SwitchResX for Mac

SwitchResX for Mac


Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
3.4
out of 36 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
4.4
File Size:
3.37MB
Date Added:
March 16, 2014
Price:
Free to try (10-day trials, limited functionality); €14.00 to buy (Buy it now)
Operating Systems:
Mac OS X 10.6/10.7/10.8/10.9
Total Downloads:
18,654
Downloads Last Week:
129
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

SwitchResX for Mac lets you easily change your display resolution and adjust other monitor settings directly from your menu bar or by using the Contextual Menu. This premium product supports resolutions for high-density displays, as well as different orientations. Additionally, you can use it to manage your multiple display setups and create custom per-app rules.

Installing SwitchResX for Mac can be confusing for novices because it actually installs as a preference pane rather than a standalone app, and offers little guidance during installation. In order to have access to the highest number of options, SwitchResX will ask you to run a lightweight daemon in the background; in our tests it used only 0.1 percent of CPU power and around 25MB of RAM. The settings window is laid out well, with separate tabs for each distinct function. Some of the options within the app, like screen orientation, are hardware-specific and may not be available on all monitors. Notable features of the app include the ability to assign custom resolutions to individual apps, create your own screen resolutions, and save different display combinations as distinct sets. In addition, this app offers support for AppleScript, which can prove quite handy if you're familiar with scripting, and the ability to assign shortcuts to any premade display set, allowing you to change your display settings with just one click.

Whether you have a retina MacBook and are tired of having to sacrifice the high resolution because of incompatible apps or use several external monitor setups, SwitchResX for Mac won't disappoint you. Being lightweight and highly customizable, this premium app can increase your productivity by automatically managing your display.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of SwitchResX for Mac 4.3.6.

Publisher's Description

More Products to Consider

All User Reviews

    Results 1-10 of 26

  • 5 stars

    "Saved my bacon for online Trainings at TheWPDojo!"

    September 06, 2012   |   By ocaptainnc

    Version: SwitchResX 4.3.2

    Pros

    Works as advertised, enables resolutions not native to the display, fixes incompatibilities when upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion

    Cons

    It's not free, but hey, it works!

    Summary

    After upgrading my Mac to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion I lost the ability to run my secondary monitor at 720p, which is 1280x720. I record online webinars for my WordPress training site, http://thewpdojo.com.

    I needed to have the ability to set my monitor to 720p so I can provide my online trainings in HD. After discovering this software and installing it, my monitor was set to 720p in the nick of time just before my presentation, so it was well worth the nominal registration fee!

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  • 4 stars

    "Works great for setting up a default resolution"

    August 19, 2011   |   By kingdude1

    Version: SwitchResX 4.2.5

    Pros

    Works fantastic. I was having problem keeping a 1366x768 resolution - I'd reboot and sometimes have 1366x768 but mostly would get 1280x768 - now everytime I boot - I get my default resolution. Fantastic

    Cons

    It takes a couple of minutes to figure out how to use, but just fool around with it, you'll figure it out. Plus it has a manual, that definitely helps.

    Summary

    For setting up a default resolution in Mac - it works fantastic!

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  • 2 stars

    "Lacks instructions and user friendly features"

    November 08, 2009   |   By jb510

    Version: SwitchResX 4.0.0

    Pros

    One of only two choices out there... Neither of which are very friendly to use.

    Cons

    Can't test/apple screen resolutions without rebooting.
    No built in graphic for determining screen size/overscan like DisplayConfigX has.

    Summary

    I only tried this out during the free trail period and never could get it to create a screen resolution that really worked right on my HDTV. I must of fiddled and rebooted a hundred times. I'm glad I didn't pay for it. If it had an graphic on screen that showed you what you'd get after adjsut screen sizes it'd be worth it, but it doesn't. It's incredibly non-user friendly even for those that actually understand screen resolutions/overscan etc. This is one step up from the command line, and a long way from what most expect in a Mac focused app.

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  • 3 stars

    "Works with Leopard"

    August 04, 2008   |   By rd0001

    Version: SwitchResX 3.8.3

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    First, I want to clarify something about this utility that many people misunderstand.

    The installation and use of APE (an low-level application enhancer with various OS and application plugins) is not required. I note many persons who say they will not use this utility because of this issue. You don't have to use it unless you intend to block certain resolutions or unless you intend to redirect requests for certain resolutions into other resolutions automatically. This is not what most people need a custom display driver for.

    You may choose during installation to avoid installing APE altogether. It is clearly marked and you must authorize its installation separately from the rest of SwitchRes. So it won't just sneak APE in on you during the install. And you can remove APE at any time if you don't require those few features that use APE.

    I use an older 32" Sharp LCD TV as a second display. Its native EDID only goes as high as 1280x768 (not sure if newer Sharp units have corrected this problem). However, the TV can actually display up to 1366x768. Due to needing multiples of 8, most display tweakers choose to use a resolution of 1360x768 for sets of this type. So I wanted to get rid of my black bars and fill the Sharp screen border to border without stretching, banding artifacts, etc.

    My primary machine is a 2006 model Mac Pro with an nVidia 7300LE dual-headed display card. The Mac Pro is running a current standard 10.5.4 Leopard install.

    Using the mostly straightforward directions I found around the net (like AVSforums: Switchres), I concocted my own set of defaults simply by changing the horizontal front porch and back porch to allow the extra 80 pixels of width I needed.

    I ended up with a setup like this:

    	Mode = 1360 x 768 @ 59.833Hz
    		Pixel Clock............. 81.00 MHz		Non-Interlaced
    
    		                        Horizontal		Vertical
    		Active.................. 1280 pixels		 768 lines
    		Front Porch.............   8 pixels		   1 lines
    		Sync Width..............  112 pixels		   3 lines
    		Back Porch..............  208 pixels		  30 lines
    		Blanking................  408 pixels		  34 lines
    		Total................... 1688 pixels		 802 lines
    		Scan Rate...............  47.986 kHz		 59.833 Hz
    
    		Image Size..............    0 mm		   0 mm
    		Border..................    0 pixels		   0 lines
    

    My previous Front Porch (right side of screen) was 48 pixels and previous Back Porch (left side of screen) was 248. I subtracted 40 from each to get the extra 80 pixels needed, making sure that the Total horizontal pixels stayed at 1688 pixels total. [Note: you normally cannot get the full 1366 pixels on the display because you must use a display size that is evenly divisible by 8 (1366/8=170.75). I've read before that you can scale up and then reduce pixel counts so you fill every pixel on the screen but that kind of tweaking is for people who really know what they're doing with this video stuff, not for ordinary users. I make note of this because of the huge numbers of 1366x768 LCD units on the market in recent years.]

    I saved this as a new monitor setting, rebooted, brought up the Displays item in System Preferences and it worked perfectly (my set had already been set for 1366x768 and was displaying my former 1280x768 resolution with a black border of 43 pixels on left and right). After installing my new 1360x768 resolution, I had a barely visible border of 3 pixels on left and right, almost invisible from more than a foot away.

    I thought after so many bad reviews based on misinformation around the net, mostly involving the optional use of APE in this product, more people needed to understand the issues involved. There is a lot of uninformed gossip about APE around, some of it well-founded. In the case of SwitchRes, this gossip is unfounded for most users who won't even inspect it closely enough to understand that APE is only required for a small number of advanced features in the program that are needed by only a few users.

    I recommend others consider using this on their secondary displays on a Mac Pro (as I do) or for secondary displays connected to a Mac laptop. If you connect directly and bork your main display, you may have some problems getting back to a usable display with it. I have used this previously with my old PPC Mac Mini on the same Sharp LCD but it was a lot more painful before I got it to work. Hence, my advice that this is far safer for persons of medium tech skills to use on their secondary displays. If using it on a single-display setup, try to configure the monitor as a secondary display first and keep the primary display unaltered in case you need to recover. Make sure you know where the button to reset to standard default resolutions is located.

    Enabling all the custom monitor controls and resolution selections in the More items of the Desktop's popup menu is a feature you might want to disable. For most people, you just need to enable the proper resolution and then select it from Displays in System Preferences as usual.

    If you don't have any grasp of how to roll your own custom display resolutions, consider recruiting someone more knowledgeable or searching for info on the web about what settings to try with your particular model of display.

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  • 5 stars

    "Saved The Day - Fantastic Software"

    June 27, 2006   |   By bsetter

    Version: SwitchResX 3.7.4

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I could not get my new 19" LCD display to work with my Powerbook G4 and with this software I was able to make a custom screen resolution and presto it is working great! If you are in my shoes this will save the day and the price was great! Way better than buying a $99 apple product to do the same thing!

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  • 3 stars

    "SwitchRes X 3.7.4 UB Support Complete"

    June 16, 2006   |   By chashulme

    Version: SwitchResX 3.7.4

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    Version 3.7.4 Universal Binary (UB) plays very nicely with Unsanity's Application Enhancer 2.0 UB on my MacBook Pro. So, extended support for blocking res changes on Mac Intel machines (at least my MacBook Pro) is back and works great. Thanks Stephane.

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  • 5 stars

    "Keep your fingers off this, if..."

    March 27, 2006   |   By info807

    Version: SwitchResX 3.7.2

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    Keep your fingers off this product, if you don't know details about monitor resolutions and adjustments.
    SwitchResX is a highly professional tool, that can change lots of things.
    If you don't know, what your doing, and you do a guessing job instead, don't complain about strange effects, that might appear afterwards.
    My experience with SwitchResX is: great product with lots of options, that helped me a lot both with various beamers (tutoring) and my journalistic work (testing LCD-TV and other) with any type of connection (DVI, HDMI, D-Sub) on my PBG4-15"-1G.

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  • 5 stars

    "Excellent Product With a Variety of Uses"

    March 24, 2006   |   By dave170

    Version: SwitchResX 3.7.2

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I had been looking for a dual monitor solution for my mac mini. As everyone knows by now you just can't do it. Or can you?. I found an article on the DualHead2go from Matrox that claimed someone got it to work for the mini but the company says it is only support by pc. Well I just got the same set up working on my mac mini but only with the help of SwitchResX and the Author Stephane who replied to my emails quickly providing insight to what was happening and helped me to correct it. Thank you Stephane. I agree with one of the other comments here you need to know a little about your monitors and about resolution timing before you go setting your system to use timing it can't handle. Furthermore there is no need to bash a product you don't know how to use. My monitors could not handle above 76hz and the DualHead2go (not switchresx) was putting out 85hz on reboot. However because switchresx works so well I was able to vnc to my mini from another computer and select the new resolution that I had saved before rebooting. Now the system boots to the correct resolution every time unlike a another similar product I had read about where they had to create an apple script to reset the the resolution on boot.

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  • 4 stars

    "Great app!"

    January 23, 2006   |   By micha221

    Version: SwitchResX 3.6.3

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    Hello, I use SwitchRes for so many years and I'm glad to have it onboard. It's a great app, it saved my life in so many situations.
    But for all those, who are grumbling about SwitchRes, you should know something about the basics (frequency, etc.) before trying bad things to your monitor. This is for all of you, who are crying that your monitors are destroyed after using SwitchRes. So just think before doing any careless things in SwitchRes!!

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  • 3 stars

    "Good Screen Driver Tuner"

    January 08, 2006   |   By VersionTrackerUserOpinion

    Version: SwitchResX 3.6.3

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    I had an overscan problem when connecting in Full HD (1920x1080/60Hz) my G4 Cube w/ Radeon 7500 under OSX 10.3.9 to a Sony video projector VPL-VW100. SwitchRes 3.6.3 solved my problem by shifting the screen +16 pixels right.
    It would benefit from a better user manual / tutorial for non-experts thou.

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  • Results 1-10 of 26

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