Fix blurry legacy apps in Windows 10/11 with DPI scaling

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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You can now fix blurry fonts and stretched elements in old apps on Windows 10. We’ll show you exactly how in this article.

Every device features a high-DPI display these days and this includes laptops, phones, tablets and desktop PCs. Windows 10 comes with DPI scaling support to improve the entire viewing experience. Unfortunately, older legacy apps don’t benefit from it. Microsoft thought about a way to improve this and introduced some updates in both Windows 10 Anniversary Update and the Creators Update for fixing the problems.

High-DPI scaling improvements on Windows 10

Microsoft is working on improving the way that Windows 10 handles automatic scaling per-monitor to reduce the amount of blur or incorrect size for older apps. In case the apps don’t render correctly, the company also introduced the possibility to force an app to run as a DPI-unaware process.

Overriding System DPI Scaling for an older app

You can adjust your DPI scaling setting for an app that is not working well. Just follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the desktop app’s shortcut and select Properties. If the app is on the taskbar, right-click on its icon, right-click the app’s name and go to Properties.
  • Click on the Compatibility tab and check the ‘Override high DPI scaling behavior’ option.

Choose between the three high DPI scaling options:

  • Application: This setting will disable DPI scaling for this app entirely and it will appear tiny but not blurry.
  • System: Windows will use the default behavior and apps that don’t respect DPI settings will be bitmap stretched to appear larger, but they’ll probably look blurry.
  • System (Enhanced): Windows will scale apps in a more intelligent way for crisp text. In the Creators Update, this will only work with GDI-based apps (traditional desktop apps).

Choose your favorite option, then click OK. This is all you’ll need to do to make your apps look better!


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