How to Configure Display Scaling in Windows 10

Sometimes, a monitor with a high resolution like 4K tends to make text, windows, and icons smaller. This situation makes it hard to see what is on the screen, especially from a distance. Windows 10 generally auto-adjusts the scaling on 4K displays to 150% to prevent small windows and texts. Regardless, you can still manually increase the size of everything so that you can see more comfortably, even if it is just for your default monitor

Using multiple screens is also a great way to organize your work or various activities, but it can be annoying to have to drag windows between monitors when the resolution is different. Windows 10 scaling works great for this situation too, allowing you to better match the text, images, and icons to the default display.

While various windows can appear correct when viewed from the main desktop, a second monitor with a different resolution can change the size altogether, unless the ratio matches (like double or a third of the resolution of your default monitor). This scenario is a huge inconvenience to people using dual monitors for a variety of reasons, from editing images and videos to simply trying to fit multiple documents on one page.

Regardless, Windows 10 comes with a pre-display scaling feature that you can manually adjust. Unfortunately, the scaling options are limited to 100%, 125%, and 150%. A custom scale option is also available, but Windows applies that setting to all connected displays.

Overall, scaling keeps your default screen viewable, and it also keeps windows fairly consistent between different-sized screens. This article shows you how to setup Windows 10 display scaling for using one, two, or more screens simultaneously so that you can easily keep everything similar in size—or just expand your existing monitor for better visibility.

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How to Use Windows 10 Scaling on One Screen

Scaling allows your main monitor to show enlarged text, images, and icons for better viewing experiences. Here are the steps.

  1. Step 1

    Type scaling into the Cortana search box, then select Make everything bigger. You can also go to Start Menu -> Settings -> System -> Display.
  2. Step 2

    Go to Make everything bigger and choose your option in the dropdown menu. If you went to Settings directly, it will be titled Scale and layout.
  3. Step 3

    After choosing your size percentage in the dropdown above, you will see the change immediately.

Using Windows 10 Display Scaling for Two or More Monitors

When you use multiple monitors and extend your screen, the scaling may be different, such as a default 1080P screen and a 4K HDTV. Even though Windows auto-adjusts the scale to make text and windows larger on the HDTV, you may need to tweak it some because sliding windows to a different screen may alter its size, which is not always beneficial. Here’s how to adjust the scaling on multiple monitors so they match up better—proportionally speaking.

Note: It is best to have monitors with the same or proportionally the same resolution. Otherwise, you may end up with blurred text and images.

  1. Step 1

    Go to Start Menu -> Settings -> System -> Display and choose the monitor you want to scale. You can also click on Identify if you are not sure what monitor to select.
  2. Step 2

    Scroll down to the Scale and layout option and select a percentage from the dropdown menu.
  3. Step 3

    Minimize a window on the main screen and slide it over to the second screen to see if you like the transition. Be sure to slide it all the way over (or super close) or it won’t change the scaling. If not satisfied, repeat the Scale and layout option above until you get the view you need.

If you require a more precise display scale, you can use the advanced scaling option to manually set your scaling percentage in a precise fashion. Note that any changes here will affect ALL attached screens and it requires a logout to activate. Just click on Advanced scaling settings below the Scale and layout dropdown menu, and manually enter your scaling percentage in the space provided.

As you can see, Windows 10 display scaling is handled by the OS fairly well as long as resolutions are proportionally the same—compared to older releases. However, it is fairly easy to adjust if you need to intervene manually, but it does not always produce the results you desire.

Windows 10 has definitely come a long way since its introduction, but it still has its downfalls like everything else. Regardless, if resolutions are similar on the screens, you may not need to scale the display at all. Windows will take care of it for you.

Lastly, screen size is not used by Windows for scaling settings because it is irrelevant when dots per inch (DPI) is the essential factor. A screen with twice the resolution (proportionally) will just have double the pixel density.

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