Fix: Couldn’t switch to requested monitor resolution

The error “Couldn’t switch to requested monitor resolution” occurs when your game client is unable to scale to the resolution which is set in the configurations or the resolution in which the launcher is trying to launch.

This error is a very common one with it popping on every random game but the most popular client where this error pops up is Steam. We have listed down a number of different solutions for you to try out. Start with the first one and work your way down accordingly.

Solution 1: Disabling Full-Screen Optimization

Recent releases of Windows 10 include a feature for people who game. This feature is named “Full-screen optimization” and when it is enabled, it allows the operating system to optimize the video quality and performance when the games are running in full-screen mode. However, despite it doing any good, this feature is known to cause problems with the computer. You will get the error condition under discussion with slight intervals. We can disable this and see if the problem is solved.

  1. Locate the executable file of your game or your launcher. You can right-click on the executable and select “Open file location”.
  2. Once you are in the directory of the executable, right-click on it and select “Properties”.

  1. Navigate to the Compatibility tab and check the option “Disable fullscreen optimization”. Press Apply to save changes and exit.

  1. Now launch the application again using the same exe file and check if the problem got solved.

Solution 2: Changing Resolution

This workaround targets the very dialogue of the error message. The message says that the computer failed to switch to the monitor resolution. We will change the resolution of your Windows and then try launching the game. This will, in turn, prompt the game to launch in the set resolution and hopefully, solve the problem.

  1. Right-click anywhere on your Desktop and select “Display Settings”.

  1. Now select a lower resolution other than the one already set.

  1. Save changes and exit. Now try launching your game and see if the problem got solved.

Solution 3: Deleting ‘options.txt’

Another workaround which seems to work is to delete the file ‘options.txt’ from your game directory. This file is usually present in games like Minecraft. It is a file which stores all the options which are changeable in the game. It can be edited with any text editor but, if we delete it, the application will detect the file as missing and will recreate a default one. This solution will work if your file is corrupt and is causing the error message.

  1. Navigate to the directory of your game. It will most probably be something like “%APPDATA%\.minecraft”.

  1. Once in the directory, locate the file “options.txt” and delete it. Now restart your computer and launch the game. The game might take an additional minute or two when it is loading the default configurations.
  2. Now check if the error message still persists.

Tip: Instead of deleting the file, you can ‘cut-paste’ it to some other directory so you can replace it back if something goes wrong.

You can also try modifying the lines to this:

graphicsfullscreen=True

graphicsheight=1080

graphicsquality=1

graphicswidth=1920

Make sure that you match the width and height to match your current Windows resolution.

Solution 4: Resetting Game Options (Blizzard)

If all the above methods don’t work for your Blizzard game, you can try resetting the game settings using the Blizzard application. Then you can perform solution 1 on the application and hopefully, it will be solved. This problem occurs in the new Windows 10 build according to Official Blizzard support and is supposed to be fixed using this method.

  1. Launch the Blizzard application. Click the Blizzard logo and click Settings.

  1. Now click “Game Settings” from the left navigation pane and click Reset In-Game Options underneath the tab of the game in which you are experiencing the error message. Press Done after making the changes and exit.

  1. Now within the Blizzard application, select the Hearthstone tab and select Options. Now drop down to the option “Open in Explorer” and open the Hearthstone folder. Now right-click on exe and click Properties. Select the Compatibility tab and check the option Disable fullscreen optimization. Press Apply and exit (this is the same step as solution 1).
  2. Restart your computer and check if the problem at hand got solved.

Solution 5: Selective Startup

It is a known fact that there are several startup programs which hinder the many games and causes certain errors to take place. The best way to solve this problem is to disable those startup programs.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “msconfig” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the settings, select “selective startup” and uncheck the option “Load startup items”. Press OK to save changes and exit.

  1. Navigate to the Services tab present at the top of the screen. Check the line which says “Hide all Microsoft services”. Once you click this, all Microsoft related services will be invisible leaving behind all the third-party services.
  2. Now click the “Disable all” button present at the near bottom at the left side of the window. All the third-party services will now be disabled.
  3. Click Apply to save changes and exit.

  1. Now navigate to the Startup tab and click the option of “Open Task Manager”. You will be redirected to the task manager where all the applications/services which run when your computer starts will be listed.

  1. Select each service one by one and click “Disable” at the bottom right side of the window.

  1. Now restart your computer and check if the error condition still persists. If the error message goes away and you are able to play your game without any problems, it means that there was either a service or an application which was causing the problem. Enable a chunk of these and check again. If the problem comes again when you enable a chunk, you would know who the culprit is.

Final Solution: Updating Graphics Drivers

If all the above methods fail, it probably means that there is a problem with the current drivers installed on your computer. If you have corrupt or outdated drivers, it may be the reason why your game fails to switch to your computer’s default resolution. Now there are two ways through which you can update the drivers: either manually or automatically. In manually, you have to personally download the driver after searching for it at the manufacturer’s website.

Before updating drivers, we will check if installing the default drivers solve the problem for us.

  1. Boot into Safe mode. Type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Here navigate to Display Adapters, right-click on your adapter and select Uninstall Device.

  1. Boot your computer into normal mode, press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Most probably the default drivers will be installed. If not, right-click on any empty space and select “Scan for hardware changes”. Now check if the game works without any problems. If it does without any problems, good for you. If it doesn’t, carry on.
  2. Now there are two options. Either you can search online for the latest driver available for your hardware from the manufacturer’s website such as NVIDIA etc. (and install manually) or you can let Windows install the latest version itself (search for updates automatically).
  3. We will take a look at installing manually. Right-click on your hardware and select “Update driver”. Select the first option “Search automatically for updated driver software”. Choose the second option if you are updating manually and select “Browse for driver” and navigate to the location where you downloaded.

  1. Restart your computer after installing the drivers, launch the game and check if this solves the problem.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Couldn’t switch to requested monitor resolution

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