How Do You Adjust Google Chrome’s UI Scaling?

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Everything can be going along nicely until a program gets a new update that suddenly turns everything into a visual mess, like scaling up the UI, for example. Is there a simple solution? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has some helpful solutions for a reader’s frustrating browser UI problem.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader PGmath wants to know how to adjust Google Chrome’s UI scaling:

For some reason, when I opened Google Chrome this morning, I noticed that the entire UI had been scaled up slightly. Everything (buttons, text, webpages, etc.) is about ten percent larger than it used to be. This is really annoying since less of everything fits on my screen now (in particular, my bookmarks bar does not display as many bookmarks).

I have been unable to find any kind of UI/DPI scaling options in Google Chrome’s settings. How can I change it back to the way it was before?

Notes

  1. This is not a problem in Windows DPI scaling settings since this did not happen with any other programs on my system.
  2. I know how to zoom in and out of webpages, but that is definitely not the problem since the entire UI is now scaled up (not just webpages).

How do you adjust Google Chrome’s UI scaling?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor DrZoo has the answer for us:

With the latest Google Chrome update (version 54), they made it so that it can detect the DPI settings on your computer and scale the web browser accordingly. Previously, Google Chrome did not pay attention to your system’s DPI settings, but now it does, and that is the root cause of the large interface issue. If you have the DPI scaling set to 125 percent or greater on your Windows computer, then Google Chrome will scale differently depending on the setting.

Option #1

Have Windows specifically tell Google Chrome to ignore DPI scaling by right-clicking on Google Chrome’s icon, then going to Properties > Compatibility, select (check) “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings”, then click OK.

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Option #2 (Seems To Be The Most Successful)

The “obvious” fix is to just set your computer’s DPI scaling back to 100 percent. That will make Google Chrome appear the same as it used to, but everything else will be smaller, so it is not a very good fix. Just type “DPI” into the Windows search bar and open the top result, “Make text and other items appear larger or smaller” (that is how it is shown on Windows 7, but may be worded differently on other editions).

Option #3

Right-click on Google Chrome’s shortcut or Start Menu icon and select Properties > Shortcut Tab, then enter the following code at the end of the text in the Target field:

  • /high-dpi-support=1 /force-device-scale-factor=1

Make sure that there is a blank space between the “.exe” part and the first forward slash. Click OK and then restart Google Chrome. If the scaling is not back to normal, make sure to launch Google Chrome from the location specified above. If Google Chrome is pinned to your taskbar, do not forget to unpin and then re-pin it. This is not a permanent fix because other links to Google Chrome (like hyperlinks in PDFs) can trigger the larger UI scaling as well.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .