How to set a custom scaled screen resolution on MacOS Big Sur

For about three years now, I’ve been using an external monitor with my Macbook Pro.

I have a Phillips 43″ 4K display. It was top quality a few years ago and now there’s better newer models, but I’m reluctant to upgrade, because it was expensive and I want to get the most value out of it.

There are 8,000+ monitors for sale on Amazon
That’s a lot of different screen resolutions.

Fortunately, there’s a solution.

The upgrade to Big Sur

After nine months working from home, I upgraded to MacOS Big Sur.

But something was off, it seems that Apple has reduced the options for screen resolution. And it was a problem, because on such a big monitor, everything was big.

My monitor is huge, so should my screen resolution.

The default options

Out of the box, you can see four recommended resolutions, scaling from Larger Text to More Space.

The four recommended resolutions scale from Larger Text to More Space.

Fixing it

There’s an easy was to customise your resolution.

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Choose Displays
  3. Hold down the Option key and click on Scaled option

Note: This doesn’t seem to work for in-built MacBook screens, and for some external monitors that don’t support a custom scaled resolution.

Hold down Option key while clicking on Scaled to customise the resolution.
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