Adjusting display scaling or DPI scaling is important if you have poor eyesight or just want to make things easier on the eyes.

DPI, also known as Dots per inch, refers to the measurement of how many pixels can fit within an inch of a display. This affects how big or small the text, icons, apps, and other elements appear on your screen. If you increase the DPI scale, everything will appear larger, while decreasing it will make things smaller.

Although Windows 11 can automatically set an appropriate scale for your display, there are instances where it might choose an option that shows elements that are too small or too big for you. Fortunately, there are several ways to configure display scaling in Windows, and we'll cover all of them here.

Are Display Scaling and Display Resolution the Same?

No, display scaling and display resolution are not the same thing; they refer to different aspects of a computer or device's display settings.

Display Resolution: Display Resolution is the number of pixels that make up the display's image. It's usually represented as a combination of horizontal and vertical pixel counts, such as '1920x1080' (Full HD) or '3840x2160' (4K Ultra HD). A higher resolution means there are more pixels, which usually makes images look sharper and clearer.

Display Scaling: Display scaling, on the other hand, deals with how the operating system and applications display the content on the screen in relation to the display's physical size. It allows you to adjust how big or small the elements like text, icons, and UI elements appear on the screen. Display scaling is particularly important when dealing with high-resolution displays on small screens.

In other words, display resolution is about the number of dots on your screen, while display scaling is about making things look bigger or smaller on that screen.

Change Display Scaling in Windows 11

The easiest way to adjust the display scale in Windows 11 is by using Windows Settings.

Right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose 'Display settings.'

Alternatively, open the Settings app (press Windows+I), go to the 'System' tab, and select 'Display.'

In Display settings, scroll down to 'Scale & layout' and click the dropdown next to 'Scale.'

From the scaling options, pick a scale setting depending on your preference. The available choices are 100%, 125%, 150%, and 175%.

After selecting an option, the size of the font, icons, and UI elements will change accordingly.

Set Custom Scaling:

If the default options aren't suitable, you can set a custom scaling. Click directly on the 'Scale' tile instead of the dropdown.

Enter a custom scaling value between 100% and 500% in the text field and click the check button.

To apply the new scaling, click 'Sign out now' and then sign back in.

After setting custom scaling, the Scale drop-down is grayed out because it's disabled. If you want to go back to the predefined default settings, you have to turn off the custom scaling first.

To disable custom scaling, navigate to 'Display' settings again and click the 'Turn off custom scaling and sign out' under Scale & layout.

Change DPI Scaling using the Registry Editor

Even though it's not recommended, you can still change display scaling settings using the Registry Editor as a backup if the usual Settings app doesn't work. It's another way to configure custom scaling in Windows 11, but remember to back up your Registry before making any changes, just to be safe.

Press Windows+R, then type regedit and hit Enter to launch Registry Editor.

Go to the below folder using the left panel of the Registry Editor:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Find and double-click on 'LogPixels' entry on the right-side panel. If it's not there, right-click in the right pane, choose New > DWORD (32-bit Value and name the entry LogPixels, and press Enter.

Then, select the Base to 'Decimal', input one of the following values for your preferred size, and click 'OK'.

Value data DPI Scale
96 Smaller 100% (Recommended)
120 Medium 125%
144 Larger 150%
192 Extra Large 200
240 Custom 250%
288 Custom 300%
384 Custom 400%
480 Custom 500%

After that, locate and double-click 'Win8DpiScaling' in the right pane. If it's not there, right-click in the right part, choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, name it Win8DpiScaling, and press Enter.

In the value data field, enter 0 (to turn off custom scaling) or 1 (to turn on custom scaling) and click 'OK'. Close Registry Editor and restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Change Scaling for Specific Apps in Windows 11

If you're using an app on a high DPI (high-resolution) display, you might notice that the text looks blurry or the font size is too small to read comfortably. 

Sometimes, when you're using apps like games that need high DPI but the display scaling is set to low, the objects within that app might become blurry and hard to use. You can fix these issues by adjusting the DPI properties of the application.

Open the Start menu and search for the application you want to change the scaling for. Then, right-click on the app and select 'Open file location'.

Once you've found the app's location, right-click on it and select 'Properties'. Alternatively, right-click on the app's shortcut on the desktop and select 'Properties'.

Go to the 'Compatibility' tab and click the 'Change high DPI settings' button.

Under the Program DPI, enable the 'Use this setting to fix scaling problems for this program instead of the one in Settings' option. When you enable this setting, you're telling Windows to use a specific DPI scaling setting that is customized for that particular application. This setting overrides the system-wide DPI scaling settings for that specific application.

This can be useful if an application doesn't render correctly with the default scaling settings.

The next option, 'Use the DPI that's set for my main display when,' allows you to select when you want to apply the DPI settings that are set for the main display. The default option is 'I signed in to Windows,' but if the program appears blurry, you can try changing it to 'I open this program'.

Then, check the 'Override high DPI scaling behavior' option under the High DPI scaling override section. This setting allows you to further control how the application's user interface is scaled on high DPI displays. Open the 'Scaled performed by' drop-down and choose one of the following:

  • Application: This mode ensures that the application's user interface will not be scaled by Windows when the DPI changes. The app itself should handle the scaling based on the DPI of the monitor it's displayed on.
  • System: In this mode, Windows will stretch the app's user interface based on the system-wide DPI settings, which may result in blurry text.
  • System (Enhanced): This mode resizes the user interface correctly, resulting in a crisper appearance. It is designed to solve problems that occur when you use the System mode.

If the application is designed to handle DPI scaling on its own, the 'Application' mode might be suitable. If you want Windows to handle scaling, you can choose between 'System' and 'System (Enhanced)' based on your choice for image quality and clarity.

Finally, click 'OK' to save the changes and relaunch the app.

Change Scaling Mode in GPU Control Panel

Whether you're using an integrated graphics card or a dedicated one, you can adjust display scaling through their specific GPU control panel software. However, instead of directly adjusting the scale percentage, you'll have the option to select various scaling modes.

Change Scaling Mode in Intel Graphics Control Panel

For devices with integrated Intel graphics cards, the Intel UHD Graphics Control Panel comes pre-installed. Let's see how to change scaling modes in Intel Graphics Control Panel:

Right-click anywhere on your desktop screen, click 'Show more options' and select 'Intel Graphics Settings'.

In the 'General Settings' tab, click the 'Scaling' menu and choose one of the scaling modes: Maintain Display Scaling, Maintain Aspect Ratio, Scale Full Screen, or Center Image.

Then, click 'Apply' and 'OK'.

Change Scaling Mode in AMD Radeon Software

If you have an AMD graphics card installed on your motherboard, it's easy to change different screen scaling modes. For AMD Radeon Software, follow these steps:

Right-click on the desktop and select 'Show more options'.

Then, click 'AMD Radeon Software' on the classic context menu.

On the AMD Radeon software, click the 'Settting' icon in the top left corner.

Now, switch to the 'Display' tab and turn on the 'GPU Scaling' toggle.

Now, you can select your preferred scaling mode from the 'Scaling mode' drop-down menu below.

Configure Scaling Mode in NVIDIA Control Panel

If you're using NVIDIA graphics, changing GPU scaling works in a similar way to how it's done in Intel Graphics Control Panel and AMD Radeon software.

Open the Windows system tray, right-click the NVIDIA icon, and select 'NVIDIA Control Panel'.

Once you're inside the Nvidia Control Panel, expand the 'Display' tree on the left panel and click the 'Adjust desktop Size and position' option. On the right side, click 'Scaling' under the 'Apply the following settings' section. Here, you'll find several settings that you can modify to customize GPU scaling according to your preferences. You can select from a range of scaling modes, including Aspect ratio, Full-screen, No scaling, or Integer scaling.

In addition to that, you also have the option to override the scaling mode set by games and programs. Once you're done configuring the settings, click 'Apply' and then 'OK'.

Set Scaling in Multi-Screen Setup

If you're using multiple screens, follow these steps to adjust display scaling on Windows 11:

Open Window Settings and go to System > Display.

If you've extended your display across multiple screens, you have the option to select one of the displays. For instance, if you have a three-monitor setup, the settings window will display the screens as '1', '2', and '3'. To apply changes to the second monitor, you should select the block labeled with '2'.

Scroll down to the 'Scale & Layout' section and choose your preferred scaling option for that display. You can also set a custom scaling for the selected display.

Change Text Size without Changing Scale Settings on Windows 11

In Windows 11, you also can adjust text size without changing the size of other elements on the screen. Whether you want larger or smaller text, you can modify its size without changing the dimensions of other on-screen elements like UI, options, buttons, icons, etc. Here's how you can do this:

Click the Start button and then choose 'Settings' from the menu.

Once the Settings app opens, click on 'Accessibility' on the left-hand side and select 'Text size' on the right.

Use the Text size slider to increase or decrease the font size displayed on the screen. Check the Text size preview box above to get a visual sense of how the changed text size will appear. After you've set your desired text size, click the 'Apply' button.

A blue 'Please Wait' screen will briefly appear while the new text size is applied to your system.

The text will become larger, while other elements, such as icons and navigation points, will remain unchanged in size.

That's it. There are different ways to change the Display Scaling in Windows 11, and we've discussed them above. You can choose the one that is the most convenient for you.