DOSBox resolution: full screen, window size, clear graphics
Switching between full screen and window
To use DOSBox in full screen, press the ALT key and, while pressing the ALT key, press the Enter key. Do this again, and you return to the DOSBox window. To enhance image quality, continue reading.
Changing the DOSBox resolution and image quality
Here at DOSGamers, we like our DOS games to look clear and just like the original. As most DOS games are made for screens with a resolution of 320x240 pixels, DOSBox needs to scale the image. With default settings, DOSBox in full screen looks blurry or fuzzy and squashed in case of wide screens. At startup, the window is also kind of small. So what did we do?
- Open the DOSBox configuration file:
- Windows 7: Press CTRL + ESC (or Start button), type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
- Windows 8 and Windows 10: Press the Windows key + Q, type in dosbox, and the options file DOSBox 0.7x Options should appear in the search results, click it
- Look for the [sdl] section
- Use fullscreen=true for full screen
- Use fullscreen=false for DOSBox in a window
- Change fullresolution=original to fullresolution=desktop
- When using a window, change windowresolution=original to windowresolution=1280x960 (or use 1024x768 for a smaller window). You can enter any resolution you want but remember that DOS games were made for screens with a 4:3 width/height aspect ratio. See also the aspect setting below.
- Change output=surface to output=openglnb (uses graphics hardware and maintains crisp image with scaling). You might try output=ddraw if your hardware doesn't support OpenGL. In some cases ddraw also has a lower CPU load.
- Scroll down to the [render] section
- Change aspect=false to aspect=true (maintains 4:3 aspect ratio for both full screen mode and windowed mode. If you've set a resolution with another aspect ratio, like 1280x480, this will be converted to 640x480. In the same way your desktop resolution like 1920x1080 will be converted to 1440x1080. Otherwise keep on false if you like the aspect ratio of your resolution setting.)
- Save the configuration file with CTRL+S (or File - Save)
- (Re)start DOSBox