You can change your display settings without entering the game using a file in the following location:
%LOCALAPPDATA%\Frontier Developments\Elite Dangerous\Options\Graphics\DisplaySettings.xml
Open this file in notepad (or a similar text editor) you can change various parameters that affect how the game is displayed. Please note: We always recommend making a backup of this file beforehand so you can reset it if you need to.
ScreenWidth/ScreenHeight options are measured in pixels, and are best set to the resolution of your monitor as seen below:
The Fullscreen option can be changed to one of the following lines for the desired effect. Often changing to Windowed Mode or Borderless Window Mode allows most people to start the game up and modify the settings as normal.
<FullScreen>0</FullScreen> = Windowed Mode <FullScreen>1</FullScreen> = Fullscreen Mode <FullScreen>2</FullScreen> = Borderless Window Mode
Changing the number in the Monitor option will affect which monitor (as indicated by Windows) the game is displayed on. This only applies if you use more than 1 screen.
<Monitor>0</Monitor> = Your first monitor <Monitor>1</Monitor> = Your second monitor <Monitor>2</Monitor> = Your third monitor And so on...
Finally, you can manually force the game client to utilise one of your non-integrated graphics cards with the Adapter values (this does not work on Nvidia Optimus systems):
<Adapter>0</Adapter> = Your integrated graphics <Adapter>1</Adapter> = Your external graphics card <Adapter>2</Adapter> = Your second external graphics card
If none of this is working for you, or if these settings break your game, do remember that you can always delete the DisplaySettings.xml and it will be recreated with the default settings when you next start the game. The default DisplaySettings.xml is also attached to this article.