Fixing High DPI scaling issues

This is one of these annoying things I ran in to a few times recently, where certain apps seriously misbehaved in the scaling department. Mostly these are WPF build apps (old Win32 stuff) that do not obey the Windows 10 DPI scaling settings nicely and show up way too small (or other rendering issues). Good thing is: Windows 10 offers a fix for that.

I had to go search the web for this issue, but when I found the solution it was already kind of a ‘aha-erlebnis’ to find that Windows 10 offers compatibility settings to handle this. A fact that I somehow already knew but got buried too deep in the back of my head over time…

But first an example of the bad behaviour of, in this case, the Samsung Portable SSD app. On below screenshot you can see it displayed on a Microsoft Surface (high DPI) display, showing up way too small. And it got worse when I actually connected the SSD, with UI elements sporting fonts so small they were impossible to read:

So any interaction with the app was next to impossible without putting a microscope onto it. After my intervention in the compatibility settings however, it looked like the screenshot below (covering almost four times the surface area, and now with readable fonts!):

Overriding the High DPI Scaling settings

So how do we get to do this? First you’re gonna have to find the executable (.exe) of the programm. You can do this by right-clicking the desktop shortcut and choosing ‘Open file location’ (actually in the case of a desktop shortcut you can directly choose the ‘Properties’ to get where we wanna be, but first we look at the other option).
Alternatively you can right-click the apps Live Tile, or Start Menu entry and under the ‘More’ options you can find ‘Open file location’:

Either way: when you see the executable of the app, right-click it and choose ‘Properties’. An old-school styled Windows dialog will pop up, and it should have a tab called ‘Compatibility’. Click that and find the button that says ‘Change high DPI settings’ at the bottom of that tab:

At the bottom of the next dialog that pops up, you should find a checkbox under ‘High DPI scaling override’ that you need to check and below that a pull-down box with three different settings to choose from. Since the application was doing a bad job and the system as well, we’re gonna have to choose ‘System (Enhanced)’ here πŸ™‚

After changing this setting, click OK and then ‘Apply’ and close all dialogs.

Try your misbehaving application again now, and you’ll see that the scaling issue should be resolved now!