Troubleshooting IDE scaling (DPI) issues on Windows

IDE versions 2017.2 run in the new JRE-managed HiDPI mode on MS Windows 8.1/10. This aims at providing better IDE UI scaling, especially in a multi-monitor configuration with different DPI values. However, currently the new HiDPI mode is limited to integral scale values only. Because of that, IDE auto-switches to the previous IDE-managed HiDPI mode once it detects a fractional scale monitor on start. The switch between the HiDPI modes (per-monitor-DPI-aware to system-DPI-aware in terms of WinAPI) may cause UI issues. UI scaling issues may also appear in the following cases:

  • IDE starts on an integral scale monitor (or a number of monitors) but then a fractional scale monitor is plugged in
  • The system wakes up from sleep
  • IDE is used via RDP (Remote Desktop)
  • Monitors are connected via a docking station.

In order to try to resolve those issues, the following actions may help (some or all):

  • Restart IDE
  • Logout/login a Windows session (in case a monitor scale factor has been manually changed)
  • Change the IDE font size (Settings > Appearance & Behavior > Appearance > Override default fonts). It affects the IDE scale. If it helps, set the Editor font size appropriately (Settings > Editor > Color Scheme > Color Scheme Font)
  • Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.

If nothing of the above helps, it's recommended to manually set the IDE-managed HiDPI mode to prevent the auto-switch. For that, the following VM option should be set:

-Dsun.java2d.uiScale.enabled=false

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