NI Software Displaying at Small Resolution

Updated Jan 11, 2023

Reported In


  • LabWindows/CVI Full
  • LabWindows/CVI Base
  • TestStand

Issue Details

My NI software, like LabWindows™/CVI™ or TestStand, isn’t displaying correctly on my high-resolution monitor. Menus and some text are displaying at the correct size but the rest of the UI like icons or the source editor is too small. My mouse is also very hard to see on the front panel. What is causing this and how do I fix it?


These issues are caused by Windows OS treating your software as a DPI-aware application. You can get around this problem by using an external manifest to tell Windows not to treat your software as a DPI-aware application, steps below describe how to do this:
  • On your local machine: enable the registry key to use external manifests.
    1. Open RegEdit as an administrator and go to the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > SideBySide
    2. Add the registry key PreferExternalManifest as a new DWORD (32-bit) value 
  1. Set the key value to 1, with Decimal selected.
  2. Add the attached .manifest file to the software installation directory, in the same location as software executable, like cvi.exe or SeqEdit.exe in the case of TestStand. Rename the .manifest file to be <Name of Executable>.exe.manifest, like cvi.exe.manifest. Use version 2 of the .manifest file if the original version does not work.
  3. Restart your machine.
  4. Launch your software.
  • For Deployments: embed a manifest file in your executable.
    1. Go to the Build menu and select the configuration you want to embed the manifest file in.
    2. Select Target Settings… from the build menu.
    3. Check Embed manifest file and select the manifest file that disables DPI-awareness, like the one attached below. Use version 2 of the .manifest file if the original version does not work.
    4. Rebuild your executable.

    Additional Information

    • The user interface scaling issue has been resolved in LabWindows™/CVI™ 2017, TestStand 2017 and later. These DPI settings are now built into the applications and no external manifest should be needed.
    • As Windows OS by default treats applications as DPI-aware, this causes vector assets like text to get rendered at a larger size, while bitmapped assets like icons get rendered at their native size.
    • For the deployments, the advantage to an embedded manifest file is that it will render the application correctly without requiring the PreferExternalManifest registry key to be selected.