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I'm trying to fix a "tiny canvas" glitch in Photoshop CS6 on my high DPI (hidpi) laptop screen.

I'm working in Photoshop CS6 (64-bit) in Windows 10 on my Lenovo Yoga 730-15 laptop's hi-dpi screen (running at its native 3840×2160 resolution).

On a clean install, the Photoshop CS6 user interface was so super-tiny on the high-dpi screen I could barely see the icons, so I searched around for a solution.

I found a built-in Windows 10 high-dpi screen fix which, at first, seemed to solve the problem as it made the UI elements look the correct size.

However, when I tried to open and work on a Photoshop file, I encountered a glitch that makes the normal Photoshop "working file" window super tiny and jammed up in the top left corner of the screen, overlaying the top menu bar items, like this:
screen with tiny window jammed up in the top left corner of the screen

Oddly, the program still seems to think that the canvas working area is sized normally, as it still interprets commands in the black background space as if they are entered on the corresponding tiny canvas working area.

I have been looking for a way to fix this odd glitch and still have not found one. It's super confusing and frustrating. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Any help would be welcome.

This problem appears to be Windows only, as there appears to be a Retina screen fix available for MacBooks.

Please refrain from "answers" or comments that suggest I upgrade to a CC subscription. I am looking for a fix for CS6 in particular.

And because some people will inevitably ask: "Why not just upgrade to Creative Cloud subscription?", let me offer this:

CS6 is the last perpetual license (non-subscription) version of the Photoshop software (meaning it costs a lot more but you don't lose access to it if you stop paying the monthly fee). Unfortunately, Adobe has decided not to offer support for the CS6 software in service of pushing users to pay for their monthly Creative Cloud subscription service. Sadly, because Adobe no longer offers support, any users who legally purchased the CS6 "perpetual" license are left with no options but to seek help from other users in the online community.

Adobe attempts to portray the Creative Cloud subscription service as providing significant added value for users, above and beyond CS6, but in my work I have found the CS6 software is still just as capable as the Creative Cloud subscription version (I have used both for virtually all the same tasks), aside from the recent high-dpi screen glitch problems.

As linked above, Adobe has even acknowledged the problem is (at least theoretically) fixable on CS6 by providing a Retina (high-dpi screen) fix for CS6 on MacBooks. Sadly, they have left Windows users with no recourse but to figure out their own solution.

For this reason, I would ask that this question be allowed to stand, as a solution here may help other users facing this same problem.

  • "Adobe has decided not to offer support for the CS6 software in service of pushing users to pay for their monthly Creative Cloud subscription service". Photoshop CS6 was released in May 2012, so it's coming up to 8 years old now. Even if CC subscriptions hadn't replaced the standalone offerings, I suspect CS6 would be at a place in its software lifecycle where support would only provide security patches, if anything, so I don't think this was necessarily a deliberate attempt to force users to use a subscription. – Mr Ethernet Nov 22 '19 at 20:36
  • @MrEthernet Certainly, one could argue that Adobe is simply following standard business practice and not supporting older software. In one sense, that is certainly true. However, the fact that Adobe found resources to provide a high-dpi fix for CS6 on retina screens does suggest that the high-dpi problem was around during the CS6 support life-cycle and, if so, it is not unfair to think they could have provided a high-dpi fix for the windows version as well. – Geoff Nov 22 '19 at 20:57
  • Please don't cross-post to multiple SE sites. Pick one & stick to it. If you get no joy on one, you may request a mod to migrate it to another. graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/131408/… – Tetsujin Nov 23 '19 at 10:58
  • I love Photoshop, been using it ever since CS3. I personally don't mind paying the $9.99/month for "Photography Plan (20GB)", which includes the latest version of Photoshop + Lightroom. I'm going to claim back the $120/year at tax season as I use it for work. Having to work around a bug like this for a tool I need to rely on would drive me crazy! Never had any issues running Photoshop 2020 on my 3840 x 2160 monitor. – Mr Ethernet Nov 23 '19 at 11:14
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I'm a user of CS6 and my monitor has the same resolution as yours, and I solved the same problem in the following way.

The "fix" you have found is not a good solution, because it is not a full solution, just a stop-gap measure that Microsoft worked up in the past. It also requires changing too many executables to make work for too many products that are not DPI-aware (which is most of the products I use).

The only solution that really works is to right-click the desktop, choose "Display settings", and in the Settings app set "Change the size of text, apps and other items" to 150%.

The upside of this is that everything will work correctly (at least for me). The downside is that it in effect reduces the effective resolution of the monitor to 2560 X 1440, which is what you get when each pixel is blown-up 150%. I didn't notice any bad effects on the quality of the displayed image after this change.

The decision whether you find this solution to be suitable is yours to take.

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