Solving the 4K blues: VLC on Windows 10 with a 4K monitor

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VLC is an OpenSource media player that runs on most (or all?) platforms.

When running VLC on Windows with a 4K monitor, you can’t see the menus or any other text without a magnifying glass. That is true of a lot of software. (Don’t tell me about Windows font scaling, that is a broken feature of Windows and does not affect most software that is not Microsoft produced.) Windows 11 is rumored to be better a this, but not everybody has paid the ransom to run that OS on their otherwise capable computers.

The fix for most software is to go into some configuration utility accessible from the software’s menu, and fiddle. For VLC, you have to know the secret incantations.

1) First, “find the VLC.exe file” which is not in a “VLC” folder as you would expect. Go to your “Program Files” and locate the “VideoLAN” folder. That is the folder in which you’ll find “vlc.exe”.

2) Right click on vlc.exe, and pick “Properties.”

3) Select the “Compatibility” tab.

4) Hit the button for “Run compatibility troubleshooter”

5) Follow the instructions for the troubleshooter. It won’t mention anything about resolution, but it will give you a choice for “recommended settings.” Try that. Continue on with the instructions, and your problem will be solved. I took the defaults. You may want to fiddle more.

Bob’s your uncle. Have a nice day seeing your menus!

Turns out you can run this compatibility thingy on any software, or at least, other software. It worked well with VLC, for me. I don’t know how well it will work on other software, but I intend to find out!

Please post your experiences in the comments.

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