In order to make an app I'm developing Retina compatible, I enabled the "HiDPI" mode on my Mac (OS X 10.7.4 Lion), since I don't have a Retina MBP. The Quartz Developer Tool worked as indended, and I can select the HiDPI modes in system preferences. However, almost everything is rendered in scaled mode, i.e. pixelated. Only some parts of the "shell" are rendered with sharp fonts; the menu bar, the dock, Launchpad and Mission Control, and the "About this Mac" window. Everything else looks bad, including the app I intended to fix.

I remember this used to work, at least for a couple of applications (and my own, if I edited the Info.plist file accordingly). Is something broken on my system, or did maybe an update remove this feature for non-retina-MBP Macs?

enter image description here

The screenshot doesn't really do it justice. You can see the effect better if you view it in another tab. Also note that while the Firefox version shown might not have Retina support (I don't know), this happens with every other app on the system.

Compare the window controls and fonts, between background and foreground windows (and please excuse the German text :-)).

enter image description here

  • FWIW, Firefox does not have retina support, so the only thing in your screenshot that does is the menu bar, which looks fine. Can you screenshot another app? Nov 7, 2012 at 0:59
  • Can you list which other apps have this problem? Does Safari work? Chrome? Nov 7, 2012 at 1:03
  • Every app I've tried is pixelated. Safari, Xcode, Terminal, Finder, Chrome, the App Store. The stuff on the right hand side of the menu bar (keyboard indicator, time, Spotlight) is blurry, too. The rest of the menu bar, the dock, and windows that belong to them (About, Quit immediately, ...) are sharp. Context menus are also good.
    – jdm
    Nov 7, 2012 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


Fixed it. I had a defaults key "AppleMagnifiedMode = YES". After deleting it, I get crisp apps in HiDPI mode.

$ defaults delete NSGlobalDomain AppleMagnifiedMode

(See also http://lists.apple.com/archives/carbon-dev/2012/Jun/msg00003.html for details on the key.)

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