I'd like to script the opening of an app - which is normally used in retina resolution - to open in low resolution.

  1. set low resolution setting
  2. open app
  3. clear low resolution setting

But where is the "Open in Low Resolution" setting stored for an app?

It seems different macOS store it in different places. I'm using Mojave.

enter image description here

  • Surely on a Retina screen, the app's UI will look blotchy and low-res if you do this? Why do you want to do this? Is another method for achieving the end goal?
    – benwiggy
    Aug 7, 2020 at 19:03
  • 1
    The app has a bug exporting images in retina mode, but I still want to use retina mode when I'm not exporting (which is most of the time). I'd rather not have to check and uncheck the get info box so I'd prefer a way to launch the app in either mode. Also, fwiw, it's exhausting to have to justify questions in the comments. Aug 7, 2020 at 19:16
  • Oh, and the app is written using Qt framework so the UI is low resolution even in retina mode. Aug 7, 2020 at 19:24
  • By providing more background info, you can get the best answers. FWIW, there's nothing about Qt that demands low-res UI. There are plenty of Qt apps that work fine on Retina displays.
    – benwiggy
    Aug 7, 2020 at 19:57
  • Sure, but I'm talking about this specific one. It is what it is - it has problems. I didn't write it, I just use it. Aug 7, 2020 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


Where is the “Open in Low Resolution” setting stored for an app?

When checking/unchecking the Open in Low Resolution checkbox on an App's Get Info window in Finder, an entry is created/modified under LSHighResolutionModeIsMagnified in the following file:



In the image below, Item 1 showing a value of 3 is when checked, and 2 when unchecked.

enter image description here

Update to address comment.

From Terminal:

$ defaults read ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices/com.apple.LaunchServices.plist 
    LSHighResolutionModeIsMagnified =     {
        "com.adobe.adobeconnect.app" =         (
            <626f6f6b ...>,

Note in the above output that the value of the first item of the array is truncated to <626f6f6b ...> for brevity.

Also note the difference in how Xcode displays the contents of the PLIST file verses the defaults command in Terminal.

If using the PlistEdit Pro application, it will show the elements of an array with just a numerical value as its label while omitting the word item.

enter image description here

In either case using a GUI both labels are virtual and do not exist in the actual data structure of the array. Only the output of the defaults command represents an accurate data structure of the data itself.

Tested on macOS High Sierra.

  • Interestingly, this is not the case on Mojave. The search continues! Aug 8, 2020 at 7:26
  • I take that back, it's there if I use Xcode to view the plist but not if I use PlistEditPro! Aug 8, 2020 at 7:37
  • Thanks for the update, interestingly your PlistEditPro displays the file completely differently than mine: i.imgur.com/tq2d4jW.png Aug 10, 2020 at 10:36
  • 1
    Do you think this has changed for Monterey? I’m trying to get VirtualBoxVM to open in low resolution mode, but changing it here doesn’t work for me. It certainly works if I change the High Resolution Capable property in Info.plist to NO.
    – Manngo
    Oct 28, 2021 at 7:02
  • For others reading this: On macOS Monterey, I tried setting High Resolution Capable to NO in ZBrush's Info.plist (version 2021.7), but without any effect. Updating com.apple.LaunchServices.plist didn't have any effect either.
    – miguno
    Nov 4, 2021 at 9:58

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