SOLIDWORKS Display Scaling Solutions

Article by Shaun Johnson on Dec 02, 2021

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Is your SOLIDWORKS session cascading in upon itself and leaving you dizzy, no longer sure which way is positive Z? Or, maybe the text in your feature tree has shrunk down to the point of being illegible. Most likely, you are suffering from mishandled DPI Scaling settings.

SOLIDWORKS Display Scaling Solutions Figure 1

Figure 1: Screen Duplication Example

What is happening?

If you’re running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, in combination with a 4k external display, the OS will attempt to automatically choose an appropriate scaling setting for the display. Often, users will want to make adjustments to those settings to fit their desired layout. To enlarge text
and other UI elements, DPI scaling is usually set globally in the Display settings found in the Windows Control Panel.

However, this can lead to blurry text and other oddities in applications that do not work well with the global scaling settings.

To resolve this issue and bring SOLIDWORKS back into the waking world, follow the steps below. 

How do we fix this?

Step #1

Browse using Windows Explorer to find the SOLIDWORKS Executable file (SLDWORKS.exe).

  • By default this is located in C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 20XX\SOLIDWORKS (where XX represents the year) or in C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS

Step #2

Right-click on SLDWORKS.exe and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.
SLDWORKS.exe Properties menu

Step #3

Click on the Compatibility tab and click the Change settings for all users button at the bottom of the dialog.
Change settings for all users SOLIDWORKS option


Step #4

Click Change high DPI settings and then check the box labeled Override high DPI scaling behavior. Ensure that the Scaling drop-down menu is set to Application.
Change High DPI Settings in SOLIDWORKS


Step #5

Lastly, reboot your computer and then launch SOLIDWORKS. This should resolve the SOLIDWORKS display scaling issues you were seeing and return you to normal operation.




Our SOLIDWORKS CAD Cheat Sheet, featuring over 90 tips and tricks, will help speed up your process.




About Shaun Johnson

Shaun has been using and supporting SOLIDWORKS since 2000. After spending five years in a support role, he went on to develop products and solutions in industries ranging from consumer electronics to military aviation ground support equipment. Once again in a support role, Shaun enjoys leveraging this experience to help others realize their designs and transform pixels into parts. Whenever he can, Shaun fires up his coal forge and takes a more ‘hands on’ approach to creating parts from raw steel.

View all posts by Shaun Johnson