Users Report Loss of HiDPI Scaling on External Displays in macOS Sierra

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Some Mac owners are reporting problems with external monitors and the use of scaled resolutions since installing macOS Sierra earlier this week.

    Several MacRumors readers using 4K displays have described the disappearance of scaled HiDPI resolutions beyond 1920x1080 since updating from OS X El Capitan, leaving their options reduced to 1080p or a non-scaled native resolution of 3840x2160. Monitors with native 1440p resolutions also seem to have had HiDPI scaling options removed.

    Scaled options in Sierra (left) and OS X El Capitan (right) when holding the Option key.

    Owners of larger displays often use Apple's scaled HiDPI resolutions offered in Display preferences to enjoy increased desktop space without reducing the legibility of text. MacRumors forum member Sheza warned:
    Some readers have reported unsuccessfully trying alternative monitor cable connections - switching over from DisplayPort to HDMI and vice versa. Others have tried using third-party resolution utilities like SwitchResX, with mixed results.

    A separate report posted on StackExchange, viewed 1,259 times, details the same issue:
    MacRumors can also confirm that the issue appears to be software-related, since the scaled resolutions reappear when affected Macs are rolled back to OS X El Capitan. The issue does not seem to be limited to a particular monitor brand and the latest Public Beta (10.12.1) of Sierra released on Thursday does not reinstate the missing resolutions.

    It's unclear if the change is intentional or whether Apple will re-introduce the scaling options in a forthcoming update. Sierra Beta users are advised to submit feedback to Apple using the Feedback Assistant app located in /Applications/Utilities.

    Article Link: Users Report Loss of HiDPI Scaling on External Displays in macOS Sierra
  2. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    Break everything Vista, err Sierra.

    Why was this change made Apple?
  3. Creep89 macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2012
    Good job Apple. Just break everything useful. I seriously hope the option returns before the new MacBooks are introduced. Guess I will stay with El Capitan at this point, since I am running a Dell P2715Q @ 2560x1440 scaled.
  4. StrangeNoises macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2011
    Works for me...
    Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 13.15.55.png
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    I should add, actually, as I just remembered: the first time I plugged this machine (Macbook Pro 13" early 2015) into this monitor was during the public beta phase, and at that time I found the same thing: I could only select up to "looks like 1080p" in HiDPI modes.

    But I'm now on the final release version and it's working just fine. I kinda assumed maybe it was a limitation that they tried in testing but removed for release having got negative feedback about it. But that's just an assumption, I know nothing

    I'm not aware of having *done* anything specific to fix it myself, I'm afraid.
  5. Telos101 macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2016
    I'm having the same issue. MacBook 13-inch early 2015 running in clamshell mode. I've tried leaving the laptop open but it makes no difference. Seems I have two options: live with massive icons and windows, or go native and use a magnifying glass to read.
  6. shareef777 macrumors 68020


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    This confirms the new TB display is coming. Apple marketing: "we innovated and have figured out a way to enable scaled resolutions".
  7. freediverx macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2006

    Most users:
    "Sierra has been super stable and mostly bug-free, even as a beta for many weeks."

    Couple of dolts on Macrumors:
    "Sierra breaks EVERYTHING as usual! Apple is doomed!"
  8. anticipate macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2013
    I have a 5k monitor and it's not effected by this. NMP and Dell 5k screen. I still get hidpi. Thank god.
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Is it affecting you too? If so, were you a part of the developer preview or public beta users and was it happening then as well?
  10. Gudi macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    As long as a new OS version breaks everything, I get the warm feeling that the Mac is still under development, at least software-wise. :cool:
  11. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I don't care if it now the gold release. Anybody who upgrades their main machine's OS in the first week it is available, is offering to be the final set of QA users before I install. I'm sure this will be addressed either by Apple or a third party tool within the month.
    I thank you for testing before I make the jump.
  12. DaDalle macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    It's not just scaling. My 1440p Monitor doesn't show it's native resolution anymore. I can only run it at 1080p
  13. Mac47 macrumors newbie


    May 25, 2016
    I'm running a NMP D300, Uptab dongle, SwitchResX, and a 40" SAMSUNG UHD TV. Upgrading to Sierra not only preserved my 1080P60 HiDPI mode and the full 3840x2160 UHD mode, but also enabled "looks like Quad-HD (2560x1440)" HiDPI mode.

    So no complaints here.
  14. nocturnum macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2014
    ... and there is always at least one clown with a comment like this.
  15. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    I haven't really looked into it yet (could be a settings issue), but I cannot swipe between programs like I was previously able to on my 2010 13.3 MBP.
  16. ChrisStayte macrumors newbie


    Apr 27, 2015
    I have the p2715q and it works find on Sierra
  17. titokane macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    Throwing my hat in with the "1440p monitor doesn't run at native resolution over hdmi on MBP" crowd. I'm forced to use SwitchResX to run the monitor at 40hz, otherwise it will only push 1080p -- not scaled HDPI 1080, just gross fuzzy 1080. mDP has no problems running my second 1440p monitor.
  18. milliman macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    Boulder, CO
    This problem showed up yesterday after a reboot. My screen arrangement was flipped and my resolution on both monitors was 1080p. System Preference accurately identified my monitors but only offered me a resolution to 1080 on the Dell P2415Q. I didn't think much of it so I rebooted and opened the Display preferences. Fortunately my resolution was back to 3840x2160 and I had the option to scale the display like I had in the past. I reset the scaling to where is was before and I haven't had a problem since.

    I don't think it is Apple's intention to change how our external monitors work so I'd chalk it up to an intermittent bug. I'm sure that they will fix it in an upcoming release. I'll install the first public beta today of which still has this issue. Maybe they will fix it here but most likely it will come in the next bug fix release.
  19. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    It's free for a reason. You get what you pay for.
  20. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Ridgewood, NJ
    It does on Windows 10
  21. RichTeer macrumors member


    Aug 13, 2014
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Apple really do need to get their **** together when it comes to regression testing... :-(
  22. TMRJIJ macrumors 68030


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    Lol No it doesn't.
  23. dlindsey100 macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    on 10.12.1 with Dell P2715Q and no issues with scaling.
  24. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Even on el capitan, you have to use switchresx to get the correct resolution/refresh rate on Mac OS. I personally went through this. I tried it on my bootcamp partition, and it worked without any hassle. The physical ports are capable of sending 4K/60Hz but something in MacOS hinders it. Go to switchresx's website and read about it.

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