Fix: Disable Display Scaling on High DPI Devices in Windows 10

Originally published at: Fix: Disable Display Scaling on High DPI Devices in Windows 10

Windows 10, while not without its own unique set of quirks, includes a feature known as “display scaling on high DPI devices.” This latest and most advanced feature replaces the “XP style display scaling” that was available in Windows 7, causing all programs and applications, that don’t specify their compatibility from the start, to appear…

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check the status bar of regedit to ensure you’re looking within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion

I think you are right, this is similar to how android treats dark mode it just forces it on every single app. This causes a lot of issues with some apps and it’s really frustrating to see the GUI glitching every time but at least they are more clear about it and users know how to easily disable it. We should have the option to disable it for individual programs.

Worked for me on my Dell XPS 15 !!

This worked fabulously with and issue I had with Remote Desktop Connection. I named the manifest mstsc.exe.manifest and put it in the c:windowssystem32 folder.
I am using an MS Surface Pro which has very high resolution. When I remote in to computers with lower res, it was so small I could barely read it. I had previously used the PreferExternalManifest registry setting, but that only worked if I connected to a Windows 10 client. Most of our clients are still Win 7, so I was stuck. Your solution saved the day, thanls!!

It does not work with mmc consoles, SQL Server Management Studio … It seems we do not have some tool at our disposal capable of solving this problem for every program … I frequently use mmc consoles as system engineer and their look on high DPI with 150% scaling is just terrible.

Great tool but it does not help with mmc consoles (device manager, event viewer, disk management …) I can not find anything that would make these displayed with clear text not blurry. Also it does not help with SQL Management Studio … It seems there is no available solution for all programs on high DPI and high scaling (e.g. 150%). Windows Creators Update is coming with some hints of solving mmc behavior on high DPI monitors,

I’d far rather click a checkbox in a properties window rather than edit the registry and then generate manifest files for every single blurry program. What am I missing? I tried the DPI Awareness Enabler (as administrator to install the ocx), but it just crashes as soon as the window appears. Meh.

I am trying to get Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 to display correctly on an MSI laptop running Windows 10. Menus are microscopic. Turning DPI scaling off does not fix the problem - no change. Using the manifest file provided here is even worse, as the program won’t run at all. I get a runtime error: “R6034 - An application has made an attempt to load the C runtime library incorrectly. Please contact the application’s support team for more information.”

Most of the manifest file is Greek to me but I did notice it has a line that says, processorArchitecture=“amd64” but I am running an Intel processor. Maybe this has no effect, but there is something in this manifest file that does not agree with my system. I wish I knew what it was so I could possibly tweak it. Any ideas?

I can’t locate a “Current Version” SideBySide file when I begin Regedit process. I’ve searched my files and see sxs but not when I am in regedit

Wow, thank you, thank you, thank you. I run Sage 50 2016 with Windows 10. I have a 27" 4K monitor. Sage 50 was doing the opposite of what it should. If you checked the “Disable scaling for DPI” on the shortcut, it scaled, and if it was unchecked it didn’t. BUTTTTT, it would open okay and then scale automatically at random times, causing it to be unusable!! This procedure fixed it for me.

FYI we had a Surface Tablet that got windows updates this morning and it broke the prefer local manifest option. It actually removed the registry setting. Adding the registry setting back in made mstsc throw an exception. We ended up going back to a previous days configuration and it fixed it but we need to figure out what update needs to be avoided.

You are correct about the program doing the same thing as manually locating the EXE and enabling the DPI compatibility checkbox.

However, as a software developer, what I want to know is how “The results with the .manifest file are far, far better…” The DPI scaling for a program is either on, or it is off. And the program in question is either fully DPI aware (with multisize icons and graphics), or only text DPI aware. A manifest cannot change any of these things any better than setting the DPI compatibility override flag like my program does. Could you please give some tangible examples of how the “results with the manifest file are far, far better”?
One thing I know for sure, enabling that registry flag to favor an external manifest file will slow a computer down slightly as Windows will now be looking for a lot of non-existent manifest files instead of using memory mapping and reading the ones embedded inside of each program. It can also break compatibility with programs that are designed to use an older version of the common controls or C runtime, or need a specific UAC elevation, as you are replacing these programs’ specifically tailored manifests with a generic one.