I am using Ubuntu 15.10. I accidentally changed the size of the interface to maximum. Now my folders and windows are too large and don't fully fit the screen so I cannot revert the effect. Is there any way to reset the display settings to default so this can revert to normal?


Removing ~/.config/monitors.xml should do it:

  • Open a terminal window by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T
  • type rm ~/.config/monitors.xml and press Enter
  • immediately log out and back in. It should be reverted now


If you know what resolution your screen supports (e.g. 1440x900), you can run the command:

xrandr -s 1440x900

to at least temporarily set a workable solution, then subsequently change settings from GUI.

  • 4
    it did not work.
    – alexanast
    Mar 23 '16 at 14:07
  • uhd. It was the highest in the settings and it is already set at that resoloution. i think 3840x2160
    – alexanast
    Mar 23 '16 at 14:12
  • Hi @alexanast just (re) tested it. Did you forget to log out/in? it works really. Local monitor settings are stored in ~/.config/monitors.xml. There is no way these settings are remembered if you remove the file and immediately log out, unless you must have done something exotic. Mar 23 '16 at 14:24
  • login screen fixed but desktop enviroment didnt. Restarting to check. edit It did not.
    – alexanast
    Mar 23 '16 at 14:34
  • @alexanast curious to what you did to change the settings? Mar 23 '16 at 14:55

I had a similar problem to you but I found the solution here How to scale title bars and menu in Ubuntu 14.04 with the terminal only

dconf reset /com/ubuntu/user-interface/scale-factor

This changes the "scale for menu and title bars" to default.

  • This worked for ubuntu 16.04 atleast Feb 19 '17 at 16:17
  • Also you can use dconf-editor, go to that path, Set to default. Jun 15 '17 at 18:56
  • it 's really good answer..thank
    – Anshu
    Jul 31 '19 at 14:36

Just to add to this, since this is the first thread that appeared for me: My solution to reset the display was to use:

xrandr --listactivemonitors
  • 2
    But this doesn't reset anything? Feb 25 '19 at 7:27
  • If you unplug an external monitor and display doesn't reset, running this will reset the monitor config. Jul 15 '20 at 9:33

Just rebooting can fix it, but it depends on what caused the change.

Before you fiddle with settings, reboot and see if the resolution reverts to the correct setting.

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