Our displays, both internal and external, have improved exponentially in quality over the past few years. We get more pixel density on our phones than anything we could have imagined for a desktop monitor some ten years ago. 4K monitors are going to become common pretty soon. Operating systems likewise have to keep up with new hardware. On large HD displays, things tend to look much smaller and often, it’s harder to read text or recognize icons. Windows 10 has scaling to combat this. Scaling is a sort of system wide zoom that increases the size of everything by a certain percentage. Unfortunately, it sometimes results in blurry apps.
The scaling feature in Windows 10 isn’t a one-size fits-all deal though that is what it aims to be. Apps need to support scaling too. In Windows 10’s earlier days, scaled up displays resulted in blurred text in apps like Chrome. Those that didn’t have blurred text, had icons that were too small even after scaling.
In the Window 10 April Update, Microsoft is finally doing something about it. You can set it so that it proactively fix blurry apps whenever it detects them. There’s an actual feature that can fix blurry apps that you can enable.
Fix Blurry Apps
Open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Select the Display tab, and scroll down to the Scale and layout section. Click ‘Advanced scaling settings’.
On the following screen, you will see a Fix scaling for apps section. Enable the ‘Let Windows try to fix apps so they’re not blurry’ switch. That’s all you can do. If you know an app that is always blurry, open it and Windows 10 ought to show you a toast notification saying it’s detected a blurry app that it will attempt to fix it. Allow Windows 10 to do what it does and check if the app is any better.
There’s a custom scaling option on this same screen that you can use to set a custom scaling level. This was an option that used to be in the Control Panel and was accidentally removed in a Windows 10 update. Microsoft doesn’t recommend that you use it though so be careful.
We don’t have any before or after screenshots but this feature was badly needed. A lot of popular apps suffer from blurred text and small UI and developers haven’t done much to update them for HD displays.