Your computer monitor is a major factor in deciding how good
Windows will look on your PC. Indeed, even if your PC stays exactly
the same, adding a higher-resolution monitor or a larger display
can make a world of difference. To get the most out of your
display, it's important to acquaint yourself with your monitor's onboard settings and calibrate it
correctly. Equally important, however, is knowing your Windows
10 Display settings, and what all your adjustments will do.
In this article, we're going to look at everything you can do to
adjust your display in Windows 10. To play along, open the control
panel and click the settings cog to open the Settings app. You can
also hit the Windows Key + I. Next, click on
System Display. Now let's dive in.
There's only one option in this first section, and that's for
the Night light. The night light is supposed to
filter the amount of blue light emanating from your display thereby
allowing you to sleep better while still using your PC late at
night. We won't get into the arguments for or against this
proposition, but if you want to use this option this is where it
There is a simple slider to turn the night light on or off.
There's also a Night light settings link underneath the
slider. Clicking this will take you to a second screen where you
can activate the night light by clicking Turn on now.
Below that is a slider that allows you to adjust the strength of
the night light. Turning it up reduces the amount of blue in the
monitor and maxing it out gives the monitor a red filter. Turning
it all the way down returns your monitor to its normal state. By
default the night light strength is set to around 50 percent.
Finally, this second screen has a Schedule option.
Flipping that slider button to On will let you customize the hours
that the night light is active. By default, it's automatically
scheduled to be on from sunset to sunrise based on your
Otherwise, you can set your own hours by selecting the Set
hours radio button. This gives you two simple options:
Turn on, where you can set the time using AM/PM; and then
Turn off, using the same interface.
To return to the main page of Settings System hit
the back button in the upper-left corner.
System Display Windows HD Color
If you have an HDR monitor this is where you
can make adjustments to your display. First, you should see a
slider button labeled Use HDR. Turn that on. If you don't
see this slider then you probably have to enable HDR in your
monitor's onboard settings. How you do that depends on your
monitor's manufacturer, so consult your manual for instructions on
how to turn on HDR.
Once HDR is activated on your monitor, click the link
Windows HD Color settings. This takes you to a second page
with a number of options that only appear when HDR is active.
At the top is a drop-down menu to switch between displays if you
have a multi-monitor setup. Then it shows a summary of your HDR
options and what's active. These include Stream HDR video,
Use HDR, and Use WCG apps.
Then you have the Use HDR slider button, and then
another slider button that says Stream HDR video. When
available you can play streaming HDR video.
Next we have a preview video that gives you a sense of what HDR
video will look like with your current settings.
Then there's an HDR/SDR brightness balance option. This is
another slider that lets you balance the brightness between the two
images. Adjust this slider until you like the looks of both
If you want an in-depth look at how to maximize your monitor's
HDR potential, check out our tutorials on How to enable HDR in Windows 10 and Everything you need to know about HDR on your
System Display Scale and layout
This is where you can adjust your display's
resolution, orientation, and
scaling. At the top is a drop-down menu labeled
Change the size of text, apps, and other items. We
recommend using at least 125 percent scaling on 1080p display
resolutions and higher to make it easier on your eyes, but find the
scaling that works best for you.
If you want a scaling that's between the presets click
Advanced scaling settings. On the next screen you'll see
an option for Custom scaling where you can enter anything
between 100 and 500 percent. Custom scaling is not recommended as
it can really mess things up. If you need it, however, it's
At the top of this screen there's also a slider button to allow
Windows to try and fix apps from being blurry, which can sometimes
happen with scaling. Overall, however, Windows 10's scaling presets
work very well.
Going back to the primary Settings System Display
window, there are also options for setting your display resolution.
This should almost always be set to your display's native
resolution. Then below that is the display orientation for
landscape and portrait mode optionsâ€”landscape is the default.
System Display Multiple displays
Finally, we're at the last option where you can set up multiple
monitors. If you're using an older display with your PC it may not
be detected automatically. If that's the case, click the
Detect button. Otherwise, you'll see a drop-down menu
labeled Multiple displays. The default is to use the
Extend these displays option, which lets you use both
displays as one big desktop. That way when moving the mouse across
the desktop (to the left or right) the mouse moves to the second
You can also choose Duplicate these displays, which can
be helpful if you want to show one display to a group and navigate
on the laptop screen facing you. Then there's Show only on
1 and Show only on 2, which will only show
Windows on the primary display (1) or the secondary display
If you do have a multi-monitor setup, Windows 10 will
automatically display at the top of the Settings System
Display screen a graphic showing the number of monitors
Windows 10 detects. Here, you can rearrange where your monitors are
in physical space by clicking and dragging the monitors around.
There are also Identify and Detect buttons to
help you organize your monitors.
Returning to the multiple displays section, there's a link
labeled Advanced display settings. This takes you to a
second page where you can view the attributes for each monitor. At
the top is a drop-down menu listing your displays.
Then there's a Display information option that shows
various attributes including resolution, refresh rate, bit depth,
color format, and color space. If you need to adjust any of these
attributes, click the link below Display information
labeled Display adapter properties for Display 1. This
will change depending on which of your displays you're currently
set to view settings for. If, for example, you switched to view the
settings of your secondary monitor then the link would say
Display adapter properties for Display 2
Clicking that link will open a properties window where you can
set the maximum refresh rate, adjust monitor properties, and adjust
color management settings.
Finally, there's another drop-down menu where you can adjust the
Going back to the primary window for Settings System
Display Multiple displays there's also a link
labeled Graphics settings. This opens another
secondary page where you can turn on the option to use a variable
refresh rate (FreeSync) if available, and a Graphics
performance preference preset. This lets you set preferences
on a per-app basis. You can, for example, choose to have your games
explicitly set to high performance, and opt for power saving
performance for web browsing.
For the most part, it's best to let Windows choose automatically
between high performance and power saving; however, you can
explicitly set certain apps if you want to.
That's it for our tour of the default display settings built
into Windows 10. Next up is sound, notifications, and focus