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Add Missing Screen Resolution Options on a VM (VMware)

Have you set up a new VM on ESXI/vSphere and the resolution is off, and when you went to change the resolution there were limited options? This guide will go over how to solve this problem.  The solution is to assign the VM more video memory or set the video memory option to automatic (automatic works sometimes).

The Problem

Resolution is messed up and there are no higher resolution options available.


The Solution

These examples are on vCenter 7.0 and ESXI 6.5.  While it doesn't cover every version of vCenter and ESXI the edit VM settings page hasn't changed much in modern versions.

Via vCenter (Version 7.0)

  1. Shutdown the VM wait until the VM registers as offline.
  2. Right click on the VM and click Edit Settings


  3. Locate and expand the Video Card settings.
  4. You can try setting the main Video Card setting to Auto-Detect Settings, if that doesn't work just set it to Specify Custom Settings and increase the Video Memory to like 8MB or higher depending on the resolution you want.


  5. Power on the VM and you should have more resolution choices now.


Via ESXi 6.5

  1. Shutdown the VM and wait until it registers as offline.
  2. Select Virtual Machines, then right-click the VM and select Edit Settings.


  3. Find the Video Card area and expand the settings.  Set the main option to Specify Custom Settings and set the Video Memory to 8MB or higher depending on the resolution you need.


  4. Power up the VM and you should have more screen resolution options now.