How to set custom screen resolutions on Microsoft Surface

In this tutorial, we will guide you how to add and set a right custom resolution to resolve the display scaling issues on your Surface when you working with old applications, multiple displays, and gaming.

Set Custom Resolutions on Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface comes with a high-resolution display packing millions of pixels for delivering as clear as possible to the human eye. However, it also causes issues when you are using some software or old applications that don’t aware of display scaling.

In order to fix display scaling problem, software developers need to rebuild their software to compatible with high DPI display. You can also fix this problem by adjusting your Surface’s display resolution and scaling to a viewable 100% display scaling. However, Windows 10 doesn’t include any 3:2 resolution options besides the default maximum resolution on your Surface (see image below).

There is no preferred resolution

There is no 1440 x 960 (3:2 aspect) in the resolution list by default on Surface Pro 3.

Why do we need custom resolutions on Microsoft Surface?

There are a few more reasons why do we need a custom resolution.

  1. Working with applications that not support high DPI.
  2. Fix problems existed when working on multiple displays with different display scaling.
  3. Optimize gaming performance with a lower resolution and a right  3:2 aspect ratio.

Microsoft Surface Screen Resolution

Here is some information about native resolution and scaling and resolution at 100% scaling you might need when you want to add a custom resolution on your Surface.

Device NameNative Resolution & ScalingResolution at 100% Scaling
Surface Pro 32160 x 1440 (150%)1440 x 960 (100%)
Surface Pro 42736 x 1824 (200%)1368 x 912 (100%)
Surface Pro (2017)2736 x 1824 (200%)1368 x 912 (100%)
Surface Book3000 x 2000 (200%)1500 x 1000 (100%)

How to add custom resolutions to the system resolution list?

To manage custom resolution, today, I want to introduce a tool named CRU.

  1. Download the CRU (Custom Resolution Utility).
  2. Extract the downloaded file.
    Custom Resolution Utility files
  3. Open the CRU tool.
    CRU User Interface
  4. To add a custom resolution click Add button under Detailed resolutions.
    CRU > Add Detailed Resolution
  5. Set values of your preferred horizontal and vertical resolution. In this case on my Surface Pro 3, I set 1440 for horizontal and 960 for vertical.
    CRU Add Custom Detailed Resolution Detail
  6. Click OK to close the Detailed Resolution dialog.
  7. Click OK again to save changes.
  8. Restart your computer to apply changes.

Applying your new custom resolution

After you restart, now you can set your added custom resolution.

  1. Go to Settings > System > Display.
  2. Under Resolution, choose your new custom resolution (1440 x 960).
    Apply your new custom resolution
  3. Click Keep Changes to accept your new resolution.

Alternative Methods

Besides using the CRU tool, you can alternatively use a predefined screen resolution list made specifically for 3:2 aspect for Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book with a regkey. For more information check out:

Here is the benefit of screen resolution tweaks when working with multiple displays.

Surface Deals

Comments (6)

  • Marco D’Angelo

    Warning from a Surface Pro 2017 owner (i7 model): I used of the CRU tool (following the above instructions) and it caused as side-effect the “black screen” issue on my pc (Surface did not “awake” after suspension / ibernation mode any more and a forced restart – keeping the on-off buttop pressed for 10 seconds – was needed). To fix the issue I had to restore the default screen resolution modes by deleting the two customer resolutions I created by CRU. I spent a lot of time to discover that the root cause of the problem was CRU…. The issue completely disappeared as soon as I removed the cru new resolutions.

    • DB

      Thanks for sharing

  • Tephlon

    I also can’t get this to work on one of two surface books I just purchased for work (not the new surfacebook coming out in a few days).

    I didn’t get a black screen, but CRU seems to have no effect (on either machine). I downloaded the .reg file listed in other methods and it seemed to work on one machine, but not the other. I’m not entirely sure why at this point; they are both running the same version of windows and are identical machines.

    I started downloading intel video drivers per a recommendation from another site, but the user had to take back the surfacebook so I can’t test this method for a few days. I’ll report back if I have any success.

    • Micha

      Same on my Book Pro, no effect after creating1500x1000 resolution…

      • Same on my Surface Book, I’m looking into this problem. I will update when I found solution.

  • Jesper Løye Ernsted

    Worked perfect for me. I used it for my Surface Laptop.
    You can add another resolution to your grid
    Surface laptop 2256 x 1504 175% scaling, 1692×1128 100% scaling
    Thanks for a good post.