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How to make Raspberry Pi use the Full Resolution of your Monitor

When I first used my Raspberry Pi, I wondered why the full 1920×1080 resolution of my monitor was not taken advantage of. In the preferences of the Pi, the resolution was set to the largest available (not 1080p), but after some research I found you can change a few settings in a configuration file that will remove the black bars (‘overscan’) and enjoy your Raspberry Pi fullscreen!

To change the settings, we need to change a few things in /boot/config.txt. From the Linux command line interface (without going into the GUI desktop), enter:

[blockquote]

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

[/blockquote]

This will bring up the contents of the config.txt file, where you are free to edit it. As the instructions say, find the line which says #disable_overscan=1 and uncomment it (i.e. remove the #). Normally this should be enough, but if you used NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) then there are a few more things you need to change.

As you look further down the page, there may be another section with overscan and borders, and yet another disable_overscan=0, all of these which override our disable_overscan=1 above. Therefore, you’ll need to comment (i.e. add a # before each line) that mentions overscan (there are four), and lastly change disable_overscan=0 at the bottom to disable_overscan=1 and make sure it isn’t commented out. Here is that last block of code as it should look after our changes (note your overscan number values may be different):

[blockquote]

#overscan_left=24
#overscan_right=24
#overscan_top=16
#overscan_bottom=16
disable_overscan=1

[/blockquote]

Once you’re done, you can press ^X (or Ctrl+X) and follow the instructions on screen (i.e. typing Y to save) to save your changes. You may need to reboot your Pi for the changes to take effect. If you have any troubles or can’t get this to work, leave a comment below.

Written by James Duquenoy

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    4 Comments

    • The above information pertains to a public library in which I am the IT Mgr. I am having problems with the resolution on a Raspberry pi.
      I have seven raspberry Pi’s three of which are sitting on my work bench. and one of these does not fill the screen on a monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution. I have tried the changes recommended in /boot/config.txt with out success and I wonder if you or anyone else has any suggestions.

      All of the SD cards have NOOBS installed and without making any changes at all two of them fill the screen and the third one doesn’t. The initial configurations in /boot/config.txt are initially unchanged on all of them

      Reply
      • James Duquenoy Post author on

        Hi Walter,

        I’m not sure of an immediate fix. Have you tried going into the desktop (type startx from the terminal) and setting the resolution there?

        Also, sometimes unplugging the display with the Raspberry Pi turned on, plugging the display in again, then restarting the Pi can force the resolution to update.

        Hope this helps, let me know if you’re still having trouble!

        Reply
    • Thom Stevens on

      One can also run raspi-config (as root user, so “sudo raspi-config” if using raspian), under the Advanced Options (8), select Overscan (A1) and disable. After which one will be promoted to reboot, do so and when the system is back up, notice the full screen is used.

      Reply
    • Thanks Dude It Worked!

      Reply

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