How To Fix Windows 10 Blurry Text Lack High DPI in Virtual Machine with Parallels on Retina Mac

Running Windows 10 on a Mac has ever been easier, faster and better performing with Parallels for Mac. One of the issues that is distinct for Mac owners are the high-resolution (retina) display sometimes doesn’t actually provide the best user experience when running Windows 10. By default, your virtual machine app, Parallels, does not enable retina scaling. The result of not have the settings properly configured are the blurry text you will find all over the place in Windows 10. Everything will look blurry, this is because those texts are essentially displaying at 2x zoom level, as if it is running Windows 10 by turning on a magnify zoom all the time.

You can fix this by going to Parallels > Parallels Desktop Control Center > Settings (gear icon)

Parallels Settings

Go find Hardware tab > Video

Parallels Enable Retina Scaling with Windows 10

Make sure have “Enable Retina resolution” checked

Now go and start Windows 10, you will notice your screen are display texture more crispy. If they aren’t, go to Settings > Display and check if the display settings are configured at 200%

Windows 10 200% Scale in Retina

For most of the new application in Windows 10 you will see all the texture are supporting High DPI (HiDPi) with clear text and icons. However, not all UI in Windows 10 are refined with this support. Compare a legacy application like “Device Manager” vs Windows 10’s File Explorer you will notice the difference in text and icon.

Windows 10 Legacy Apps vs Morden Apps

Lastly, you can check your screen resolution in the control panel see if they are indeed matching your retina’s display setting.

Windows 10 High DPI Screen Resolutions

As you can see, by enable “Enable Retina Resolution” in Parallels, it translates Windows to detect High DPI monitor, the rest Windows 10 will taking care. As more and more PC manufactures releasing better displays more Windows applications will start to pay attention and support them. As of now, you will run into issues where some application just become extremely small to a point they aren’t usable. An example of them is Amazon’s Send To Kindle utility and I’m sure you will notice more out there. At worse, you always have the option to turn off Retina Resolution support.

Jonathan Hu

Programming by day, Web Development, Canucks & Movies for spare time!
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂

Last updated: 08/12/2015

Posted in: How to , Virtualization , Windows 10
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