VMware Fusion screen resolution too small

Is your VMware Fusion screen resolution too small? Mine was. When I pulled up my Windows VM, Windows came up looking like everything was a 4-point font. I know I’m not 25 anymore, but I don’t think I could have read that at 25, even. Fortunately the fix is pretty easy once you know where to look.

I’m not sure how well this works in operating systems other than Windows, but if you run Windows 10 in a VM like I do, this seems to fix it.

Fixing VMware Fusion screen resolution

vmware fusion screen resolution too small
When your VMware Fusion screen resolution is too small, one checkbox in this dialog box fixes it.

When your VMware Fusion screen resolution is too small, open VMware Fusion’s Virtual Machines library. Click Settings, under the icon that looks like a wrench. Then click Display. You should see a checkbox labeled Use full resolution for Retina Display. Uncheck that option. Close the settings window, then switch back to your Windows virtual machine. The resolution should come up as something much more reasonable.

It appears that the combination of Mac OS X, Retina displays, and Windows don’t get along all that well. And I get that. Windows hasn’t exactly been quick to adapt to high-resolution displays.

In my case, the problem appeared after I applied updates and rebooted. Nothing I applied had anything to do with VMware, so it might have been a coincidence. It’s a little scary when something like this happens on your work machine, but that’s why I write these kinds of things up. That way Google can be our friend and bail us out.

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3 thoughts on “VMware Fusion screen resolution too small

  • June 4, 2018 at 9:50 am

    OMG, thank you! This was driving me crazy.

  • November 21, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the post! After the above, I also had to do View > Resize Virtual Machine to Fit for the fix to take place.

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