Display scaling is all about configuring the size of the screen elements to make it easier for you to read and see what’s on the screen. Generally, the setting is automatically adjusted, but if you want to reconfigure it, you’re at the right place.
Depending on how far you sit from your monitor or laptop screen, you may wish to change the display scaling. Luckily, you can do so using Windows settings and from your GPU control panel too.
So, if you’re unaware of this, we have brought this guide to help you know what display scaling is and how to configure it on Windows 11.
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Are Display Scaling and Display Resolution the Same?
Display scaling and display resolution are two completely different terms. While the former means adjusting the content size based on pixels, the latter focuses on the number of pixels rendered on your display.
Although they are different, scaling and resolution are interconnected and can drastically change how you view your screen. For example, in a display supporting the resolution of 1920 x 1080, the display scale of 150% is ideal. So, if you change the scale size to 125% or less, the size of screen content decreases, and setting it to 175% or more will increase the content size.
Now, if you change your screen resolution to 1280 x 960 without changing the display scale (150%), your screen content feels like it has been zoomed in. This is mainly because this resolution’s recommended display scale is 125%.
Basically, what happens here is that when decreasing the display resolution, the number of pixels on the screen is also minimized. On the other hand, there’s no change in pixel when increasing/decreasing display scaling; only the size changes depending on the resolution.
Thus, it’s important to note that if you switch your screen to a different size and resolution, you must also configure the display scaling. This way, images, texts, and other elements become sharp and crisp, fixing your blurry computer screen.
When Should I Configure Display Scaling?
Display settings can come in handy when you’re using an external display. Let’s say you’re displaying your laptop content on a monitor. Undoubtedly, the screen size and resolution become completely different when you switch the display.
So, you may notice that the text and image quality may drastically decrease. To solve this, you can adjust the display scaling, and things become much clearer. Moreover, you can also perform scaling on GPU other than just display.
- Maintain the same size in multiple monitor setup
- Increasing it if you’re visually impaired
- Adjust images and texts that are too small/large
- Decreasing it when sitting close and increasing it when sitting a bit far
- Play games at a lower resolution than the one your monitor supports
How Can I Configure Display Scaling in Windows 11?
If you see your screen content smaller or feel like it’s zoomed in, it’s probably because the display scaling configuration isn’t right. So, it’s important that you change this setting to view screen objects better.
Moreover, if you do not have a great vision, that’s alright! You can simply increase the display scale, and this way, you can prevent possible eye strain too. So, in this section, we will guide you to reconfigure display scaling on Windows 11.
Display Scaling From Windows Settings
Configuring display scaling is relatively easy on Windows. In fact, Microsoft provides a list of compatible scale percentages so that you can directly choose your desired one. Moreover, it syncs well with the screen resolution and automatically sets the recommended display scale.
But, if you wish to reconfigure it, here’s the correct way to do it:
- Firstly, press the Windows + I keys to launch the Settings application.
- Now, in the System tab, select the Display option.
- Under Scale & layout, expand the Scale drop-down.
- Then, choose your desired percentage.
- If you’re running any apps, you need to restart them. Else, they may not respond to the new scaling, and the images and texts become blurry.
Set Custom Display Scaling From Windows Settings
If you’re unsatisfied with the limited percentage on the Scale drop-down, there’s a way to set a custom display scaling on Windows Settings. For example, if you want to set the scale anywhere between 125% and 150%, say 140%, you can do that using the Custom scaling option:
- In the Display settings, select the Scale option under Scale & layout instead of expanding the drop-down.
- Now, you’ll enter the Custom scaling window. Here, enter a custom scaling size between 100% to 500%.
- Then, press the check mark button.
- Next, click on Sign out now to apply the change.
- This will fast restart your computer, and the custom size will be applied after you log in to the Windows screen.
Once you’ve used the custom scaling size, the Scale drop-down is grayed out, meaning you can no longer choose a default setting. So, to revert the changes, here’s what you need to do:
- Navigate to Settings > System > Display.
- Under Scale & Layout, you’ll get the Turn off custom scaling and sign out option. Click on it, and your computer restarts quickly.
- Log in to Windows, and the display scale automatically sets to the recommended setting.
Change High DPI Settings for a Particular Program
Few applications on your PC, like FPS games, require high DPI to run smoothly. In such a case, if you’ve set a relatively low display scaling on Windows settings, the objects inside that app may become blurry and difficult to access. So, we recommend enabling the High DPI Settings so that it fixes any scaling problems:
- Navigate to the Start Menu and search for the application you wish to make changes to.
- Right-click on it and select Open file location.
- Once you’re directed to its location, right-click and choose Properties.
- Switch to the Compatibility tab and press the Change high DPI settings button.
- Under Program DPI, check the “Use this setting to fix scaling problems for this program instead of the one in Settings” option.
- Next, expand the “Use the DPI that’s set for my main display when” drop-down and choose either I sign in to Windows or I open this program.
- Also, check the “Override high DPI scaling behavior” option under the High DPI scaling override section.
- Then, expand the “Scaled performed by:” drop-down and select any one – Application, System, or System (Enhanced).
- Finally, press the Ok buttons in both dialogue boxes.
- Now, restart the application, and you should notice the changes.
Choose Screen Scaling Mode in GPU Control Panel
Whether you have an integrated or dedicated graphics card, you can configure display scaling using their dedicated software. However, instead of setting the scale percentage, you’ll get to choose different Scaling modes here. In this section, we’ll be focusing on the necessary steps for doing so on the major GPU apps.
On Intel UHD Graphics Control Panel
If you have an Intel graphics card, the Intel UHD Graphics Control Panel should come built-in on your device. Here’s how you can configure display scaling using this application:
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop screen.
- Next, choose Show more options and select Intel Graphics Settings.
Alternatively, you can launch the control panel using the Ctrl + Alt + F12 keys.
- Wait until the app launches and pick Display.
- In the General Settings tab, find Scaling. Here, choose any of the four options – Maintain Display Scaling, Maintain Aspect Ratio, Scale Full Screen, or Center Image. By default, the first one is chosen.
- Then, check the Override Application Settings option and press the Apply button.
On AMD Radeon Software
If you have installed an AMD GPU on your motherboard, it’s easy to configure different screen scaling modes. For demonstration purposes, we’ve used the AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition in the steps below:
- From the Start Menu, search and launch the AMD application.
- Press the settings icon from the top-right panel of the window.
- Then, switch to the Display tab.
- Under Display Options, find and disable the GPU Scaling option.
- Next, expand the Scaling Mode drop-down and choose either Perspective Aspect Ratio, Full panel, or Center.
On Nvidia Control Panel
Like Intel UHD Graphics Control Panel and AMD Software, there’s an option to set Scaling Mode on NVIDIA Control Panel too. And here’s a detailed guide on how you can configure this:
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop screen and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
- Once the app launches, expand the 3D Settings tab and go to Manage 3D Settings.
- Next, move to the center panel, and double-click the Image Sharpening feature from the Global Settings tab.
- Here, uncheck the GPU Scaling option and hit Ok.
- Now, move to the left panel and expand the Display section.
- Then, select the Adjust desktop size and position option.
- Switch to the center panel and choose your current display.
- Next, in the Scaling tab, choose one of the scaling modes – Aspect ratio, Full-screen, No scaling, or Integer scaling.
- Also, you can configure the Perform Scaling on the drop-down and check/uncheck the “Override the scaling mode set by games and programs” option.
- Finally, click on the Apply button and hit Yes to save the changes.
Display Scaling in Multi-Screen Setup
If you have a multi-screen setup, you need to consider a few other things before setting the display scaling on Windows. Go through the below guide on what you should do:
- Open Settings > System > Display.
- If you have extended the display, you can select one of the two displays. For example, in a dual-monitor setup, you get two screens in the settings window – 1 and 2. To apply changes to the second monitor, you need to choose the block with 2 imprinted on it.
If you’re confused regarding this, you can even press the Detect button to see which is number 1 and which is number 2.
- Scroll down, and from Scale & Layout, you can choose a recommended Scale option or even create a customized one.
However, if you’re planning to set a scaling mode, you need to use the GPU control panel. For demonstration purposes, we have used the Intel UHD Graphics Control Panel in the below steps:
- Launch the application using Ctrl + Alt + F12 keys.
- Choose Display and move to General Settings.
- Under the Select Display option, choose your secondary monitor.
- Then, select one of the display modes and hit Save.