If you use a Windows Laptop with a Retina display and you attach an external display, there seems to be no way to set the scaling individually for both screens.
The retina should be 150 - 200%, but the 24" HD should really only be at 100%.

Just have not found a way to set it up like this.

  • What to you mean with scaling? The zoom-factor? Or the resolution of the screens?
    – Christian
    Apr 9, 2014 at 8:03
  • The zoom factor. E.g. in Windows you can say 150% or 100% etc.
    – Remy
    Apr 9, 2014 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


I have a MBPr first generation since July 2012, after days and days researching and asking on Windows and Apple support forums repeatedly and after doing numerous hacks I have concluded that at this moment it isn't possible.

Apple was the first company to develop their OS thinking on pixel independent GUI, and the first to have a HiDPI display...

Microsoft is behind Apple on that matter, Windows 8 have some GUI elements and some programs that are pixel independent, but some other can't detect the pixel density, Photoshop is one of them. Chrome seems to detect the display pixel density but the scaling is just awful.

Windows 8.1 with the latest updates and patches fixed some GUI elements and overall achieve better results using HiDPI displays, but, there is no way to have two different displays with different pixel density.

Maybe in time, when HiDPI displays become mainstream they will fix Windows, but first, they have to fix a lot of thing on Windows, they are already on that path with the new CEO announcing the return of the start menu.

  • Didn't found anything either. But can't imagine that nobody uses an external monitor with a Retina Laptop. Unbelievable...
    – Remy
    Apr 14, 2014 at 11:49
  • We are in the same boat, My desktop PC board was messed up and I only got the Retina as a backup, but later on when realizing how amazingly fast it was the SSD and USB 3.0 I decided to use it like a CPU, I have a LG D2343P 3D Monitor, a a 28 USB 3.0 hub, everything external, the macboox is always in closed clamshell, my retina screen is only for work apointments... longer life XD Apr 16, 2014 at 5:29

The closest you can get right now is to use a non-native resolution for the external display, which will change the apparent pixel size. Downside is that it will use the external display's scaler, which probably looks worse than Windows's DPI setting.

  • Thanks. But that was not really the solution we were hoping for :-(
    – Remy
    Apr 14, 2014 at 11:48

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