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:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
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):
#overscan_left=24 #overscan_right=24 #overscan_top=16 #overscan_bottom=16 disable_overscan=1
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.
Found this tip useful? Take a look at how to format a 64 gigabyte SD card for your Raspberry Pi.