Fix Latest Chrome looking zoomed in and blurry

Google has released Chrome Stable 37 yesterday and with it came a new feature to improve font rendering on Windows. The text rendering was switched from Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to DirectWrite in Chrome 37 and while the majority of users did not report any issues, some users noticed that contents looked zoomed in and kinda blurry in the browser.

Most users who experience the issue on Windows seem to have set the DPI scaling to 125% instead of the default 100% value.

I was not able to reproduce the error on a Windows 7 Pro and a Windows 8 Pro system though which makes it likely that something else needs to be causing the issue.

Google is tracking the issue since Chrome 37 Beta on Google Code but it is not clear if and when the issue will be patched.

Fixes

Two temporary fixes have been discovered for users affected by the issue.

Fix 1: Parameters

You need to start Chrome with the following parameters to resolve the display issue: /high-dpi-support=1 /force-device-scale-factor=1

Here is how you do that:

  1. Find the Chrome icon that you click on. It may be on the Windows taskbar, a shortcut on the desktop, or in the start menu or on the start screen.
  2. Right-click the icon and select properties from the context menu if the icon is on the desktop or start menu/screen.
  3. If it is on the taskbar, right-click Google Chrome in the context menu that opens up and select properties here.
  4. Append both parameters at the end of the Target field. Make sure there is a blank inbetween. The target field should end like this afterwards:  chrome.exe" /high-dpi-support=1 /force-device-scale-factor=1
  5. Click ok to make the change.

When you restart Chrome afterwards, it will use the parameters and should display fine and without issues.

Fix 2: chrome://flags

disable-directwrite

You can disable DirectWrite on the chrome://flags page. This forces Chrome to return to the previous renderer.

Here is how you do that:

  1. Load chrome://flags/ in the browser's address bar.
  2. Locate Disable DirectWrite on the page, for instance by hitting F3 to open the on-page search option.
  3. Alternatively, load chrome://flags/#disable-direct-write directly.
  4. Click on the disable link, this turns it off.
  5. Restart Chrome.

The issue should be fixed now.

Fix 3: Set the DPI setting to 100%

The third and final option is to set the DPI setting to 100% instead of the value that you have set. Doing so will however impact all windows and interface elements on the system, not just Chrome.

Here is how you do that:

  1. While on the desktop of the operating system, right-click on a blank spot and select Screen Resolution from the context menu.
  2. On the window that opens up, select "Make text and other items larger or smaller".
  3. Switch the setting from the value it is set to, to 100% default.
  4. You need to log off and on again, or restart the computer before the change takes effect.
Summary
Article Name
Fix Latest Chrome looking zoomed in and blurry
Author
Description
How to fix if Chrome displays blurry text or looks zoomed in. Google has changed text rendering in Chrome 37 and as a result, some users report display issues.
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Responses to Fix Latest Chrome looking zoomed in and blurry

  1. vux777 August 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    I'm not sure if this is the "bug" from article...
    But for the last couple of months, I'm seeing different font with DW enabled (in dev/beta builds of Opera and Chrome)
    http://prntscr.com/4h29xf
    win7 x64, dpi 100%

    • Ahmad August 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      I use to face same problem but they fixed that issue in version 38 dev and end dates so I don't know whether it made to 39 or 38 but either one of it fixed for me.

      • vux777 August 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

        I'm using Version 38.0.2125.24 dev-m (64-bit)

  2. Austin Alexander August 28, 2014 at 1:27 am #

    omg thank you so much!!!!

  3. Paul August 28, 2014 at 6:45 am #

    Solution #1 working for me Parameters. WIndows 7 64 bit using Chrome with dual monitor 1600x900 and 1920x 1080 resolutions. Since early 8/27/14 had issues with Chrome (Zoomed in and Blurry). I do use custom 143% DPI settings for desktop and NEVER had problems with Chrome text size before yesterday. Thanks for the fix.

  4. ilev August 28, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    I am running Chrome Version 37.0.2062.94 beta-m (64-bit) with no issue of zoom or blur. Some sites look much better since adding DirectWrite support.

  5. Tals August 28, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Excellent!

    Woke up this morning to an ugly Chrome, and came up to this article from google news.
    I'm running Chrome Version 37.0.2062.94m using Win7 with a custom DPI settings (121%).

    fix#1 - it was already disabled for me, so can't use it.
    fix#2 - worked right away!

    Thank you Martin
    Tal

  6. Paul August 28, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Have noticed (just now) when on twitter and connecting to a hyperlink that Chrome pops up with the over sizing and bluriness, but not when I start the browser itself. Interesting. Hope the next version will fix this bug. PITA to play with even for a tinkerer.

  7. Biff August 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    Thanks so much. What worked for me was ENABLING (not disabling) DirectWrite on the chrome://flags page

  8. Jimmy August 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Both sollutions doesnt work for me, i tried it multiple times.. with not effect!!

  9. Jimmy August 28, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    Well out of desperation i have opted for the 3rd sollution and put my dpi back to 100%, that fixed the font problem on my website so that's good. Only my desktop pictograms are a lot smaller now (font text). I guess i will have to adapt for now. Thanks for the tips

    • Visigoth August 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      Remember, you can always change the icon text size in the advanced options in Windows. Go to Control Panel -> Display. You'll see at the bottom: "Change only the text size". There's a drop-down menu which you can select the icon from and change the text sizw from there. Sometimes it may take more than 1 try for Windows to "apply" the setting. You might have to restart your PC if it's really stubborn. But that setting should fix the small icon text issue permanently.

  10. Pierre August 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I have the problem. I wondered if it was normal. Thks for the article
    I made an issue but they didn't answer
    Directwrite is already disabled. I enabled it, without result

  11. Pierre August 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I have the pb. Thks for the article : I believed it was normal. I had to change all my zooms
    I made an issue but they didn't answer
    I tried your 1st solution (path) : your code is not valid
    Second solution : directwrite was already disabled. Enabling it doesn't change anything

    I will wait for the fix

  12. Francisco August 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Guys: EXIT chrome after applying the fix #1. It's still running in the background, and you can exit it on the bottom right corner. DO THIS before reporting that the fix does not work!!!

    • Pierre August 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Of course I leave Chrome...

      Sorry it doesn't work

      The first fix : the command line is not valid
      The second : directwrite was already disable

  13. Dwight Stegall August 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Working fine on Windows 8.1 Home Premium 64-bit. It looked like it always did.

  14. Scott August 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Does enable turn it off (directwrite off) or disable to turn off?

    • Martin Brinkmann August 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

      When you select the disable link, you always turn the feature off.

  15. Stephen Barash August 28, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    None of these settings worked for me. Went to the control panel to check my ClearType settings.

    It was turned off!!!

    Turning on ClearType and restarting Chrome - world of difference!

    slosuenos

    • Pierre August 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      I haven't found clear type settings
      I doesn't exist in Chrome in my installation
      I guess it's disabled in Windows

      • Martin Brinkmann August 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

        Clear Type is a Windows setting. Right-click on desktop, select Screen Resolution, then Make Text and other items larger or smaller, and then on the left adjust ClearType text.

  16. Pierre August 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

    OK

    My clear type has always been 125%. I need this 125, I don't want to modify it : before Chrome 37, chrome was OK

  17. James August 29, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. METHOD ONE fixed it for me. Been stumped for hours on this annoying bug. VERY noticeable blur on Windows 7 home premium 1080p.

  18. Tony August 29, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Thanks it was driving me crazy!

  19. Pierre August 29, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    It works fine with this code (here Chromium) solution 1

    C:\Users\Pierre\AppData\Local\Chromium\Application\chrome.exe /high-dpi-support=1 /force-device-scale-factor=1

    Thanks

  20. Jimmy August 29, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    How can I get solution #1 to apply to desktop shortcuts of websites?

    It fixed it for when I click on my Google Chrome icon, but if I click on a website shortcut on my desktop, it goes back to the blurry version.

  21. Scott Elsdon August 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Thanks, Method 1 fixed it for me, i have 125% on the media pc, and this was so dammed annoying Method two wouldn't work for me though.

    • Pierre August 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      Yes, I have 125 too.
      It seems Chromium team doesn't want to fix it

  22. cjearner August 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    So far two of my machines have the blurry font issue. They both have various versions of Intel HD graphics on board.

    Fix #2 works on this machine. I've yet to try the other one that's blurry.

  23. cjearner August 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    If a shortcut's properties has "chrome.exe" in its application target field you'll need to add the flags to the end of the command line. You'd need to do that for each shortcut.

    Otherwise you'd have to modify the registry's URL handler command line using REGEDIT. That could get ugly.

  24. Edgar August 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Adding /high-dpi-support=1 /force-device-scale-factor=1 to the desktop and taskbar icon works, BUT IT DOES NOT WORK when you click a link to a website in an email, for example.(It is calling Chrome directly, which is the unmodified chrome.exe .)

    Any ideas on a fix for that?

    Thanks,
    Edgar

    • Pierre August 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

      That's right
      The only means is : waiting for the fix...

  25. cjearner August 29, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    You might be able to modify the url handler in the registry. You'd have to append the flags to the command line there.

  26. Pierre August 29, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Fixed in
    Version 39.0.2140.0 canary (64-bit)
    and
    Version 39.0.2140.0 (35f985b3b838) (64-bit) !!!

    • Edgar August 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

      I just tried 39.0.2140.0 and it was NOT fixed there. "Out of the box" is was still enlarging all graphics and fonts (for me with Win7 and 144% custom text size).

      • Pierre August 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

        Maybe it depends on the environment
        For me it is fixed in my 2 machines in Canary and Chromium
        I no longer use the special command line. I still use it in stable version

      • Pierre August 30, 2014 at 4:50 am #

        See :
        https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=395425

      • Pierre September 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

        The reason was : it has been fixed only in the 64 bits until now cf the issue

    • Jimmy August 30, 2014 at 12:14 am #

      Hi Pierre, I couldn't reply to the comment you left on my question for some reason, so I'm asking it here. I have no 'Shortcut' tab. The only tabs I see are General, Web Document, Security, Details and Previous Versions.

  27. Justine August 30, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Thanks so much this fixed it

    • Pierre August 30, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      For previous post (9:41) : restart Windows
      If it's confirmed it's fixed : super, you're welcome

  28. Pierre September 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Fixed in Version 37.0.2062.103 unknown-m (64-bit)

  29. Edgar September 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    It is NOT fixed for me in Version 39.0.2138.3 dev-m (64-bit) which is the latest 64-bit version.

    • Pierre September 3, 2014 at 5:53 am #

      Where does your version come from ? Is it the last dev ?
      Dev and beta are not fixed yet

      Last canary Version 39.0.2144.2 canary (64-bit) is fixed
      Last stable : Version 37.0.2062.103 unknown-m (64-bit) is fixed too

      • Edgar September 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

        I went to this page and downloaded what was the default was there:

        https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/?platform=win64

        Where should I be going for a fully working version?

      • Pierre September 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

        Edgar : you are using the dev channel (is it on purpose ?) which is not ready yet. Don't change channel and wait for the fix
        Don't replace it by stable (the page you are mentioning), it will create problems
        However you can install Canary beside dev : it uses a différent profile. It is fixed. But it is a rather unstable channel

        https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/canary.html

        Capito ?

    • Pierre September 3, 2014 at 6:32 am #

      (suite)
      39.0.2138.3 is the last dev. Dev and Beta are not fixed yet

      • Edgar September 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

        Pierre... No, I am not deliberately used a dev version. I went to the link you provided for canary (thanks), but here is what it installed: Version 39.0.2138.3 dev-m (64-bit).

        Any idea how to get the version you suggested other than that link?

        Also, please note that I am using Win7 with 144% dpi.

        thanks,

        Edgar

      • Pierre September 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

        @Edgar

        No ! You believed it because it doesn't touch to your main Chrome
        but Canary link installs Version 39.0.2144.2 canary (64-bit) separately (entirely yellow icon) beside dev,
        other program, other folder (chromesxs), other profile, other icon
        By default it is in 64 bits (I guess your Win7 is in 64 bits)

        Normally, after the installation, it should have lauched it

      • Edgar September 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

        Pierre...

        All is well now. I uninstalled conventional Chrome, the dev version, and just have Canary now. The fonts were really small, so I had to change those to "large."

        This now seems to work directly from the icon and from links in email, giving normal looking webpages.

        Thanks for your assistance.

        Edgar

  30. Edgar September 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Pierre...

    I was just going to tell you this, that now I have two versions of Chrome! UGG.

    The new one is: Version 39.0.2144.2 canary (64-bit), and it is enlarged too! No fix for me (with 144% dpi in win 7). And yes, my computer is 64-bit.

    This is just completely frustrating.

    Edgar

  31. Pierre September 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    With 144% i don't know, I am in 125.
    Sorry
    If I were you, I would expect for a more permanent fix, using Canary and... there are other excellent browsers !
    You should sign in and put a comment in the corresponding issue

    https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=395425

  32. Pierre September 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    @Edgar
    You should not have uninstalled the main Chrome : why did you do it ?
    Canary is just a secondary program, just for tests. It is easily recognizable with its yellow icon. I must not be your main browser for serious use, money for instance

    • Edgar September 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

      Pierre,

      I had no idea that Canary was a test version.... I thought it was the real thing, maybe renamed to distinguish the 64-bit version.

      So now you seem to be suggesting that I reinstall regular Chrome (if I can find it), but make Canary my default browser (since regular Chrome has the scaling problem still)?

      Edgar

  33. Pierre September 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Reinstall the dev version as before and make it the default browser

    http://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel

    Canary cannot be the default browser : it's forbidden (and not possible)
    For the scaling problem, why don't you user another brower provisionaly (Firefox or IE ?)

    • Edgar September 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

      Pierre,

      At least at the moment, Canary is working as my default browser, such as when I click in an email, it opens.

      Is there some harm as it stands now?

      I can't use Firefox because of longstanding scaling issues, and IE has been sluggish. I have even had to revert to an older version of Thunderbird to avoid the issue in their latest versions.

      Edgar

      • Pierre September 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

        I see you have many problems, Edgar.
        You should continue in a technical forum : there are a lot of them.
        I'm afraid this page is not made for it.
        Indicate to me here the forum you choose if you want. I suggest this one but there are many others

        https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/en

        Good luck

  34. Humayun Khan October 8, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    i have followed ur fix 1 it worked thanks on chrome 38.0 64 bit
    but there is a problem after doing so it return to its normal size bt idm extension wont work it ll not show download this video bar hop so u ll hv a fix fr this too

  35. Konan October 11, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Thanks so much man!! The 1st one worked!

  36. valentyn October 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Thanks guys! It works!

  37. SpiroGiro October 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    The Disabling Direct write solved the fuzz but Fix#1 didn't solve the enormous tab buttons issue... It seems this started yesterday when after a W7 64bit system crash whilst the laptop was in Hibernate(!), it rebooted and somehow Chrome upgraded itself to vers 38 even though I have auto updates off for everything!

  38. GaryP October 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    AFAICT, fixes #1 and #2 apply to MS Windows only.

    Are there equivalent options for Mac users?

    I have relieved the problem somewhat by de-selecting Hardware Acceleration in Setting >> Advanced, but I wonder if there's a better trick.

  39. Pierre October 13, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    This bug appears again in Version 38.0.2125.101 m (64-bit)
    apply the correction above

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" /high-dpi-support=1 /force-device-scale-factor=1

    https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=395425

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