auto adjusting scaling across big monitors and hi res ultrabook

My ultrabook has 2550x1440 screen and the two monitors I power with your (wonderful) dock are 1920x1200 and 1920x 1080. Is there a way to keep native resolution (at 200% scaling) when I travel with the laptop and change it to the native res (at 100% scaling) when I use it as desktop to power the monitors?

To clarify further: I can adjust the scaling each time I plug or unplug the laptop. It seems to require logging out and in each time, which loses my place in my writing and makes me reopen the browser tabs, etc. (I keep lots of apps open.) Also, Windows does not seem to rescale icons immediately – so it takes a while for the taskbar, etc. icons to get restored to a usable size.

I go in and out of my home, to coffee shops, etc. – several times a day to keep my “inspiration” going… This scaling business is a pain. I might pull my old laptop out of storage and use it as the desktop – so that I don’t have to go thru this each time I plug/unplug from the dock.

I use Win 8.1 Enterprise

Hi Anatole,

Thanks for posting!

The scaling issues present in 8.1 can be rather frustrating, especially considering the need for a log-out to change the scaling, as you mention.

Since display scaling a low-level function of the operating system, there’s unfortunately no 3rd party tools available that allow for more scaling control, nor is there much control available through Windows itself. (Ideally Microsoft would enable you to set each display to a specific scaling value independent of the other displays, but as I’m sure you’ve found, Windows does not allow this.)

The only thing I’ve come across that might work in your scenario is setting a custom resolution of 1280x720 on your ultrabook. (Essentially cutting the native resolution/pixel density in half on your built-in display, which will have the same effect as 200% scaling.)

This could get pretty in-depth, as it might require forcing a specific older version of the Intel graphics drivers to install which allow custom resolutions to be created. (Though depending on your system, hardware, drivers, etc, your current drivers may already allow this lower resolution and therefor much less effort to give this a try.)

Of course we can’t endorse forcing older drivers on your system as we can’t be sure how things will react, but if it were my system and I was feeling adventurous and willing to give it a try, I’d give it a shot.

The following page has great additional explanation of how DPI scaling works, as well as a walk-through of the custom-resolution hack mentioned above. It focuses on the Surface system, but the principals are identical:…

Again, tough to say with certainly how this will work on your system, so if you do decide to try it, have a backup and proceed with caution!


Hi Gary,

Yeah, I saw most of that online and was hoping it was easier than that. :slight_smile:
I hope that Windows people will come up with a better solution soon.

Do you know by chance if Windows 10 will be able to scale better?


Hi Anatole,

Regarding Windows 10, we *really* hope that Microsoft improve the scaling behavior! Though in preview builds thus far, the behavior has remained unchanged from Win 8.1.


Thanks, Gary!

No problem, happy to help!