Is custom scaling below 100% possible in Windows 10/11?

by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
Aleksandar's main passion is technology. With a solid writing background, he is determined to bring the bleeding edge to the common user. With a keen eye, he always... read more
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Microsoft has had a hard time with DPI Scaling in Windows 10. This is hardly a new problem but it’s the most obvious on large monitors and in multi-monitor setups.

Another issue which users have with scaling on Windows 10 concerns 100% scaling being the minimum limit. And for this reason or that, some of them would like to go below this hardcoded default value. We explained below why that’s hard to achieve.

Is it possible to set custom scaling below 100% on Windows 10?

Simple answer? No, you can’t do it without completely ruining the viewing experience. Windows 10 is hardcoded to allow only as low as 100% and that’s basically it.

It works that way on all devices with 1-1 pixel mapping and you won’t be able to make any significant changes. Back in the days, you were able to downscale via the Control Panel Display Scaling settings or via the registry editor, but that’s not the case anymore.

The GPU won’t help you here, as scaling can’t be touched. Now, if you want to make things smaller and downscale while gaming, you can do so within the game resolution settings.

Basically, that’s the most you can do with the only exception being a higher resolution display. A 4K monitor will still minimally scale at 100% but everything will, obviously, look smaller.

Browsing-wise, you can reduce zoom and reduce scaling, making the internet surfing experience so much better. At least, if smaller-sized text and web-elements are what are you looking for.

So, to sum it up, Microsoft doesn’t allow going under the default 100% scaling and, even if you find the way, we won’t suggest it. If there’s a chance to change to higher resolution, you can go with that, but in most scenarios, nothing but default and lower resolutions will work.

Consider getting a monitor with higher resolution if you’re really in need of smaller elements on your display. With that said, we can conclude this article.

Make sure to tell us in the comments what are your thoughts on Windows 10 scaling and what you want to change. Possibly a sub-100% scaling? The comments section is just below.


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