How to Launch Apps in Low Resolution on Your Retina Mac

How to Launch Apps in Low Resolution on Your Retina Mac

Most Mac machines that you buy these days come with a retina display that show’s the content on the screen far more sharper and crisper than a normal display. This is because retina displays have higher pixel-per-inch amount, so everything that you see on your screen is really very crisp and without any blurring.

While that is a really good thing for many of the apps on your Mac, there may be some apps on your machine that you would like to launch in low resolution rather than what the retina display offers. There may be several reasons why you want to do this, such as you have an external screen setup and would like an app to launch in low-resolution on that screen, as it is not necessary for it to launch in retina mode.

Running apps in low resolution also puts less workload on the GPU, and this should definitely help you get more life out of the GPU.

Here’s how you can go about launching an app in low resolution on your Mac.

Launch Apps in Low Resolution on a Retina Mac

Mac OS X comes with the feature to help you launch an app in low resolution mode, so you do not need a third-party app to do the job.

1. Go to wherever the app is located, most likely in the Applications folder.

2. Right-click on the app that you would like to open in low resolution mode, and select “Get Info” to bring forth the information dialog box for the app.


3. When the Get Info dialog box opens, you should see an option that says “Open in Low Resolution.”

What you need to do here is checkmark the box next to the option.


4. Close the Get Info dialog box after you have checkmarked the option.

5. Now, double-click on the app to launch it. You will immediately notice that it has launched in low resolution, as the images and the text in the app will look less sharp than what they were before.

Here, the first image you see below has been taken with low resolution, and the second one was taken with retina resolution. The difference is clear.

In Low Resolution

In Retina Resolution

The most clear difference is in the text. Just look at the text in both  images and you will notice that the Retina one has crisper text, whereas the other one’s text looks a little blurry. The difference is also visible at the corners of various shapes in the image.

While the mode will not work well for all apps, it will definitely work good for your chosen apps that you think do not require higher resolution.


If you have some apps on your Mac that you believe can work well even without the retina resolution, you can launch them in low resolution so that they are not heavy on the graphics card of your machine.

Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

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