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Windows-based programs resolution issues on Apple Retina display

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Some of my programs in the Windows virtual machine don't look right: buttons aren't displayed properly, some are missing, program's interface (GUI) looks broken in general.

NOTE: if you are having general resolution issues with Microsoft Windows running in Parallels virtual machine please visit this article: Virtual Machine display resolution issues on Macs with Retina display


Such programs could be:

  • CAD software (Computer-aided design);
  • Web sites or clients (banks, messengers, RTs);
  • Photo/Video editors
  • Other Windows-based programs which do not support high DPI resolution.

Some Windows-based programs is not adapted for such high pixel density (DPI) resolution of the Retina display: Windows virtual machine resolution becomes very high thus everything is too small; in-program fonts, UI buttons or images are not rendered properly.

Learn more about the Apple Retina display in this article: Frequently asked questions about using a Retina display.


  1. Adjust the Windows virtual machine's configuration settings > Hardware > Video (Graphics) > and change the Retina setting from Best for Retina(or More space) to Scaled (HiDPi disabled).


    NOTE: for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 virtual machine types just uncheck Enable Retina resolution option:


  2. Check the Windows virtual machine's scaling settings: right click on Windows Desktop -> Screen resolution > Make text or other items larger or smaller > set 100% scaling and hit Apply & Sign Off:


    For more information about Windows scaling options please visit this page.

  3. Mac OS X System Preferences > Displays. You need to change Resolution from Best for Retina display to Scaled > and then one item left from Best (Retina):

    Your text to link here...

  4. Reboot the virtual machine to apply changes.

After applying the solution above all Windows-based programs will be displayed properly in 1:1 scale ratio - everything will be on its position. The only minor inconveniece you may notice is the quality of fonts in Windows - the result of running Windows on Apple Retina display.

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