Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

I can’t pinpoint an application, but I am sure there are some (ok.. RoadRash is one such game which I still play once in a blue moon) that change the default color depth of Windows from 32 bit to 16 bit while running. These applications run in this mode as long as the user is working on it and when the application is closed it usually reverts back to the default 32 bit color.

These applications may crash (it has happened to me a lot) leaving Windows stuck with the 16 bit color settings (sometimes the resolution also gets messed up). So if you are ever stuck in this situation wondering why the colors don’t seem right, the following steps should help you restore your default display settings.

Changing the Windows Color Depth From 16 to 32 bit or Vice Versa

Step 1: Right-click on your desktop and select Screen Resolution to open the settings. Step 2: In the settings, click on the Screen Resolution option. Step 3: Adjust the resolution according to your preference. Step 4: Click Apply to save the changes. Step 5: Confirm the new resolution by clicking OK. Step 6: Close the settings window. Step 7: Enjoy the new screen resolution.

Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

Step 2: If you have multiple monitors connected, select one from the drop-down list and click “Advance Settings”.

Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

Step 3: Click on the Advance Settings link to open the property window of your default Graphics Card. Go to the Adapter tab and click List All Modes.

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Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

Step 4: In the popup window, select the display mode you prefer and click OK. The screen may blackout briefly before the changes take effect. Confirm your actions to make the changes permanent.

Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

If you want to toggle the color depth without changing the resolution, follow these steps:

1. Open the Driver properties window.

2. Go to the Monitor tab.

3. Select the desired color depth from the dropdown menu.

4. Click OK.

Change 16 bit to 32 bit Color (or 32 bit to 16 bit Color) in Windows 7

Conclusion

If you find your desktop trapped in a weird resolution with distorted colors, you now know how to get back to the default settings. Additionally, if you do color-sensitive work like Photoshop or 3D Max, you can manually change the color depth using the steps above.

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