Fix: Disable Display Scaling on High DPI Devices in Windows 10

Windows 10, while not without its own unique set of quirks, includes a feature known as “display scaling on high DPI devices.” This latest and most advanced feature replaces the “XP style display scaling” that was available in Windows 7, causing all programs and applications, that don’t specify their compatibility from the start, to appear extremely blurry. Text within such programs can be challenging to read, making this issue of high importance.

Unfortunately, this “compatibility scaling mode” is turned on, by default, for all programs and applications. The only method Microsoft has provided for disabling this feature requires right-clicking on the shortcut of any one desired program, selecting ‘Compatibility’, and then deactivating display scaling on high DPI devices, one program at a time. This can be quite a tedious task; there is absolutely no way for a user to disable this feature for all programs on a Windows 10 computer using Microsoft-provided methods.

Despite the complexity, disabling DPI awareness for all of your programs is feasible. The process entails instructing Windows to prioritize external manifest files when launching programs. Afterwards, create and place external manifest files for each program presenting this issue. Below are the steps necessary to disable display scaling on high DPI in Windows 10 for all programs utilizing this resolution:

Press the Windows Logo key and ‘R’ simultaneously to open the Run command. Then, type ‘regedit’ and press Enter.


In the left pane of the Registry Editor, navigate to the following directory:


Click on ‘SideBySide’ in the left pane to expand its contents in the right pane. Then, right-click on an empty space in the right pane, hover over ‘New’, and click on ‘DWORD (32-bit) value’.


Name the file PreferExternalManifest and press Enter. Right-click the new DWORD value and click on Modify. Type 1 into the Value Data. Change the value’s Base to Decimal.  Click on OK. Close the Registry Editor.


Copy the contents of the typical manifest file by clicking here and copying all of the text on the page.

Open Notepad. Paste the text you’ve copied from the link above into Notepad.

Save the Notepad document using the full name of the executable file of the program for which you are trying to disable display scaling on high DPI devices. Use the ‘.manifest’ extension at the end. For instance, the name of a manifest file for Photoshop would be ‘photoshop.exe.manifest’.

Move the manifest file to the root directory of the program for which you are trying to turn off display scaling on high DPI devices. This is the directory where the program’s files, including its executable file (such as photoshop.exe for Photoshop), are located. The following is an example of such a root directory:”.

C:\Program Files\Adobe

Create manifest files for all the programs you want to disable display scaling on high DPI devices for, and move them to their respective install directories. There is no need to restart your computer – the program you create and place a manifest file for should start displaying as it should as soon as you close and then reopen it.

Some people might not fancy messing with their computer’s registry, and if you are one of these individuals, you can use a program known as DPI Awareness Enabler, created by a Good Samaritan who was once affected by this very issue. Although it appears to be a much simpler and less risky solution, some users have reported that it doesn’t yield results as good as those provided by the solution described above. Given that, it is advised to use the following solution at your own risk. To disable display scaling on high DPI devices for all programs on a Windows 10 computer using DPI Awareness Enabler, you need to:

Go here.

Download DPI Awareness Enabler by clicking on DpiAwarenessEnabler in the Licenses and download section of the website.

Install DPI Awareness Enabler.

Run DPI Awareness Enabler,


Drag every program displaying blurry text and images from the ‘All Detect Programs’ list to the ‘Windows Compatibility’ list. Doing so will make each program that you drag and drop DPI-aware, turning off the display scaling for high DPI devices. This should ultimately eliminate your problem.



Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.