Parallels Desktop offers a variety of display modes, that provide different combinations of display resolution and scaling.
Best for Retina
- Virtual machine interface elements and text are clear, sharp and at full size for Retina displays;
- DPI scaling for Retina displays is set to the same resolution as macOS;
- DPI scaling for external non-retina displays is forced to 200%;
- This option is supported by Windows 7 and later, as well as Intel-based macOS virtual machines.
This mode provides the best possible picture on Retina displays, but it may not be suited for legacy Windows applications that do not support high pixel density displays.
- Virtual machine resolution is set to 1/4 of your Mac's native resolution, which resembles older non-retina display computers;
- It's best suited for Windows applications that do not support high-DPI settings and whose interface appears small in "Best for Retina" mode. However, in this mode, Windows interface elements and text are not as sharp;
- DPI scaling is set to 100% by default.
In this mode, the reduced resolution allows for higher performance and better compatibility for legacy Windows applications.
Best for external displays (More Space)
- All displays are set to their native resolution;
- DPI scaling is adjusted automatically for each display;
- This option is supported by Windows 8 and later, but works best for Windows 10 where one of the displays is non-Retina.
This mode is similar to "Best for Retina", but it gives you more control over the scaling factor.
For information regarding resolution issues in Windows virtual machines, please see KB 114700