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Broken screen resolution in Windows 8.1 virtual machine on Retina display after the latest update of Parallels Desktop 9

  • Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac


After I updated with Revision 932290, the Best for Retina selection is no longer available, replaced with a Retina On/Off check box. With Retina turned on, the Windows 8.1 menus and fonts are super small and not correctly scaled. With the box unchecked, I cannot recreate the resolution quality and scaling I enjoyed prior to the update.


The changes were made in the latest update of Parallels Desktop 9 to comply with High-resolution and Scaling features of Windows 8.1

To know more about Windows 8.1 DPI Scaling Enhancements please read this article


There are three ways to workaround this issue:

Option #1

  1. Start Windows 8.1 Virtual machine and switch to Desktop
  2. Right-click on Windows Desktop and choose Screen resolution

  3. Click on Make text and other items larger or smaller link

  4. Drag the slider to adjust the size of Windows items.

Option #2

  1. While in Display window (see step 3 of Option #1 above) click on Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays link

  2. Adjust the size of Windows items

Option # 3

  1. Shut down your virtual machine
  2. Go to your virtual machine's Configuration pane > General
  3. Change the type of your virtual machine to Windows 8

  4. Switch to Hardware tab > Video and adjust Retina settings

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