Is there a hack to get the scaling option in System Preferences/Displays?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
Melbourne, Australia
I just bought a 4K monitor to use with my 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 and everything is tiny!

Is there a hack to get that scaling option to work in System Preferences/Displays? As seen in the picture below. I read that it's only supported with the 2013 Mac Pro.

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 2.47.21 pm.png

GPU = Sapphire Radeon RX 560


macrumors 68020
Aug 20, 2015
Go back to "Default for display", then hold Option down and click on "Scaled" again? I believe that's worked for me in the past.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
I remember trying a cMP + 32" 4K screen in Retina mode (1920x1080 points) and then some time later not being able to do it again. I think behavior may have changed in High Sierra or Mojave.

There are various 3rd party apps for quick resolution changing that sit in the menu bar. The ones that are Retina aware will probably still be able to get the result you want.
Last edited:


macrumors 6502
May 14, 2008
RetinaDisplayMenu will allow you to use HiDPI resolutions on displays not seen as being retina by macOS.

An interesting ability of RDM is that it also allows you to use a higher than native resolution (scaling in a way to reduce the size of the GUI instead of increasing it) It will let my 2560x1440 display render a desktop resolution of 5120x2880, which certainly makes everything rather tiny. It is very useful though, in that while I sacrifice a touch of crispness it lets me drive a 1080p display at 1440p to match my primary display size making it easier to work in multiple displays when they are all the same pixel size (they are also same physical size).

A 2560x1440 display in HiDPI mode shrinks usable space down to that of a mid 2000s era laptop of 1280x800.
I don't know of any way to get the super flexible scaling option that true retina displays get, like the 2560x1600 display in the 15" macbook pro allows you to use a resolution that is like 1920x1200.


macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
Hong Kong
This is another free tool will allow you to choose some hidden HiDPI resolution.

Just select your monitor from the list, and then click Scale on top

All the "2x" Scale options are the HiDPI options. The resolution on the left hand side is the "UI Looks like" resolution. Try different options and see if you can get what you want.
Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 13.04.03.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 13.03.27.png