How To Change DPI Settings through A Remote Desktop Session on Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2

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The DPI settings are the settings that enable you to change the size of all fonts and other UI elements on the computer. But unfortunately, by default, you don’t get to change it through a remote desktop session that runs on a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 computer. They are grayed out, like below.

DPI setting on a RDP session

You may want to ask why we need it to change the font size on a remote session. Believe me, when you use a laptop or tablet that runs on a very high resolution like Surface Pro 3, you will need a larger font on a remote desktop session. Otherwise, the font will be too small to read on the screen.

To fix it, you will need a special hotfix from Microsoft. And you can get it directly from this Microsoft KB article. Download the hotfix (making sure to request the right version of the hotfix) and install it on your computer. Note that this specific KB hotfix only applies to those machines running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 installed. Frankly, I haven’t checked what happens on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 computers, so I am not sure if this issue even exists on these versions of Windows.

When installing this hotfix, you will need to extract the update file to your local computer first. The name of the update file for x64 and x86 machine is Windows6.1-KB2726399-v3-x64.msu and Windows6.1-KB2726399-v3-x86.msu, respectively. Double-click the file to start the installation and restart your computer once done.

DPI setting on a RDP session - enabled

Hooray!! That’s much better.

If Large – 150% is still not big enough on some of the high-density laptop screens such as new Yoga 3 Pro, go to Set custom text size and set it with a larger number, like 200% or even 250% if you like.

Remote session DPI change

If you have difficulty getting the right hotfix, drop me a line in our discussion board by clicking the link continue the discussion at the bottom of this post.

9 COMMENTS

    • I have the same message for windows 2008 r2 sp2 .
      Has anybody found a solution?
      I am mainly blind at the best of times so it would be nice to scale the remote window to a larger size.

  1. I have windows 7 SP1 laptop and tried to install Windows6.1-KB2726399-v3-x64. But I get an error message “This update is not applicable to your computer”. Any idea why?

  2. The information you have here is not accurate, this fix doesn’t work, and there certainly isn’t the option to increase the custom dpi to 250, maximum is 200.

  3. I have 2008 R2 STD SP1 and it says the update isn’t applicable. Any ideas why?

    What causes this to not be applicable? I am using the 64 bit version on a 64 bit machine.

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