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How to Adjust Plex Media Player Display Scaling in Windows

Posted by Jim Tanous on August 6, 2018
plex display scaling windows

If you run the Plex Media Player app in “Web mode” on a high-resolution display in Windows 10, the app will default to 200 percent scaling, making everything large and crisp. For many users, unfortunately, 200 percent scaling is too large, meaning that you see fewer of your media files on each screen and it’s difficult to effectively use the app in a window.
There’s currently no way to adjust display scaling in the Plex Media Player’s settings, but users can manually change the scale factor by modifying the app’s shortcut. Here’s how it works.

Clarifying the Situation

First, Plex is available on a wide range of devices and, even on the same device, often in various versions. So let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. This tip is in reference to the Plex Media Player app for Windows, the standalone, non-UWP version that you obtain by downloading it from the Plex website. This app has two modes, desktop (or “Web”) and TV.
The tip discussed here to adjust Plex display scaling doesn’t currently affect the TV mode, but rather the desktop mode that is identical to the version of Plex you see when you use a Web browser. When running the Plex Media Player app, you can switch modes by clicking on the icon with the inward or outward facing arrows to the left of the activity icon in the toolbar at the top of the window.

Adjust Plex Scaling

OK, now that we’ve got that sorted out, here’s how to adjust Plex display scaling in Windows 10. First, we need to access the app’s shortcut properties. You can either find the shortcut manually by navigating to it via File Explorer or, if the app is in your taskbar, you can right-click on the icon, then right-click again on Plex Media Player, and finally choose Properties.
plex properties taskbar
In the Properties window that appears, select the Shortcut tab and find the box labeled Target. To change the default Plex scaling, we need to add a modifier to the Target entry.
plex scale factor
Position your cursor at the end of the path in the Target box (outside of the quotation mark), press the spacebar once to add a single space, and then type the following:

--scale-factor=1

Click Apply to save the change and then quit and relaunch the app. This will force Plex to use 100 percent scaling, which may be ideal for those using Plex on a large high resolution display. However, you can change the numeric scaling value to anything else that suits you. For example, entering 1.5 instead of 1 will give you 150 percent scaling. You can even enter values lower than 1, such as 0.5, if you have an especially large display. Note, however, that values lower than 1 may result in graphical glitches so it’s generally best to keep the value at or above 100 percent.
plex scaling 100 percent windows
Compared to the default 200 percent scaling pictured in the featured image at the top of this article, you can see above the difference that adjusting the display scaling makes. On our example display (a 43-inch 4K monitor), Plex scaling at 100 percent makes much more content visible at once while still remaining a usable size. If you don’t like the result, however, simply continue to adjust the scaling value higher or lower until you find a percentage that works for you. Just remember to quit and relaunch the app with each change in order to see it.

Plex Scaling Caution

While we’ve been using this trick for some time without noticing any issues, Plex support staff have indicated that the reason that display scaling isn’t officially within the app’s settings is because it can cause issues in certain configurations.
If you do encounter problems, however, you can simply return to the Plex shortcut’s properties and remove the scale factor modifier to return the app to its default scaling behavior.

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This Guide Last Updated: August 6, 2018

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