SSMS Does not display properly in high DPI - by Adam Robinson

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ID 764009 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 12
Opened 9/21/2012 7:15:14 AM
Access Restriction Public


When running Windows at a higher DPI, portions of SSMS do not display correctly

1.) Icons in the Server Browser are minuscule
2.) Dialogs appear to use hard-coded width/height for almost every control, and thus are almost unreadable (because they chop off text)

(Running under Parallels 8 on a Retina MacBook Pro)
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Posted by tad8675 on 12/7/2016 at 3:34 PM
I found a way to disable

Right click short cut for SSMS
Select Properties
Select Compatibility tab
Check "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings"

But this however makes the restore database window completely unusable for me as the buttons or cut off at the bottom. Also I will never need glasses because the application font is so large even without zoom.

Posted by tad8675 on 12/7/2016 at 3:00 PM
this link does not work for me any more (
AND its also 2016 and this issue still has not been fixed.
Posted by Nancy K. Landis on 11/2/2016 at 11:54 AM (I pasted the guts of the post below) ... This worked for me, then I had to redo this setting after a windows update. I’m using an iMac with SSMS on Windows 10 Boot Camp.
In order to enable this option in Windows 10, you need to merge this key to your registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Then, the application has to be decorated with a manifest file that instructs Windows to disable DPI scaling and enable bitmap scaling, by declaring the application as DPI unaware. The manifest file has to be saved in the same folder as the executable (ssms.exe) and its name must be ssms.exe.manifest. In this case, for SSMS 2014, the file path is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\120\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Ssms.exe.manifest”.

Paste this text inside the manifest file and save it in UTF8 encoding:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

<assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0" xmlns:asmv3="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3">

    <assemblyIdentity type="win32" name="Microsoft.Windows.Common-Controls" version="" processorArchitecture="*" publicKeyToken="6595b64144ccf1df" language="*">

    <assemblyIdentity type="win32" name="Microsoft.VC90.CRT" version="9.0.21022.8" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b">

<trustInfo xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3">
     <requestedExecutionLevel level="asInvoker" uiAccess="false"/>

<asmv3:windowsSettings xmlns="">
    <ms_windowsSettings:dpiAware xmlns:ms_windowsSettings="">false</ms_windowsSettings:dpiAware>

Posted by spaghettidba on 10/14/2015 at 1:24 AM
The issue can be fixed by disabling DPI scaling. Here's how to do it:
Posted by cameron_eldridge on 6/1/2015 at 7:41 PM
Doesn't work, this needs to be fixed. Why is this closed? Why wouldn't Microsoft fix this?
Posted by seekbodhi on 2/18/2015 at 8:29 AM
Changing default graphic processor worked for me.
Posted by buchhla on 10/13/2014 at 3:05 PM
I agree, this NEEDS to be fixed. More and more displays are going high DPI, and SSMS is completely unusable depending on the resolution. Try going through the restore database wizard on a macbook pro retina running via bootcamp. The folder and file browser don't even render at all.
Posted by Joshua25640735 on 10/3/2014 at 3:42 PM
Reproduced this trivially. I must use a high-dpi monitor as it is the only viable workaround to a crippling accessibility bug in Internet Explorer, which is used as a render control in large parts of Windows OS. Having no combined viable workaround for an accessibility issue SQL 2014 on Windows Server 2012 R2 is not good at all.

The DPI settings change referred to simply makes applications unusable due to unreadable font rendering. Pro tip: upscaling fonts rendered with ClearType on results in a disaster.
Posted by Paul Wade on 5/14/2014 at 9:19 AM
Thanks for the feedback. We triaged this issue and at this time do not plan to address this in a future version of SQL Server.

Complete insanity??? we don't plan to support high dpi in ssms when windows is moving to finally supporting it? SSMS is completely broken on high dpi regardless of compatibility settings.
Posted by geck1942 on 12/8/2013 at 4:22 AM
I'm also having this issue, but i'm on Windows 8.1
My current resolution is 3200x1800. I tried to "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" but it still doesn't work.
Posted by Luca Looz on 11/12/2013 at 12:57 PM
i'm using Windows 8.1 on a retina display and using dpi scaling at 200%.
Both SSMS 2012 SP1 and SSMS 2014 CTP2 have visual problems, such as: texts and icons not scaled, strange form layouts etc etc
I have already tried to enable "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" but it doesn't change anything.

Posted by Microsoft on 3/13/2013 at 10:37 AM
Hello Adam. You can quickly implement that change yourself by following the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" instructions here ( rather than waiting for a SQL release vehicle to universally implement the change. Please let us know if this doesn't work for you. -Walter A Jokiel, Program Manager, SQL Server (
Posted by Adam Robinson on 3/12/2013 at 9:47 AM
Hi, thanks for responding. While I can understand this being a lower priority, could you at least modify the application manifest so that Windows runs SSMS in compatibility mode? This will render everything at the default DPI, so things might be blurry, but at least the text in dialogs would be readable.
Posted by Microsoft on 2/26/2013 at 3:06 PM
Hello Adam. Thanks for the feedback. We triaged this issue and at this time do not plan to address this in a future version of SQL Server. -Walter A Jokiel, Program Manager, SQL Server (
Posted by Microsoft on 2/13/2013 at 1:07 PM
Hello Adam,

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We really do appreciate the feedback. We’ll investigate and get back to you.

-Walter A Jokiel
Program Manager, SQL Server