How to Fix: Windows 10 Blurry Text

John Lister's picture

Some users of Windows 10 with high-resolution monitors have experienced blurry fonts. For the moment the best solution appears to be a third-party fix, with the obvious caveats about using 'unofficial' software.

The problem involves DPI (dots per inch) scaling, which is the way in which Windows adjusts text, icons, and even the mouse cursor for higher-resolution screens.

Because text and items are often set by their application to be made up of a certain number of pixels, anything appearing on the screen with a high resolution monitor would be impossible to read, unless scaling was used. With the scaling, pixels are interpolated such that the text or item appears at the 'correct' size, regardless of resolution being used.

Windows 10 Uses New DPI Method

It turns out the method Microsoft uses for DPI scaling is different in Windows 10 to that used in Vista, 7 and 8.1. The problem is that it doesn't seem to work well with some applications. Ironically the ones most commonly affected seem to be basic built-in tools like Device Manager and Windows dialog boxes. The problem only seems to affect people who have set DPI scaling to 125% or more. (Source:

It is possible to tweak the Windows registry settings so that Windows 10 uses the old scaling method, which doesn't produce the blurry fonts. However, this may only be suitable for technically confident users, plus, it's reported that the change only stays in place for a couple of reboots before reverting to the new scaling method.

Third Party Tool Offers Fix

A Dutch user has produced a downloadable tool, called "Windows 10 DPI fix" which automatically changes the registry settings on every reboot without any need for user intervention. One limitation is that the tool must be left to run automatically at startup. (Source:

As with any third-party software, users should be cautious about what they are downloading, though there haven't been reports of any problems or suspicious behavior so far. The creator of the software has included a link to Google's VirusTotal service which lists the results for the file on 56 leading anti-virus databases; at the time of writing, it was showing a clean bill of health.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you use the DPI scaling option? Have you noticed any problems with Windows 10? Should Microsoft have addressed the issue itself before a third-party came up with a fix?

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Dennis Faas's picture

In addition to the above suggestion, another fix might be to disable the DPI over-scaling altogether and set it to 100%. That should most definitely fix the blurry fonts and icons. You could then modify various aspects of Windows 10 to enlarge portions of the system - for example, increase icon size on the desktop, or change the system font to a larger point (via Control Panel -> Display -> Change only the text size).

Another fix would be to put the DPI scaling at 100% and then lower the screen resolution to something other than the "optimal" resolution. For example, if your screen produced 1920x1080 (optimal), you could try 1280x720, which would effectively make everything on the screen appear larger, yet still scaled to 16:9 aspect ratio. I do this on my 55" LED TV which I use for my primary monitor. The downside to not using the "optimal" resolution is that things don't appear as "crisp", but that doesn't matter to me. I'd rather have large text looking somewhat pixelated, then to be staring at something that is too tiny to read.