Enabling Chrome High DPI (HiDPI) Support in Windows 8.1 on High Resolution Screens

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In my transition from Android (and to a lesser extent iOS) to all-Microsoft products, one area that’s caused me some consternation is whether or not this transition should include moving from Chrome to Internet Explorer. I’m torn on that one, because first, Chrome offers some real advantages such as a much better Evernote clipper, and second, I’m not sure that apps qualify for the transition.

In any case, by default, Chrome simply looks terrible on high resolution screens like the Surface Pro 3 (2160X1440). It’s fuzzy and generally unpleasant to use. After some research, though, I found a fix. It involves adding keys to the registry, so remember to backup your registry first via regedit.exe (a dangerous utility, so be careful). I’ve enabled it and as of Chrome 35.0.1916.153 things look much, much nicer.

The solution is at http://code.ecomerc.com/Articles/ChromeHIDPI/. Just download the ChromeHIDPI.reg file and execute it, following all the prompts and allowing it to be installed. Make sure all instances of Chrome are closed, and then restart Chrome. Voila! Things are much improved, as the following screenshots attempt to demonstrate (open full-screen):

Chrome with improper high DPI support
Here’s Chrome without proper high DPI support. Notice the fuzzy UI and text. Ugly.

Chrome with proper high DPI support
Here’s Chrome with proper high DPI support. Notice the sharp UI and text. Pretty. Trust
me, the difference is more striking than these screenshots indicate.

If you’re looking for a larger UI, then this isn’t the fix for you; notice that the UI elements are quite a bit smaller (but still quite touchable). In that case, you’ll need to increase the size via the Windows Screen resolution UI. However, if you want a good combination of size and sharpness, then 150% and this Chrome fix makes for a nice compromise, in my opinion and on the Surface Pro 3, at least.

Google could update Chrome and break this fix at any time, but for now, Chrome is finally usable again on a high resolution screen. I’ll likely experiment with Internet Explorer as my default, because letting you know how Microsoft is progressing their platform is what I’m all about lately, but I’m very happy to have Chrome as a viable option once again.

Let me know if this works for you, or not.

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