I recently used my MacBook Pro (OS X 10.8.4) with a projector using a mini display port to VGA adapter.

The resolution of the screen was modified from the use of the projector from 1680x1050 to 800x600 but it did not return it back to the original resolution. I therefore changed it back manually via the System Preferences "Displays" dialog.

However, whenever I boot the system, the initial boot screen (pale grey screen with the centred white apple logo) has a very small resolution (my guess is 800x600) with black vertical bars either side. Once the desktop system is loaded, the correct resolution (1680x1050) is then applied. This reoccurs every time I boot the system.

How do I return my display's resolution to a "system-wide" 1680x1050?

3 Answers 3


I had the same issue, but resetting the PRAM solved it.

Procedure from here:

Resetting NVRAM / PRAM

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R.
  3. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  4. Turn on the computer.
  5. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
  6. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  7. Release the keys.
  • I had the same problem and this solution works. But my mac keeps changing the resolution after some time. Any thoughts on this?
    – Fabian
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 14:32

The problem shows after using an external monitor with a different resolution. For example a tv. Befor disconnecting the monitor set up the parameters foryour screen and then take the HDMI cable out.


Just tried out the solution to reconnect to my TV and go to system Preferences -> Displays and select Built-in Retina Display of the drop-down menu Optimize for :

enter image description here

Then take the HDMI cable out. It works!!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .