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Is it possible to set certain non-Retina enabled apps to not scale up (in other words, run at a native resolution) on the new Retina MacBook Pro?

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I don't believe it's possible. Wouldn't apps running at native resolution be too small to be usable? –  Chris A Nov 3 '13 at 13:12

2 Answers 2

SwitchResX is what you want. It will allow you to set application specific display sets.

SwitchResX is a commercial third party application, but it is available to try for free and for download. Probably because it is technically a hack to use the full resolution of Retina Displays, it appears to be unavailable on the Mac App Store.

By creating display sets for each application you wish to use the full native Retina Display resolution, effectively, you can disable the scaling for individual applications.

Using the the SwitchResX Preferences Panel for Application specific display sets

For example, the set up for Excel looks like this

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It is possible to disable the auto-scaling of all applications from System Preferences > Monitor:

Of course you'll see everything smaller :)

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Welcome to Ask Different! While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  grgarside Mar 11 at 15:42

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