Okay, so I have a system with multiple user accounts setup, and I have two monitors. The first monitor is fine on its native resolution, but the second is too small, so I've been setting a lower resolution to make it more readable.

The problem is that this change is only being remembered by some of my user accounts; the others continue to switch it back to its native resolution.

I'm assuming the problem is with a preferences file somewhere, but I can't seem to find it; the only path I was able to lookup was ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.preference.displays.<UUID>.plist (where UUID is an identifier for your Mac) but that may have been for an older version of OS X, as I can't find such a file on these user accounts.

Is there a different location for this file under newer OS X versions? Or anything else I can try to make the resolution change stick? Currently I have to switch it again every time an affected user account logs in.

  • Try resetting your PRAM. I've seen this fix many login resolution issues. (support.apple.com/kb/PH18761) Dec 8, 2014 at 16:21
  • @evolutionxbox unfortunately that hasn't helped, also I think that only fixes the problem if the system's resolution is wrong on the login window, for me some of the user accounts have the correct resolution, while others will change it, so it must be something user-specific not system-wide.
    – Haravikk
    Dec 9, 2014 at 18:44
  • I thought it might not... it didn't for my low res login screen issue. Dec 9, 2014 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


So your question was asked ages ago, but before I was able to get my setup to work, I was searching for possible answers myself and happened across this page.

The key in my case was that an admin user was able to get resolution changes to stick, but non-admin "standard" users were not. Once I changed it with the admin user, all of the standard users would keep the resolution.

If that doesn't solve things for you, you mentioned trying a PRAM reset unsuccessfully. Have you tried resetting NVRAM, which newer Macs use rather than PRAM to store some display resolution info?

  • Thanks for replying! But the problem doesn't seem to have anything to do with PRAM/NVRAM, as I'm pretty sure these only determine the resolution on startup. The problem I'm experiencing is when I login into my multiple user accounts; some have the correct resolution on the second screen, some do not. It's a real head-scratcher, as I can't find any user preferences that obviously store this information. And there's no obvious pattern; logging a user out with the correct resolution doesn't guarantee it'll be correct when signing back in.
    – Haravikk
    Jun 30, 2017 at 17:31
  • @Haravikk Did you happen to try changing it with an admin user first, then changing the others? (Assuming you have admin and non-admin users.) Jul 2, 2017 at 1:28

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