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Sometimes I want to make a screenshot and found that if I do that on a 4k screen, then the screenshot is quite clear (and is in a high resolution).

So I can do this when my Macbook Pro is connected to a 4k display. But let's say if I am on a trip, how do I make the Macbook Pro show or think it is showing in 4k? I think this is possible even when we don't install any driver or software, because we can plug in a 4k display and choose "mirror the 2 displays" and the Macbook Pro native screen will pretend that it is a 4k screen, and any screen capture there will be in 4k resolution.

So the question is, if I temporarily don't have a 4k display, say on a business trip, how do I tell the Mac to show the native screen in 4k or even 5k?

  • Search for cscreen, it is a commandline tool for setting screen properties and might just be able to do what you want. – CousinCocaine Sep 9 '15 at 4:56
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It depends on which 4K you're referring to; if you're talking about the "actual" 4K (4096 × 2160), then: no (though you can come close).

However, if you're talking about the UHD 4K definition (See the link to Wikipedia above), which is 3840 × 2160, you can do it using 3. party utilities such as QuickRes (paid), SwitchResX (paid), or Retina Display Mode (free).

I've used QuickRes for a couple of years and definitely find it worth the $5. It's also the app I used to test.

Keep in mind: this only applies to the 15", the 13" can "only" display up to 3360 × 2100.

  • I feel somewhat worried if it is to download an app from a random place and run it on the Mac. Is this the official page for it: reddit.com/r/apple/comments/vi9yf/… As the page says, is there a command line version. If so, at least I know what is going on. By the way, is RDM the same as going to Mac's Settings, Display, and Resolution: Scaled: More Space? If I do that and do a screenshot, the image is 3840 x 2160 also – 太極者無極而生 Sep 9 '15 at 15:24
  • Seems reasonable to be cautious. I think that it is the same as the settings. When the resolution apps were made in 2012-13, those options weren't available natively, now they are, it seems. Then please just disregard that part of my answer :) I did run the app on my machine though and nothing bad happened. – Lasse Sep 9 '15 at 19:52
  • It is indeed the same as the settings. Just tested to make sure – Lasse Sep 9 '15 at 19:58
  • I tried similar things with the 12 inch Macbook, and was able to get a width of 2880, so that's close to 3k and quite impressive. And then, wouldn't it theoretically be able to go up to 3840, since it can drive such a display? – 太極者無極而生 Sep 10 '15 at 14:43
  • I'm afraid not. The graphics chip might be able to handle it but the actual display need to be able handle it too. – Lasse Sep 10 '15 at 17:56

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