Pixelation commonly occurs when people use very large or widescreen monitors with upgraded video cards and then enlarge the screen because text and images are hard to view using the operating system's default settings. Monitors and video cards allow your computer to create the proper resolution that you see. When an image or text is stretched beyond its original specifications, pixelation occurs, causing distortion. The following steps can be used with Windows XP, the most common operating system on PCs.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Right-click on an empty spot on your computer desktop and left-click on "Properties." Your system's "Display Properties" will appear.
Left-click on "Settings." There will be a slider bar on the bottom left side of that menu.
Adjust the slide bar and preview the results in the box above the bar. Left-click the mouse on "OK," and you will have 15 seconds to see the results on your monitor. Left-click "OK" to accept the new size or "Cancel" to return to the default size. Try different sizes to see if any of the available options removes the pixelation.
Update your video card driver from its manufacturer's website if resizing the settings does not remedy the pixelation. Also update your DirectX from Microsoft's website (see Resources below).
Readjust "Display Properties" again after updating the video card driver and DirectX to see if resizing will now remove pixelation.
Tips and warnings
- Because pixelation deals with the video card and monitor settings, research a monitor before purchasing it. Many widescreen monitors have non-standardized sizes like 1440x900 or 1366x768. If the video card driver is fine but you are looking for more conventional sizes like the "traditional" square shape, look for non-widescreen monitors. Always look through the video card's and monitor's documentation before changing the resolution settings so you know which resolution sizes are acceptable. If the pixelation remains after resizing and updating, the video card may need to be replaced.
- Pushing the monitor's settings beyond its ability can damage the monitor because it will display "out of range" and may not be recoverable. If pixelation occurs on a square monitor, make sure that the video card is functioning properly and that its settings are not beyond the monitor's capabilities. If the monitor is whining at a high audible pitch, the monitor cannot properly display the desired resolution even though it may appear to adjust to it. Keeping the monitor at this resolution can wear it out. If the monitor is clicking, the desired resolution may be too large so that the monitor cannot properly adjust to it.
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