Hardware/RasPi3/VNC resolution

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Troubleshooting VNC Server on the Raspberry Pi

If VNC on the Raspberry Pi is not running smoothly, use this page to help you troubleshoot your problem.

Note: If you would like to enable the experimental direct capture feature from the command line, click here.

Changing the Raspberry Pi's screen resolution

The following use cases may result in you needing to change your Raspberry Pi's screen resolution:

  • You have previously increased your Pi's resolution, which may be impacting VNC's performance.
  • You are connecting to a headless Pi (a Pi that is not plugged into a monitor) in Service Mode, which may result in its resolution being too small (A headless Pi defaults to the smallest safe resolution, which is typically the same as a standard definition TV. As VNC Server remotes the desktop at whatever resolution your Pi is using, the screen displayed by VNC Viewer is then much smaller than you would expect.)

To set a certain screen resolution for your Pi, specify the following settings in /boot/config.txt:

hdmi_force_hotplug=1 Tells your Pi an HDMI display is attached.
hdmi_mode=16 Forces a resolution of 1024x768 at 60Hz. See here for more options.

Note: These new settings will override any information from monitors you subsequently plug in (unless you revert hdmi_force_hotplug), so pick a 'headless' resolution that is compatible with your regular monitor.

You will need to restart your Pi for these settings to take effect. Click here for more information on config.txt.

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