Internet Explorer 7 pixelated images

Updated July 2008

Looks like this problem is happening more frequently and starting to happen for people’s entire system and not just their browser.  Let me first tell you why this is happening and then offer a few solutions.

You are experiencing this because you have a high resolution computer and the manufacturer is worried that the high resolution will result in you straining to see things on the screen.  Silly.  The good news is that it probably can be fixed.  Let’s try the easiest solution first.

Right click on the desktop and select “Properties” from the menu.

Select "Properties"

Select "Properties"

Then select the “Settings” tab and then click on the “Advanced” button near the bottom right.

Select the Settings tab and the Advanced button

Select the Settings tab and the Advanced button

Now in the display dialog window use the drop-down menu to change your DPI setting.  Now reboot your computer and see if that fixed the problem.

Change the DPI setting

Change the DPI setting

I use Firefox almost exclusively but sometimes i use Internet Explorer. Perhaps a website simply won’t work with Firefox, maybe my Firefox add-ons are preventing a portion of the page to load (every now and then i actually want to see the ads on a page), or maybe i’m checking on a website’s compatibility with IE. Whatever the reason, ever since installing IE7 on a Dell Inspiron 9400 the images in Internet Explorer have been pixelated. The text renders smoothly but not the images. Here’s the fix.

1. Close Internet Explorer and click “Start”.
2. Select “Run” and type in “regedit” without the quotes.
3. In the left hand column click on the plus sign next to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER”.
4. Do the same for Software, Microsoft, and Internet Explorer.
5. Click on “Main” and scroll down on the right side of the window to “UseHR”.

Regedit UseHR

6. Right click on “UseHR” and select “Modify” then change the “value data” to a zero instead of a one.
7. Restart IE and enjoy the non-jagged, newly smoothed web!

Before:
Internet explorer jagged images
After:
Internet Explorer smooth images

Some people have reported not having the UseHR line in their registry.  Try doing a search in the registry for UseHR.  Follow steps 1 and 2 and then click on “Edit” and “Find”.  Then follow steps 6 and 7.

If the three above solutions did not work to fix your grainy images then you can try adding the UseHR value.   Follow the steps above through to where “UseHR” should be. Right click in the right pane of the regedit window. It should say “New.” Mouse over that and then click on “DWORD value” and then name it UseHR. Then follow the rest of the steps.

Please post a comment if these don’t work for you.  And if it does fix your problem I’d love a comment also!

75 Comments

  1. i just wrote this sweet comment but forgot to input my email address so i lost the comment [sigh]… all i can remember is i wrote something about somthing being “the next best thing since the 2400-bit/s modem”.

  2. Ben

    Thanks for the fix! Lord knows why Microsoft would make such a horrible-looking setting the default without allowing for an easy switch…

  3. Emel

    I,ve just tried the solution above but get stuck as i don’t appear to have the “UseHR” line.
    Any suggestions would be great.
    Thanks

  4. I’m sorry but i don’t see any other options that might fix it for you.

  5. Derrill

    Zieak, this fixed my problem. I wonder if you could point me towards more information … what is this setting, why is it broken on some computers and not others … even tell me what the right thing is to google so I can look it up myself :)

    Thanks very much for the fix, anyway.

  6. Emel: It turns out you can add the UseHR line to your registry. Drop another comment here if you need help doing that.

    Derrill: Microsoft has a pretty good writeup about it here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/author/dhtml/overview/highdpi.asp
    Essentially, the computers that are effected by this have such a good resolution that the images are sometimes too small for customers.

  7. Patchan

    Thank you!
    I had this problem on my IE6 from start.
    Apparently it is linked with a screen resolution too high.

  8. Jake

    That fix worked like a hot damn – thanks a million.

  9. Thank you so much for this fix. I’ve been going crazy trying to get my site to look right in IE because I’m building it in Mozilla, but I figure plenty of prospects will be browsing in IE. My worry now is that potential customers won’t be savvy enough to google up this fix and will think I’ve just got a shoddy site.

  10. For all you web developers out there, I wrote a ‘partial fix’ for this issue in JavaScript, so you don’t need to change your registry settings. Unfortunately JavaScript won’t resize background images, so it might not be the miracle you we’re looking for, but I hope it helps…

    http://www.leadingedgescripts.co.uk/highdpiinternetexplorer.php

  11. Thank you SO MUCH. All my stuff looked great in Firefox but crappy in IE and the pixelation was driving me crazy!! It finally looks good again.

  12. Karla

    Thanks for the help, guys. But still, my computer is lacking “UseHR” line. I need to some help locating it–this pixelating it driving me insane!

    Thanks!

  13. Karla,

    Get through to where “UseHR” should be. Right click in the right pane of the regedit window. It should say “New” mouse over that and then click on “DWORD value” and then name it UseHR. Then follow the rest of the steps. It should work.

  14. Debi

    I tried your fix and like some of the others I had to type in the USEHR into the window
    but it still didn’t fix my pixelized images. Any other ideas?

  15. morty

    thanks for the tips. this had bugged me for months.

  16. Mark

    Oh man, thank you a ton.

  17. Mike

    Hello…unfortunately I have tried everything from here, but my images are still the same…I even downloaded Firefox, no difference…I am getting mad…what to do???

  18. as common as this problem has been lately im surprised that it took me as long as it did to find a help topic that was actually related. this is awesome. thanks.

  19. Mark

    holy god you don;t know how long it’s been that i’ve been wanting a fix for this! and it actually worked to! probably one of the most helpful things i’ve ever seen. Thank god i no longer have to use mozilla! it’s ok but it slows my computer down SOOOO much!! and I’m on facebook and myspace and look at picture alot!! thanks! this worked so good!!!!

  20. You’re welcome Mark. With Firefox if you close the program down every few hours it will stop that runaway bloat. You might need to stop the process with control-alt-delete. Perhaps i should see if there is a good solution for that problem too!

  21. sheera

    Thanks so much for the fix, you’ve saved my sanity!

  22. yan

    Microsoft — why must you make us suffer?! Make this the default for god’s sake.

  23. Maggie

    hi, Ryan… thanks for sharing this info! I was hoping it would help me with the pixlated images on our browser, but when I clicked on the plus sign near Hikey-Current- User , there was no “Main” to click on.

    Any more advice ?? thanks !!!

  24. Yong

    Thank you so much. This problem bothered me a lot with my new laptop. Thanks!!!

  25. Thanx. Now my laptop works!

  26. Dianna

    help please! i tried adding the usehr thing because i didnt have it but it didnt make a difference, i dont get it…my laptop was fine before. im also having problems uploading to myspace but help with the pixelating please

  27. Dianna,

    Your laptop was fine before what? It is possible you may have an entirely different problem.

  28. Dianna

    the images on my internet service (ie) were fine before i installed ie7 im not sure when it was that the images became pixelated. i tried adding the UseHR thing and my computer crashed, i would get messages saying i had a corrupt profile because of the registry but i had it fixed already. still pixelated images, only on ie7 and mozilla. images on the actual computer are fine. i dont get it but its frstrating. help

  29. Sarah

    I still need help! I have done what you told me but on mozilla and ie the pictures are still blurred and pixelated! its driving me mad! All pics look fine on programmes not online like windows media etc. but online they are blurry etc! CAN ANYONE HELP?!?! Sarah

  30. Steven

    I’m having the same pixelated image issues. Mine just started yesterday out of the blue. I’ve done all of the fixes, including this one, that i have found online. dpi was already at 96… screen res is fine.. change usehr and no change……… about to lose my mind. This must be some type of virus…… has to be, why else would it just instantly begin to happen with no forwarning… but then again, why can i view previously loaded pictures with no problem, but newly downloaded pix and pix/graphics on websites are horrible.

  31. ARUN

    I am having this problem for few days. It struck without warning.
    It must be a virus attack which kaspersky or spyware doctor cannot find. Anybody can help?
    PROBLEM :Images are blurred( pixelated) in browser not harddisk images.

  32. Interesting problem that people are picking up. The problem isn’t taking place after an automatic windows update is it?

  33. DEEP

    Similar problem with my laptop since last 3 days. It was fine before that. It seems that Ryan may have a point there, it may be one of the automatic updates after which all hell is breaking loose. i am using IE7 and Vista .

  34. Brian Palmatier

    Same problem, fix worked for IE, but I still need a fix for Firefox.

    BR

  35. Brian Palmatier

    Checked again, fix did NOT work for IE, and still nothing for Mozilla.

  36. Hey This is brilliant. Thanks a bunch. It worked beautifully for my new Dell Latitude. I thought something was wrong w/ my Dell. I am still battling w/ pixelated icons all over the place. Would you happen to know if there is a solution for that? I am kind of annoyed that Dell sells these computer not optimally configured for usage and you have to waste your time trying to find a fix.

    Thanks again,
    Amir

  37. Steve

    Thank You VERY much, I have been looking for this for a long time.
    I do not understand why it is not set as default like that!!

  38. hamu

    encountered the same problem – images on my IE7 are blurred( pixelated) and it happen a couple of days back… guess it might be due to the window updates =(

  39. Amit

    same problem, i don’t even have usehr tab under main (as you suggested above

  40. Nicola

    Tried your fix, still having the same problem. Just appeared overnight and driving me crazy. Using a 1 yr old HP pavillion dv9016. Didn’t have the UseHR, set it up, tried it as 0 and 1. Anyone else have any ideas??

  41. phunt4

    thank you SOOOO much that wuz drivin me CRAZY! ur a genius

  42. Jyrki Heinonen

    Thank you very much. Had this problem on my laptop, that was installed from highly modified company policy image… I’m starting to appreciate the default settings in Windows XP/Vista!

  43. Mark

    Thank you thank you thank you… This had been driving me crazy!!!

  44. Scott

    For those who can’t find the UseHR key — you’re probably looking UNDER “Main” instead of clicking on Main and looking into the Window on the right. To find UseHR, you need to click on “Main” and then look in the list in the window to the right. Scroll down until you see “UseHR” in the list, near the bottom. Right click the UseHR, select “Modify,” then change the value to “0″.

  45. Pete

    I’m with a growing majority of others, my display was fine up until a short while ago and now both IE7 and forefox display bad graphic resolutions – looks like i’m running in 8bit colour or something! Unfortunately the UseHR didn’t work. Got any other ideas?

  46. jblamber

    This is great. This has been bugging me for a LONG LONG LONG time. Worked flawlessly. Awesome

  47. Abhinav

    Sir, I was facing the problem of blurred images in internet explorer and mozilla both. i did tried this solution of “regedit” and tried searching for USE_HR in main. but to my surprise it was missing from the place, now what to do.

  48. Arjun

    Hey guys, same issue in here…… is it a virus? is it a windows update? none seems to know….. and the fix too did not work…. so i guess that applies to a selected set of laptops…….. for the others less nobles of us…… wat is it that we must do? any solutions people?

  49. Matt

    Thanks for this fix. I tried for a while, and didn’t think about googling for a fix.

  50. Abhinav Bhiwani

    this is a ral nice solution. But the main issue with me was that there is no USEHR line. I have even tried by creating a new line by opening a new reg. edit file DWORD value. its still not working. i’m using Dell Latitude D510 and have each and every driver installed in it. Kindly help me out.

  51. Stevie Whitt

    Hiya Ziek, I tried all of the above and still no joy. I have just bought this laptop yesterday and the graphics have been pixelated from the start. I’m quite dissapointed as I sold my desktop to buy it and now my web experience has diminished. I’ll keep trying all sources to see what I can find. Thanks anyway!

  52. Pat

    Hi
    Is this right?:
    If you have a high resolution screen, a lot of stuff in XP is too small to be easily seen. You enable 120dpi (for example)in Display Properties’ Advanced settings which enlarges stuff except for images. You enable (or add) the High Resolution registry setting:
    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
    “UseHR”=dword:00000001
    and that enlarges the images. BUT because of a flaw in the image resizing algorithm often this resizing will result in a jagged image in IE7. You can often stop this by changing the zoom (in and out)on each web page but that is a pain. So, what seems like a very good idea (and is implemented by some manufacturers in their hi-res monitor setup files) actually gives you jagged (but larger) images. Is there a solution to this or are we stuck with having to choose between tiny stuff or jagged images in IE7?
    Note:
    You can make a registry file to change the HR setting to on or off by copying my text and pasting it into a .txt notepad text file. Then change the filename from something.txt to something.reg. Double click the file and it will enter/change the registy setting. This is the turn-off to remove jaggies caused as above:
    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
    “UseHR”=dword:00000000

    That works on XP Home & Pro SP3 for me but if it causes your computer to explode… Unlucky!

    Can you show sensibly resized stuff on Vista without jaggies?

  53. a

    THANK YOU!!!!! this fixed the problem!

  54. Dave

    See if you have \Slipstream Accelerator installed\ If so change the properties for image viewing. I tried all the above and realized this goofy program was running in the tray. Not my computer so I don’t know where the program came from. You can also disable the file. The person who had the computer was on a dial up connection so it was great for her.

  55. kumar

    I have a problem that runs the other way round,
    I built my website in MIcrosoft publisher and it works fine with IE but with mozilla the pictures and the text gets pixelated and the website looks trashy.Is there a way to fix it?

  56. kumar

    I have built my website in Microsoft Publisher and it works fine with IE but in mozilla the pictures and the text get pixelated.Can anybody help me with this?

  57. Steve Hollasch

    This is a hacked attempt to fix a nasty problem. A *lot* of web designers are very stubborn about expressing element sizes in pixels — something you should never do, since pixels come in all different sizes (and shapes). When you finally get to a decent resolution (I’d personally like to see 200+dpi), pixel-sized elements are a quarter the size of regular (100dpi) displays. Back in my Microsoft days, a small group of folks tried to sound the rally cry, but folks looked at us like we were crazy.

    The other problem, which also often forces people into the pixels-never-change-size camp, is that IE is horrible at image scaling. There was no excuse to do point-sampled image scaling in the mid 90′s, and it’s downright shameful in 2008.

    Instead of the UseHR hack, Microsoft should first $%#@!-slap the vast majority of web designers and their tools, and second, implement high-quality image re-scaling in browser windows.

  58. Mark

    Sweet, that totally worked. I thought it would be a long shot to google a solution for my problem, but I can finally enjoy non-pixelated images again. Thanks!

  59. stacie x

    just to let peeps know if you dont have usehr and add it yourself you have to restart comp to get it work as wasnt workin for me but turned comp on today and its perfect thank you tons dude

  60. Jamie B

    SWEET! I mostly use Firefox, but like you, occasionally have to use IE and have always been bothered by the pixelated images but too lazy to do anything about it. Thanks for the super easy fix!

  61. Haresh

    hey..i am struggling with the same issue to since last few days…

    i tried all the above solutions…but still not able to solve the issue…

    i changed dpi settings, also added UseHR in the directory
    .changed the figure to 0..but still no solution…

    kindly..help..i have a lenovo 9QQ..

    ever since i downloaded ie7 i am facing this problem..and worst part is that the case is still the same with firefox and chrome…so HELPP PLSSS

  62. stacie x

    well it worked since my last post but now my graphics gone back pixelated oh well pile of poo :(

  63. Brad

    Fixed my problem! I’m using Sprint’s EVDO and thought I was facing a server-side image compression issue, but it was just the DPI setting. Thanks for the tip!

  64. AARON KIM

    just today, my IE and MOZILLA got broke. The solutions above didn’t work. I’m so sad as to what happened with my IE and Mozilla. Any solutions besides that? please… Is this because of the updates? thnx a lot

  65. Yes, Aaron Kim, if both IE and Firefox change to pixelated images it probably was an update that was installed on your computer. Sounds like a universal setting. But if the things above didn’t work I don’t know where you should start.

  66. David N

    I have had this problem (in IE but not in FF) for at least a year. I had searched (with the wrong keywords) and asked around (to the wrong people), but I didn’t look too hard since I use FF almost exclusively. Finally, I had a job that couldn’t use FF and had one of the auto-resized pictures covering a critical button in IE, and so I became serious in my quest. I was used to the font size with the 120 DPI setting on my 1680×1050 resolution, but the UseHR registry change worked like a charm. I don’t have fuzzy pictures in IE anymore! Yay!!

  67. JerseyGuy

    Folks don’t forget about “Ctrl + middle mouse wheel” or if no mouse Ctrl and + or _ to adjust the zoom of the IE page!

    Also in the status bar, above the clock you should see a Magnify Glass. If it is not at 100% this can cause the issue.

    Also, by going down to 80 or 60% magnification will do the same as all the above tricks.

    My wifes Acer fried itself after 2 years so we had to borrow a friends Dell… She has become used to the High DPi settings so None of these options will work for me. If I fix the pixalation, she complains the fonts are too small…

    Someone told me Windows.com has a powertoy you can download to adjust font size… hope it works!

    Anything under max resolution on the Dell is a complete blur. Thank you dell for charging High end for low end monitors!

  68. Lee McFarland

    Top Marks 10/10

  69. TS

    windows 7 and IE8 does not show a ‘UseHR’ in the main registery, and even when adding it it did not work for me – anyone else have any ideas, or is it time to get an Apple?

  70. Jenna Johnson

    Not sure if this helps you, but I created a website in MS Publisher and it worked in Internet Explorer, but not in Firefox, and after several weeks of trying to find help and fix the prob, I came across this website that helped me a great deal: http://www.mspublishernotworkinginfirefox.com

    I was able to fix my site and it now works in IE and Firefox. Good luck!

  71. yuuki

    this does not work for me
    i have done about everything D:

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