DPI settings on windows XP

DPI (dots per inch) settings control the images resolution on your computer, the higher the DPIs the sharper the image will be. You can change the DPI settings to fit your liking. On windows XP right-click on an empty area on your desktop and go to properties>settings>advanced


You can change the DPI settings to:

Normal size (96 DPI)
Large size (120 DPI)
Custom settings

Normally the computer is set to 96 DPI, most applications are written to fit this setting, if you are having problems with applications not displaying correctly because it does not fit your screen, most likely the problem lies on the DPI settings.

You most likely will need to reboot the computer for the settings to take effect.

Comments [11]

  1. Barbara says:


    You continue to provide great tips, that even I can understand. Keep up the great work.

    BTW: Your new site looks great!

  2. On my laptop I cannot access the Apply and OK buttons as they are off page so what next

  3. Adam Bess says:

    I have the same problem as John Townsend. My windows desktop DPI settings are too high so I can't reset the settings because the "apply" button is off the screen. What do I do?

  4. Nelson says:

    Hi Adam. weird problem indeed. have you tried to increase the resolution in the monitor? that should expand the screen a little bit, so you will be able to see the "apply button" what type of computer are you using?

  5. Palonek says:

    Here is a simple fix. Once you change your DPI settings in the list box, press the TAB key exactly three times, then press the ENTER key. http://www.edward-palonek.com/

    Let me know if you need any more.

  6. Vincent Ho says:

    Hi there,

    I set the DPI into 120 but after restart, the windows fonts became too small to read. What should I do?

  7. Phayekinoru says:

    Hello there. I was experimenting today and I accidentally changed my DPI to 120. Afterwards when I tried to change it back, Windows XP didn't let me.

    First an error window popped up after I chose 96 DPI, and after I click OK and press enter, another window pops up. It asks me to locate a file called i386 on the G: disk. I have NO IDEA what to do since my PC is in Mandarin and I can't read a thing. I've tried searching the Internet, but I haven't had any luck yet.

    Is there a way to force it to change back to 96 DPI?

  8. cantfigureitout says:

    I somehow set my dpi at 192 and can't change it back due to the fact that it is so big! I can't get to the bottom of the page to click the ok button to change it!

  9. compuser says:

    Palonek's fix is the best! At first I thought it was crazy, but it actually works! I don't know how, but it does get you straight back to reloading settings from the hard drive.

    Basically, I could no longer change my DPI settings and system restore did also not work. So Palonek, if you can be bothered maybe you can type an explanation of how the fix works/what it does.

    But anyway, it works!

  10. Diesel0030 says:

    Palonek's fix isn't doing anything tricky that you aren't aware of. Tab just moves you from 'field' to 'field.' The OK button being off screen, just means you can't get to it with the mouse. Just hit Tab the number of times that takes you to the OK button then hit Enter. It's not like a 'hot-key' combo you are doing or anything. You are just using the keyboard instead of the mouse, like in the old days :)

  11. lindalou_77 says:

    I have tried the press the tab 3 times and then hit enter, rebooted and still my DPI settings have not changed. I have tried this numerous times but still nothing, I cannot see the Apply or OK button – my text is just too big. I am at the end of my tether now and my temper meter is 9.9 out of 10.

    Someone please help me before this computer gets a flying lesson out of the 3rd floor window!

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