To change the number of colors displayed on a monitor


Open Display in Control Panel.


On the Settings tab, in the Color quality list, click a different color setting.


To open Display, click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display

Choose Medium to display over 65,000 colors, High to display over 16 million colors, and Highest to display over 4 billion colors. Choosing more colors provides better color quality on your screen.

Settings that display a larger number of colors normally require more computer memory and might affect performance on older computers.

You can switch your color quality temporarily to 256 colors if you have games or other programs that perform better or must run at that level. To switch to 256 colors, right-click the game or program (on the desktop or on the Start menu), and then click Properties. Click the Compatibility tab, and then select the Run in 256 colors check box. Your display reverts to its default color quality when you close the program.

Your monitor and video adapter determine the color settings that are available for your screen.

Changes to the color settings affect all users that log on to the computer.

Only the recommended color settings are listed. For additional settings, click the Advanced button on the Settings tab, click the Adapter tab, and then click List all Modes. Select the resolution, color level, and refresh rate you want.

If you are using multiple monitors, you can specify the color settings for each installed monitor. If you click the icon for a secondary monitor, the Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor check box must be selected to change the settings for that monitor.

Related Topics

Switch your display to 256 colors

Display Properties overview

Change the number of colors on multiple monitors

Change the refresh frequency for your monitor

Change your screen resolution

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