Here are the high DPI scaling improvements heading to the Windows 10 Creators Update

Kit McDonald

It’s easy to highlight the amazing features coming to the Windows 10 Creators Update launching next week. However, there are some additional improvements under the hood that you might want to get an eye of before updating. One such is the change in how Windows 10 will interact on high-DPI displays.

Building on top of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update improvements to DPI scaling, the Creators Update allows users to run an application as a DPI-unaware process. This setting is under the .exe properties as a checkbox titled “Override high DPI scaling behavior” allowing the user to indicate how they want the scaling. Here are the options:

Application This forces the process to run in per-monitor DPI awareness mode. This setting was previously referred to as “Disable display scaling on high-DPI settings.”This setting effectively tells Windows not to bitmap stretch UI from the exe in question when the DPI changes
System This is Windows’ standard way of handling system-DPI aware processes. Windows will bitmap stretch the UI when the DPI changes
System (Enhanced) GDI Scaling that results in text and primitives rendering crisply on high-DIP displays on a per-monitor basis. Some limitations include:

  • GDI+ content doesn’t DPI scale
  • DX content doesn’t DPI scale
  • Bitmap-based content won’t be crisp
  • It won’t be possible for end users to determine which apps will benefit from this feature without trying it out on an app-by-app basis.

Furthermore, Internet Explorer in the Windows 10 Creators Update will now support per-monitor DPI so that when you switch displays it will scale dynamically.

While these additions are major improvements for users with multiple and high-DPI displays, there are still some kinks that could be hammered out. Dragging windows produces an odd shape of the window on the other monitor until it is released. Another flaw is the need to log out and back into Windows again for all apps not supporting per-monitor DPI awareness to render correctly.

Hopefully, we’ll see even more DPI changes in the future. Can anyone say Redstone 3?