I'm coming from Windows world where I can scale the UI and set it to, say, 125% to make the UI elements (mainly fonts) acceptable on my QHD screen (while keeping the screen resolution the same).

I found out that on MacBook Pro I only can scale with the use of screen resolution change. Well, that's not what I want as the lower screen resolution (indeed resulting in larger UI elements) is not my display's native resolution and the screen gets blurry.

Is there a way I can fix that problem? While I can make the browser's content larger by using the browser's zoom in option, I can't do the same with the UI elements.

2 Answers 2


No, there's no way to do that.

The macOS UI is not resolution independent, nor does it support arbitrary DPI scaling. It supports a low DPI mode (standard, 1x) and a high DPI mode ("retina", 2x) - and that's basically it. The good thing is that those two settings seem to work well with every application.

In the Windows world, things are quite a bit different, as things have evolved and changed a lot over the years:

Windows has traditionally had a DPI setting that allowed you to scale the user interface - but it is the programmer of each and every application that must support DPI scaling for it to actually work. Historically this had problems with high DPIs.

Over time Windows APIs evolved, and now the way scaling works depends on how the programmer built the application. I.e. some ways it scales automatically according to the resolution and physical size of the monitor, in some ways it requires the application to manually scale and in some ways it doesn't scale at all. This allowed for fun times where some programs worked fine, and others were ridiculously oversized.

From Windows 8 and on, things have become somewhat better in regards to scaling as Microsoft now allows developers to declare whether they have implemented scaling or not. This makes those oversize-issues go away - sometimes at the cost of clarity. However, you could still have funny things like moving a window from one monitor to another in a dual-monitor setup, and having the window suddenly appear to blow up in size.

Things have massively improved with later versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11 though. Microsoft have adapted some of the same, simple measures that macOS uses for its high DPI mode, while allowing a lot of manual overrides and settings for users, so that they can make sure that they get the right scaling for each app no matter how the developer made the application.


"the lower screen resolution (indeed resulting in larger UI elements) is not my display's native resolution and the screen gets blurry."

I think you misunderstand scaling on macOS.

Mac Laptops have a very high pixel density -- around 220-250 ppi. This inevitably makes objects very small on the screen.

The default scaling essentially 'pretends' to have a resolution of half the size, to allow a more comfortable size of objects, but at the same time using double the number of pixels, each of which can have a different shade.

This is really no different from 'zooming in' on a page.

The screen can only display images using the pixels it has.

You can scale the relative size of text and images on those pixels. A 2x scaling will give you the sharpest results, and that's the default and usually pretty good.

Using fractional scaling, e.g. 1.5x, might give you slightly less sharp results, but I wouldn't characterize them as 'blurry' normally.

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