Running the Retina MacBook Pro at Full 2880x1800 Resolution

While Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro includes a display measuring 2880x1800 pixels, the default display options do not allow users to run their systems at that raw resolution. Instead, the extra pixels are used to display a higher level of detail on a canvas representing the previous 1440x900 resolution. As a result, windows and user interface elements appear to be the same relative size as on a 1440x900 15" display, but with four times the detail. Users who wish to use a desktop with apparent resolution higher than 1440x900 can still do so, as System Preferences offers several different options ranging up to 1920x1200.

Those users who want even more screen real estate by tapping into the full 2880x1800 resolution mode of the display can also do so, but the option involves a workaround that is not authorized by Apple. Macworld has more details on the process, which involves using either a third-party app like the paid SwitchResX (as noted in our forums) or one of a number of free options that have sprung up such as Change Resolution.

retina macbook pro 2880
Retina MacBook Pro running at 2880x1800
(Click for larger)

Running a 2880x1800 desktop on a screen measuring only 15.4 inches diagonally obviously results in very small text and user interface elements, but for those willing to sit close enough to their screens to make the onscreen content readable, it may be an interesting option.

As noted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, users running Windows on the new Retina MacBook Pro can also take advantage of the full display resolution, simply setting the resolution in preferences within Windows.

Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

covertsurfer Avatar
154 months ago
I smell a lawsuit.

Seriously? I don't think so somehow.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
belltree Avatar
154 months ago
- "not authorized by Apple"?

If I buy the hardware I will do with it as I please. :mad:
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayhawk11 Avatar
154 months ago
Seems like this would be barely usable, but cool trick nonetheless.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dr McKay Avatar
154 months ago
This is what I wanted to see :D

laggy pos i heard
You heard wrong.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GFLPraxis Avatar
154 months ago
Actually surprised this requires a hack.

I have great eyesight so I would actually love this.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QCassidy352 Avatar
154 months ago
Actually surprised this requires a hack.

I have great eyesight so I would actually love this.

I'm surprised too. I figured this was a native option.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Apple's First AI Features in iOS 18 Reportedly Won't Use Cloud Servers

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:52 am PDT by
Apple's first set of new AI features planned for iOS 18 will not rely on cloud servers at all, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "As the world awaits Apple's big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device," said Gurman, in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter today. "That means there's no cloud processing component to the...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
m3 mbp space black

M4 Macs Are Expected to Launch in This Order Starting Later This Year

Sunday April 14, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently reported that the first Macs with M4 series chips will be released later this year, with more models to follow next year. In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman shared a more specific roadmap for these Macs. Here is the order in which Gurman expects the Macs to launch:1. A low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M4, coming around the end of 2024. 2. A 24-inch ...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...