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Windows-based programs resolution issues on Apple Retina display

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Home Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
  • Parallels Desktop Lite


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 > Graphics > and change the Retina setting from Best for Retina / Best for External Displays / More Space to Scaled (HiDPi disabled).

  2. Check the Windows virtual machine's scaling settings:

    For Windows 7/8.1: right click on Windows Desktop > Screen resolution > Make text or other items larger or smaller > set 100% scaling and hit Apply & Sign Off.

    For Windows 10: right click on Windows Desktop > Displays settings > set 100% scaling and hit Apply.

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

  3. macOS System Preferences > Displays > make sure Resolution option is set to Default for display.

  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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