What's new

External Monitor - Changing Size of All Items CONSTANTLY?


New Member
I have a surface pro 3 and use it as my main system with an external monitor, problem is I have to "change the size of all items" under screen resolution settings "make text and other items larger or smaller" EVERY TIME i connect or disconnect from the monitor.

The small setting is perfect for my main monitor, but it's WAY too small when using the surface alone so when I disconnect it I have to go into this setting, change it to larger (150%) to use with the surface alone, then change it back to small when I reconnect to the monitor and with each setting, I have to sign out and sign back in for the changes to take effect.

I've tried living with medium, 125%, but it's too large for the monitor and too small for the surface.

Is there ANY way to get this to do this automatically without having to sign out every time? I run a few applications constantly in both modes and have to save and exit what I'm doing in them every time. I also have to leave the office usually a few times a day with my sp3, so I'm doing this over and over and over again all day every day...It's driving me nutts.

Any/all help would be greatly appreciated!


New Member
Thanks for the quick response! I tried his script, errored out...replied to him to see about correcting the errors, waiting for a response.

Unfortunately though, even if it does work, seems it will still require a sign out/sign in.

Not sure how/why this is even an issue? With other laptops it wasn't an issue, so why is it an issue with the surface?


Other laptops may not have been running DPI scaling on the internal monitor so would not have been an issue. The surface uses it because of the high resolution coupled with a small screen makes text very tiny, so you have to use DPI scaling to have it be at a reasonable size.


sdgmcdon, I had the same issue as you. I have not completely resolved it but did find something that made it much more tolerable. From your post I believe you are going into "Screen resolution" clicking on "Make text and other items larger or smaller", and then selecting Smaller (100%) or Larger (150%). When I did it this way, I had the same problems as you describe. Try unchecking the check box that says "Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays"...I believe you have this checked and that is what is causing the display to not auto adjust. Once I unchecked this then I slid the slider to the level I preferred on the monitor (projected to second screen only) and then maybe had to also adjust the slider when I was just using the SP3 screen. After this it always remembered the settings.

The only problem I have now is that when you unplug the monitor the taskbar on the SP3 display is still a bit small...also, when the monitor is reattached the display seems a bit blurry unless I log off and back on. Obviously MS has not completely fixed the issue, but this is better. Hope this helps.


New Member
To avoid any scaling issues, I keep the built-in display at 1440 x 900 and 100% scaling. The only issue is losing 60 pixels in height, but I don't have to go though the scaling and resolution change every time I want to connect/disconnect from a monitor or projector.

If we could just get a resolution option of 1440 x 960 (which is a 3:2 ratio) I could fill the SP3 screen at 100% scaling and I would be satisfied.
Did you guys find a resolution (excuse the pun) to this other than the VB script? I can't believe that Microsoft missed something as obvious as this when they offer their own dock to plug it into external displays.


New Member
Ahh, great idea about changing to res to 1440 x 960. Use the intel custom res tool. Once you install the intel driver that custom res tool is in the c:\windows\system32 called custommodeapp.exe. I have it working. Thanks!!!


I need to try some of these. This is what holds me back from deploying these to sales guys. If they have to click a script or make changes when they dock or undock, it's not usable. Maybe the lower resolution is the ticket. This has bugged me since day 1 with the SP3 and while I understand it's an OS issue, it's still an issue that a lot of people who use this device as a laptop and tablet replacement don't care for.

Edit: I changed my resolution to 1440x900 and set the scaling also. Now, when I go back and forth between docked and not docked it switches the resolution properly!!! I've been looking for this answer for months. It's not ideal as I have to run a lower resolution on the Surface itself but this is at least usable. I lose a small bit of black at the top and bottom when in landscape and on the left/right when in portrait but it's not that noticeable. I may need to try to get the custom resolution of 1440x960 to make it fill properly. Otherwise my life just improved tremendously. Thanks to the folks who posted this.
Last edited:


New Member
custommodeapp.exe should open. From there you can set the custom res and refresh rate. I set 1440 x 960 refresh rate 60 and save. From there that res is available when you choose the windows standard set res option.