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How to set different scaling levels of multiple monitors on Windows 10

Scaling is a feature on Windows 10 where everything is, in layman terms, magnified by a certain percentage. This feature makes the various UI elements on your screen easier to see when you have a high-resolution display. Windows 10 will enable scaling for a screen by default when you install but you can change it, or disable it if you want. The scaling depends on the screen and if you work with multiple monitors, you might have scaling enabled for both. If not, or if you’re not satisfied with the scaling, you can set different scaling levels of each monitor. Here’s how.

Scaling for multiple monitors

Before we proceed, you should know that scaling doesn’t take effect until you log out and log back into your system. You might have applied a new scaling rate but you won’t get a live preview of it. It is best to sign out and sign back into your system before you judge whether or not you’ve found the right scaling rate for a screen.

Make sure all the monitors that you want to set scaling levels for are connected to your system. Open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Select the Display tab. Your monitors will show up here. The only trick to this is selecting a monitor before making any changes on the display tab. In the screenshot below, the monitor with the light grey fill is the one that’s selected i.e., Monitor 1. Any changes you make to the settings listed on this tab will apply to Monitor 1. To change the selection, click the other monitor.

Once the correct monitor has been selected, scroll down and you’ll find a Scale and layout section. Open the ‘Change the size of text, apps, and other items’ dropdown, and select a scaling rate. These rates are fixed and are normally in increments of 25%. Select a rate, sign out and back into your system. Repeat for the second monitor, third, or all monitors.

Custom scaling

Windows 10 has a custom scaling feature that allows users to set a scaling level that is not listed in the dropdown. The downside to this feature is that it cannot be applied on a per-monitor basis. If you have two monitors, and you’d like to scale one to 165% and the other to 180%, you won’t be able to. Custom scaling, for the most part, is a feature that came from older versions of Windows. It has been added to the Settings app but the feature itself hasn’t quite caught up to modern monitor requirements.

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