Do you notice on your Windows 10 PC that while some apps’ graphics look stimulatingly sharp, others tend to appear indistinctly dull and hazy? No doubt the behavior seems strange, but that’s if you don’t understand what DPI (dot per inch) awareness is.

In this article, we will show you how the DPI works, while proffering effective ways for resolving issues that might emanate from it.

What Is DPI Awareness Mode on Windows 10?

DPI represents the number of pixels available on a unit dimension area of your screen. Such being the case, if a monitor is 50 pixels per inch, any image it displays must match that value. Usually, most laptops have 96 pixels stored in every inch, but that has changed due to recent technological advancements. Some new generation laptops (and even desktop computers) come with a DPI of 200 and above within the same screen size.

Unfortunately, the design of some classic apps can’t independently evolve according to pixel settings. Instead, they will frequently appear with scaled-down boxes, fuzzy texts, and foggy icons. Relative to software architecture, DPI Awareness Mode describes an application’s graphics adaptability screens of various shapes and sizes without losing their quality.

Why Is the Application Graphics Quality Poor when my PC has a High DPI Value?

That’s because the concentration of pixels per unit display of a screen is not enough to guarantee an image appearance of high quality. Every visual element on your computer (including apps icon texts) must be DPI-aware. Such an element must be able to scale appropriately to fit the screen’s DPI value. However, it doesn’t always turn out that way. That’s the reason some of such visual objects look so tiny and pixelated on the monitor.

Sometimes they appear relatively too large on the screen. However, don’t worry, we would soon show you how to view apps with DPI Awareness Mode ability on Windows 10.

What to Do if Software Graphics Won’t Adjust to the System DPI?

There are fewer chances that you will face the problem with a program downloaded from Microsoft Store. The reason is that such software tends to automatically scale and fit perfectly irrespective of a screen’s factory configuration. However, you should know that display quality problems are not always the direct function of the DPI. It also has to do somewhat with the GPU and the value of the highest attainable resolution in the computer.

Hence, it’s always better you consider the possibility of all three factors, irrespective of the underlying condition of the issue. So, start by identifying applications that are likely to exhibit DPI Awareness Mode.

How to View the DPI Awareness Mode of Apps in Task Manager?

  • First, ensure you have the May 2019 release of Windows 10 (or any version after v1903) installed on your PC.
  • Now, use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager window.
  • Swipe over to the Details tab and right-click on one of the column headers.Then, click the Select Columns from the popped-up menu.
  • Next, checkmark DPI Awareness.
  • Finally, click OK.

You should now see the list of applications that are DPI-aware in four different modes. See what they mean below:

1. Unaware

Let’s say an app on DPI unawareness mode runs on a screen with default scale settings above 96 pixels per inch. Windows will automatically overstretch the app’s graphics beyond their original size, resulting in a blurred appearance.

2. System

This mode configures apps to exhibit DPI Awareness capabilities on a specific monitor, maintaining a sharp graphics display. However, if you modify the default scale settings, or change your monitor, the interface either gets shrunk or over enlarged.

3. Per-monitor

In this mode, the user interface’s quality remains the same irrespective of the screen’s resolution or scaling.

4. Per-monitor V2

As the name implies, it is an improvement of the above model. Also, it is only available on Windows 10 OS. Most modern applications come with per-monitor v2 DPI adaptabilities, including several other benefits such as automatic resizing of the non-client sections, zero-effect on the bitmaps, and more.

How to Fix Applications with DPI Awareness Scaling Problems

These few tips below will help you fix applications with DPI awareness scaling problems. Let’s get started.

1. Update Windows and App

Usually, the most effective approach for solving the blurriness due to DPI Awareness is to update the applications.

On that note, follow the steps below to update both the OS and applications:

  • Use the shortcut Windows + I to open the Settings window.
  • Then, click the Update & Security option.
  • Now, tap the Check for Updates button to search if there are any available.
  • After that, go to the Microsoft store and click the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner.
  • On the next screen, select Downloads and Updates > Get updates.
  • Afterward, check if the apps in the DPI unawareness mode have available updates.
  • Update them accordingly and see if interface graphics are now in their original quality.

2. Fix the GPU Drivers

Aside from the monitor’s scale setting, dysfunctional drivers are the most frequent causes of an application’s poor user-interface. Sadly, the issue has never ceased to resurface, despite several Windows 10 updates. It even becomes worse if the device runs on the wrong GPU driver.

On that note, you should check for newer versions of your present graphics driver. However, ensure you choose your PC’s suitable version. Preferably, we recommend using Auslogics Driver Updater. It’s a tool that uses an advanced matching mechanism to compare your system driver to all available versions till it finds an appropriate one.

With a few clicks, you can rest assured it’ll update your drivers.

Then, for a better result, use Auslogics BoostSpeed to free up extra space in the memory after the driver is updated. Besides, you’d be optimizing your PC to deliver better visual performance. It also has other benefits.


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