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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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My screen has a one inch black margin on each side. How do

Customer Question

My screen has a one inch black margin on each side. How do I widen the screen to full width?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.
What version of OS X are you running? What is your hardware configuration?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm running an OSX 10.2. I have no idea what you mean about hardware configuration.
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.
No worries. What Mac platform are you using? iMac? etc...
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm using my Mac laptop computer.
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.

For this type of error, I generally have you perform one of two actions which almost always solve the problem:


First we'll reset the PRAM and NVRAM:


  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  6. Release the keys.

If that fixes it, let me know, otherwise we'll try the second option to change display settings.



Do not click ACCEPT until you validate that my answer solved your problem.




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, but the black margins are still on each side of the screen even though the first and second start up went ok.
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.
Set System Preferences > Displays to the native resolution of your display (the top one in the list)
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Now it's REALLY SCREWED UP! When I went to Systems displays and hit the first one it only made anything on the screen huge but it was the same smaller screen. Now not only do I have the black margins I only have half a window. It ok from the top to the middle and it stops!
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.
Reboot your computer and reset the PRAM and the NVRAM again. Post back. I'll work through this with you even if we have to change it from the terminal.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK. Now when I turn the computer on and press the buttons as you instructed the black margins are still on each side of the screen. My new problem since we started is that when I log on to aol the screen is only half a page. My display was set at 1024x768 when we first began and I've reset it to that again but what has caused the new problem with the aol screen????
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.
Did you reboot again after changing your display setting? I have another quick question and we'll address your AOL question. Are you using the laptop display or do you have an external display connected?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm using the laptop display. I first went to the preference key. Then I hit the Displays icon. It was set at 1024x768. You said go to the first one which I did. That was 640x480. It only made everything on the screen huge so I went back to the way was to start with. Now I have the additional problem of half a page!
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.
Were the black borders there when you switched to 640x480? I wanted to see if it was a resolution issue with the black borders and not a faulty video output.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes. The black borders are still there when I change the resolution. It only makes all everything on the screen huge.
Expert:  John P replied 7 years ago.

Okay, change the resolution back to 1024x786. Reboot, and what I'll do is Opt Out of this question so another Expert can help you. The resolution and PRAM are the only two things I've seen to solve a black border around a monitor.


As a side note, you won't be charged until you hit the Accept button, so when another Expert helps you solve your problem, you can select their answer.

Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Hello my name is Dan.
Can you please tell what Mac laptop it is? An iBook G4, a PowerBook 12" or 15" or what we need to know because it helps determine how we answer you.
In this small screen is the entire picture there or is it cut off so that parts are missing?
Where there any electric storms or power surges?