control panel and graphics driver, restart your laptop. Afterward, navigate to the Device Manager and select Display Adapters. Then, click on your Graphics Adapter and “Update Driver.”

Other Issues with Driver Compatibility

This problem usually happens when you newly upgrade to Windows 10. Most of your laptop’s issues can be fixed by running compatibility mode, which comes with the latest Windows versions. Compatibility mode allows you to run older Windows programs more efficiently.

Initially, you’ll have to download a driver (which we’ll get into in the following section). After that, keep it on your desktop and right-click to select “Properties.”

Next, move to the compatibility tab. Then, pick the compatible Windows version you previously had and click Apply.

Lastly, right-click to run the program and install it. Using Compatibility mode, you can adjust the display’s aspect ratio.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to troubleshoot the issue.

How to Install a Driver for Windows 10

If you’re having a hard time finding a display driver, it could be that your system doesn’t have one. In this section we’ll provide you with more options in terms of graphical features, including aspect ratio adjustments.

How to Install a Display Driver

First, find your CPU’s number. For Intel, for example, the processor number might be “i5-6200U.”

1. You can find your CPU number by going to “System”.

2. Then, move over to “System Information.”

3. Next, check for your processor number in the information list shown.

4. Now, go to the Download Center. In the search bar, paste in your processor number.

5. Then, filter your search to “Drivers and Software.”

6. In products, click on “Graphics.” Check your operating system and adjust it to Windows 10.

7. Finally, choose the driver you want to install. After that, you just need to download your file and run it.

If you want to verify your installation process, search for your device manager in the control panel. You should notice the display adapters option, click it. The drop-down section should have the graphics driver you installed.

Select the driver tab and check the driver date and driver installation. Make sure they’re accurate. And that’s it, now you have you a driver.