Change the resolution or rotation of the screen

You can change how big (or how detailed) things appear on the screen by changing the screen resolution. You can change which way up things appear (for example, if you have a rotating display) by changing the rotation.

  1. Open the Activities overview and start typing Displays.

  2. Click on Displays to open the panel.

  3. If you have multiple displays and they are not mirrored, you can have different settings on each display. Select a display in the preview area.

  4. Select the resolution and rotation.

  5. Click Apply. The new settings will be applied for 20 seconds before reverting back. That way, if you cannot see anything with the new settings, your old settings will be automatically restored. If you are happy with the new settings, click Keep Changes.


The resolution is the number of pixels (dots on the screen) in each direction that can be displayed. Each resolution has an aspect ratio, the ratio of the width to the height. Wide-screen displays use a 16∶9 aspect ratio, while traditional displays use 4∶3. If you choose a resolution that does not match the aspect ratio of your display, the screen will be letterboxed to avoid distortion, by adding black bars to the top and bottom or both sides of the screen.

You can choose the resolution you prefer from the Resolution drop-down list. If you choose one that is not right for your screen it may look fuzzy or pixelated.


On some laptops, you can physically rotate the screen in many directions. It is useful to be able to change the display rotation. You can rotate what you see on your screen by pressing the buttons with the arrows.