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DPI

Updated: August 15, 2013

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista

The DPI setting specifies what size to show text and other items on the desktop. This does not affect the Start screen.

ImportantImportant
This setting has been deprecated in Windows® 8.1. The information about this deprecated setting is provided for reference only. The setting continues to exist for Windows® 8 and Windows® 7.

We recommend that you use the automatic DPI configuration in Windows® 8 and Windows® 7 to calculate an appropriate size. To do this, leave the DPI value empty.

noteNote
If you manually set DPI:

  • Choose a supported Windows® DPI value that is close to the physical DPI.

    The physical DPI of a display is the measurement of the dots per inch that display is capable of. For example, for a display with a native resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels, and a physical display size of 14.4 inches x 9 inches, the physical DPI is 100 (1440 horizontal pixels ÷ 14.4 horizontal inches = 100 DPI).

  • Windows 7 requires a minimum effective vertical resolution of 600. To avoid application compatibility issues, we recommend using a minimum effective resolution of 1024 x 768.

    The effective resolution is the available visible resolution when the text and graphics are enlarged.

This setting appears in the Display item in Control Panel. For more information, see the MSDN topic: High DPI.

 

Windows DPI value

Specifies what size to show text and other items on the screen. Windows DPI value is an integer between 96 and 480. Supported values include 96, 120, and 144.

By default, Windows uses automatic DPI configuration.

The following table shows the relationship between a monitor's physical DPI and the resulting default size:

 

Monitor’s physical DPI Automatic configuration selects the following Windows DPI value Scale level Effect

Less than 116

96

100%

Displays text and graphics at a smaller size.

116 to 138

120*

125%

Displays text and graphics at a medium size.

More than 138

144*

150%

Displays text and graphics at a larger size.

noteNote
* If enlarging the screen would create an effective resolution of less than 1024 x 768, Windows chooses a smaller Windows DPI value.

The monitor’s physical DPI is calculated by using data in the Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) on applicable systems. When using automatic configuration, confirm that the EDID for the display is correct. For information on EDID, see the VESA E-EDID Implementation Guide.

The following table shows automatic DPI configuration values for the desktop for sample monitors:

 

Description Horizontal Vertical Physical DPI Windows DPI value Scale level

10.1-inch

1366

768

155

96*

100%

10.1-inch

1920

1080

218

120*

125%

10.1-inch

2560

1440

291

144

150%

11.6-inch

1366

768

135

96*

100%

11.6-inch

1920

1080

190

120*

125%

11.6-inch

2560

1440

253

144

150%

12-inch

1280

800

125

96*

100%

14-inch

1366

768

112

96

100%

14-inch

1920

1080

157

120*

125%

15.6-inch

1920

1080

141

120*

125%

17-inch

1920

1080

130

120

125%

23-inch

1920

1080

96

96

100%

27-inch

2560

1440

109

96

100%

noteNote
* For these sample monitors, Windows uses a smaller DPI value to avoid application-compatibility issues.

You can override automatic DPI configuration. This is useful for special displays, such as small displays or touch-enabled displays.

We recommend using one of the following three values: 96, 120, or 144. The Windows user interface is optimized for these values. Non-supported values may make fonts and graphics appear blurry.

 

Windows DPI value Scale level Effect

96

100%

Displays text and graphics at a smaller size.

120

125%

Displays text and graphics at a medium size.

144

150%

Displays text and graphics at a larger size.

Use a supported Windows DPI value that is close to the physical DPI. For guidance in choosing a Windows DPI value, see the table in the Windows Automatic DPI Configuration section earlier in this topic.

  • Calculation:

    For example, on a 17-inch WUXGA monitor, with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200:

    17-inch WUXGA = 14.4 inches x 9 inches.

    1920 horizontal pixels ÷ 14.4 horizontal inches = 133 physical DPI.

    Consider using the supported Windows DPI value of 120 (125% scale level), because the physical DPI is between 116 and 138.

Use a supported Windows DPI value that creates a resolution that is at least as large as the minimum recommended and required Windows resolutions.

Windows 7 requires a minimum effective vertical resolution of 600. We recommend using a minimum effective resolution of 1024 x 768.

  • Calculation:

    For example, on a 17-inch WUXGA monitor, with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200, using a Windows DPI value of 144 (150% scale level):

    Effective horizontal resolution = 1920 ÷ 150% = 1280.

    Effective vertical resolution = 1200 ÷ 150% = 800.

    These values exceed the recommended minimum and required Windows resolutions.

auditSystem

auditUser

oobeSystem

specialize

For a list of the supported Windows editions and architectures that this component supports, see Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup.

The following XML output sets the display resolution to 1920 x 1200, and does not set a value for DPI. As a result, Windows automatically adjusts the text and graphics to appear at a medium size (~120 DPI) on a 17-inch WUXGA+ monitor, and at a larger size (~144 DPI) on a 15.4-inch WSXGA+ monitor.

<Display>
   <HorizontalResolution>1920</HorizontalResolution>
   <VerticalResolution>1200</VerticalResolution>
   <!-- Note: DPI is not set. Windows will use automatic configuration. -->
</Display>

The following XML output sets the display resolution to 1280 x 1024, and adjusts the text and graphics to appear at a medium size (120 DPI). This results in an effective resolution of 1024 x 819.

<Display>
   <HorizontalResolution>1280</HorizontalResolution>
   <VerticalResolution>1024</VerticalResolution>
   <DPI>120</DPI>
</Display>

The following XML output sets the display resolution to 1900 x 1200, and adjusts the text and graphics to appear at a larger size (144 DPI). This results in an effective resolution of 1266 x 800.

<Display>
   <HorizontalResolution>1900</HorizontalResolution>
   <VerticalResolution>1200</VerticalResolution>
   <DPI>144</DPI>
</Display>

See Also

Concepts

Display
TouchUISize

Other Resources

High DPI

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