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I'm running Windows XP on a Dell Inspiron 6000. Firefox is my browser. Every time I turn Foxfire on, my screen resolution drops from 32 bit to 8 bit.

If I leave Foxfire on and reset the resolution to the original 32 bit, it stays there unless I turn FF off and then on again when the problem reasserts itself again.

Any idea why, or what to do to prevent it?

Well, I know how to do it on purpose, but having happen by accident is a new one to me.

Let's look at how it's done on purpose, and see if undoing that helps you.

Windows provides this functionality for compatibility purposes. It's not used often, but some old, or perhaps poorly written programs simply can't handle rich color depth.

"Windows provides this functionality for compatibility purposes."

Right click on the shortcut you're using to start Firefox (or whatever program you're interested in), and click on Properties. In the resulting dialog box click on the Compatibility tab, and you should see something much like this:

Compatibility tab on Properties dialog

As you can see, there are several options that you can select relating to the environment that this particular program would be run under when it's started. One of which is "Run in 256 colors".

I'm guessing that's selected, either for the shortcut you use to start Firefox, or for Firefox itself. Double check both, make sure that option is not selected, and see if that doesn't help.

If it was selected, the question is why? As you can see, the setting is fairly well buried. I'm not certain how it could get set accidentally.

Article C2678 - June 4, 2006 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Eli Coten
June 10, 2006 4:58 PM

To me the original questions seems confused between Firefox and Foxfire. Nevertheless I would agree that the most likley explanation is something to do with Windows compatibility settings.

JM Ariel Laxa
August 12, 2006 1:40 AM

damn man!!! you are good!!!

confused user
March 2, 2007 4:09 PM

thanks, this helped

November 5, 2007 7:44 AM

huzzah! I've avoided using Mozilla for the past tear because of this issue. But you just resolved it for me! Now I can browse in the tranquil peace that is firefox. Thanks again!

Bimal Patel
February 15, 2009 9:37 PM

Hello Sir,

i m purchased new computer, it has some problem an installing display driver, means when trying to set screen resolution 1400 by 900 pixels , but when he restart the machine, resolution is changing automatically to 800 by 600. & Other resolution. & i all ready update Latest driver but problem is running now..
So please help him or send link for website link & give the detail of How to install the driver.

Mother Bord : - DG31 PR
Processor :- C2D 2.88
Monitor :- LG Flatron w1942s

Thanks & Regards

Bimal Patel

July 8, 2009 9:59 PM

I also have a dell 6000 with the same problem. Nothing was checked and thus this solution did not work for me. I believe the issue is a driver compatibility problem with the ATI Mobility Radeon X300. Looks like they no longer provide driver updates.

September 4, 2009 5:16 PM

Information on the site is gud,but it would be better if more information is provided on screen resolution not only with the perticular s/w,but also with the various appilcations and also why does this happen..! :) thank u

October 27, 2009 6:37 PM

I am having the problem of my screen resolution changing when I begin typing an e-mail in Outlook and also when attempting to use MS Word. I can change it back and it will work until I shut down and start up again. Mitchel

October 30, 2009 6:11 PM

I think I finally found the problem. I opened MS Word & the zoom was set at 500%. Hope this helps someone.

William Stott
January 15, 2010 10:51 PM

when ever I re-boot my display moves from 32 bit to 8 bit, and I have to re-set it.

March 6, 2010 9:23 PM

I have tried the compatiblity exercise and it only says : Compatibility mode cannot be set on this program because it's part of Windows XP.

What do I have to do to get my resolution right, now?

William Stott
April 2, 2010 10:54 PM

when ever I re-boot my display moves from 32 bit to 8 bit, and I have to re-set it.I have never got a usable answer.

April 7, 2010 5:19 PM

this worked for me perfectly, not sure how that got clicked in the first place but thanks anyway.

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