I am using a 2011 Macbook Pro and a horrible Dell Display for some extra space. Because the resolution is horrible on the extra screen, the windows are larger then I would like and Mac OS X does not let me change the scale for it.

Is there an app of something else I could use to solve my problem?

1 Answer 1


I think changing the screen resolution on the external display could help you in this case. Initially when you open up the Displays Settings from System Preferences. It would look something like this below with a limited set of display resolutions. enter image description here

This list of resolution is what OS X thinks is the best for your Display. When connecting an external monitor/display, there are chances the aspect ratio is wrong because it's a widescreen monitor.


  • Open the Display Settings from System Preferences on the second monitor.
  • Hold the Option key and click on the Scaled button. It should open up a lot more Display resolutions.

enter image description here Try finding what's the best option for your display/monitor by trial and error.

  • @LucienGaitskell Don't think there is any other option if it's an LCD. It wouldn't use up all the screen space because as I mentioned earlier it depends on the aspect ratio of the monitor.
    – Jash Jacob
    Commented Oct 12, 2014 at 1:57
  • 1
    Just want to thank Jash Jacob for this excellent solution. I'd spent several frustrating days trying to work it out. I've been using the Dell monitor with my MacBook Air without issue for more than three years, but last week I unplugged it without "escaping" when I had a movie paused... next time I plugged it in the screen was stretched, text was large and resolution was icky. This business of the alt/option key opening more resolution options was the ticket I could not have figured out alone. Thank you Jash!
    – Penelope
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 23:02

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