SOLVED: Word Excel Outlook Are Fuzzy on External Screens on Windows 10 and 8

If you find that system windows and text (like the START menu, THIS PC, CONTROL PANEL) are perfectly clear, but some programs like Word and Outlook have fuzzy text, AND you are using a tablet (like a Microsoft Surface or Surface Book) we have the fix!

This problem has dogged me for years.  Some Microsoft Surface Tablets and very high resolution Dell laptops.  The problem appears to be scaling on external monitors and I have tried everything including:text-on-external-monitor-fuzzy-windows-10-windows-8-surface-book

  • new cables
  • new monitors
  • reset settings
  • updating drivers
  • playing with scaling
  • updating firmware
  • running the ADJUST CLEAR TYPE app

but nothing has worked.  Why some tablets provide clear text on all screens and other identical units don’t has been driving me nuts.  Today however, I found the solution:  Set one of the external screens to be the MAIN screen, then log off and on. BINGO.

It appears that if the lowest resolution screen must be set to the primary… or MAIN.  This is a real problem when you have high end computers like the Microsoft Surface 3 or Surface Book which are about 3000 x 2000 and you have an external (or two) that are the more traditional 1920 x 1080.

Windows 7 did not handle different scaling on different monitors.  Windows 8 did a mediocre job of different scaling on different monitors.  Windows 10 does an decent job of different scaling on different monitors, but still does not set all of the fonts to be clear unless the smaller resolution external screen is set as MAIN.



  1. Avatar
    Anto April 24, 2020 at 4:14 am

    Thank You, sir!

  2. Avatar
    Ernesto August 9, 2019 at 4:59 am

    We’re in 2019 and this issue not only hasn’t been solved by Microsoft but it was driving me crazy! Thanks so much for the tip.

  3. Avatar
    Kamran April 30, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Great, this issue was driving me crazy and nothing else was working. Bless you

  4. Avatar
    Mike December 5, 2018 at 2:52 am

    OMG thank you! Sometimes I can’t believe the issues you can have with Windows, tiny issues that Microsoft doesn’t care to fix and the solutions are ridiculous. I wonder if Mac OS have so many issues too? Thanks anyway!

  5. Avatar
    Mary August 8, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Bless you! Worked like a charm!! Now I can finally work in peace >.<

Questions or Comments?