How to fix overscan (black margin around monitor) with a quick registry hack

Posted on May 28, 2013 in Computers

I use a 15″ 2011 Macbook Pro (the lower res version) to do all my design and development. Recently I finally gave in and bought a second monitor (I went for an entry-level 24″ LG) and I couldn’t be happier with my massively increased work area, and as a result, increased workrate. That was until I boot into Windows and tried to get some work done.

The problem was that there was an inch (or so) thick black margin around the edge of the monitor. I am required to use Windows on my Mac probably around 50% of the time, so I had to fix this issue fairly soon (it was far too annoying to ignore!). I did a bit of googling and found out that the issue is called ‘overscan’. The good thing was that other people were having the same problem as me, but the annoying thing was that there was no easy fix.

If you find yourself in the same situation as me, then you have 2 options:

  1. Replace your bootcamp graphics card drivers with Windows drivers, and then download and install AMD’s Catalyst Control Center which has a GUI for this sort of thing
  2. Venture into your Windows registry and fix the issue manually

I briefly explored both options, and came to the conclusion that I’d give the registry hack a go. I didn’t want to be bothering finding the correct drivers, replacing my old ones (what if I completely mess something up?), and everything else, so I googled some more about the registry fix.

[How to] fix overscan using a registry hack in Windows

*Note that you should back up any registry files/folder that you even consider changing with this hack, as this cannot be ‘reversed’ (no ctrl+Z here!)*

  1. Open up the registry editor by going to start and typing “regedit” and pressing enter
  2. Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetContro lvideo{####….}000” where {####….} is some long string of numbers and letters. I *think* each video{####….} folder corresponds to a different monitor that has been used previously, so you’ll have to find exactly which folder to use yourself (or do this fix for all of them?)
  3. Make sure you’ve backed up this folder (and maybe a few directories up, too?)
  4. While in /ooooo/ folder, right-click and select “Create new D-WORD”
  5. Enter “DigitalHDTVDefaultUnderscan” as the name
  6. Ensure that the rest is 0’s (zero’s)
  7. Reboot, and hopefully your overscan will be gone

Here’s some screenshots from inside my regedit window:


This is what the entry should look like



This is the directory structure of the area where you must add the entry. Make sure you add it into the “0000” folder.


Leave a comment

Was this helpful? Did I miss something? Do you have a question? Get in touch, or tell me below.