Fix Virtualbox Windows HiDPI Mac Retina Display Blurry Text

Running Windows 10 inside Virtualbox on Mac could be a wobbly experience, depending on the type of Mac you have. If you have a MacBook Pro or MacBook with retina display this guide will be helpful for you to make the most out of your laptop’s retina display. Having said that, this guide will also apply to any Mac running off external 4K monitors. If you are running Windows with Parallels, check out this guide to enable HiDPI support.

Out of the box, Virtualbox will not enable HiDPI support despite the fact that the host machine’s hardware is capable of this feature. There are two solutions to tackle this problem. We will explore both options.

Enable HiDPI Keep Scale Factor 100%

The first option is to enable the HiDPI support under VirtualBox > Settings > Display, check “Use Unscaled HiDPI Output” and leave the Scale Factor 100%.

This will result in Windows to startup with a screen resolution of 2880×1800 pixel on a 13-inch MacBook Pro. As a result, everything in Windows will appear much smaller than a regular Windows on a 13-inch laptop counterpart.

The solution is to adjust the Display setting and up the zoom level to 150% or at a level that satisfied with your comfort reading level.

Enable HiDPI plus Adjusting Scaled Factor

The other option is to do everything inside the VirtualBox’s display setting by increase the Scale Factor out of the box prior starting Windows. Not only enable “Use Unscaled HiDPI Output” option, also adjusting Scale Factor to 150%.

After saving the setting, and start up Windows. You will notice your display have a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels.

Leave the zoom level to 100% Recommended level and you are good to go. Either case should produce the same level of displaying in terms of text and other Windows GUI. However, there might be some applications not capable of adapting to the first solution, play around with the settings to find the most optimal solution for your need.