Friday, August 28, 2015

Photoshop CC 2015 Menus are Too Big: How to Fix Photoshop User Interface Scaling Issues

Updated in July 2017:  Apparently, this Photoshop sizing bug is still happening in Photoshop CC 2017 and Photoshop Creative Cloud 2017 edition.  So the post is still valid for the latest version of Photoshop that has screens that are too small.


When Adobe Creative Cloud upgraded my Photoshop CC to the latest version (2015) I started having issues that the user interface of Photoshop was too big. Simply put, the menus and icons were so big that they were in the way of the Photoshop image canvas and it made it very difficult to work.
Even on a 1920x1080P 22" monitor, I was not able to work in photoshop because the side menus and UI took up the majority of the screeen. This article explains how you can fix the photoshop menus from being so big and in the way.

 Within Photoshop CC itself play around with a couple of settings including going to:
  1. Edit
  2. Preferences
  3. Interface
  4. Change "UI Scaling" to 100%
  5. Change "UI Font Size" to Medium.
  6. Hit Okay
  7. Close and restart Photoshop CC
  8. Your menus should now be smaller and higher resolution in Photoshop CC
If that did not make your Photoshop menus and icons fit the page properly, try changing the environment variables within your computer (not the photoshop software).  Note, this is particularly effective in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Below are the steps to set his environment variable in Windows 8.1 or Windows 10:

  1. Right click on "my computer" icon 
  2. Click properties, 
  3. Select Advanced System Settings or Advanced Tab (Based on your OS)
  4. Click on the "Environment Variables..." button. 
  5. Click New... button on System Variables section, You can also set this in User Variables section, if you would like to keep the change limited to current logged in user. 
  6. In the "New system variable" dialog, enter UI_SCALE_FACTOR in variable name field 
  7. Enter 1 in the Variable value field 
  8. Click OK

Hopefully one of the above set of instructions helped make sure that your Photoshop CC 2015 menus are not too big.


Craig Kelly said...

I love you Thank you so mush this was driving me NUTS!! You are AWESOME!!!

deepak sivan said...

thanks worked perfectly.thank you so much :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot, it totally worked.

Martin Gray said...

Thank you - this worked perfectly and I can now use the real estate of my larger screen.

Sarah Farran said...

I have the opposite problem, the menu is too SMALL! What can I do?

Sarah Farran said...

I have the opposite problem, the menu is too SMALL! What can I do?

ferret said...

Saved my sanity, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks William, this is good stuff. Photoshop had become quite unusable because of the bloated interface.

xVinnie said...

Thank you so much, I've been having trouble with this for the past few days! The first method worked wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you So MUCH!

Daniel Scott said...

The second solution with UI_SCALE_FACTOR worked for me for about a week and then randomly stopped. I tried deleting that system variable and then recreating it. Nothing. I've tried everything I can in the Photoshop UI preferences and nothing helps. The only thing that gets it right is in Windows 10 "Advanced Display Settings" and then under "Advanced sizing of text and other items." If I set the menu text to 6pts then it's the correctly scaled size in Photoshop. But then all my other apps have tiny tiny unreadable menus. Not a good solution.

I'm not sure what other folks set up is, but I'm running a 4K laptop with an external monitor that has 2560 x 1440. The 4K monitor scales fine. The secondary monitor (which is better for retouching) is the one having all the problems.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that simple instruction, the cloud updated to 2017 and it reminded me of the old 640x480 resolution. Now I am back on track.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!! Worked for me!

Phil Mobolo said...


Thank you.

I had search a hard time figuring out how to describe the issue for a successful Google search.


Anton said...

Great article many thanks!!

Anonymous said...

wow it works! thanks!

Crystal Cervantez-Tkac said...

yay! thank you!

Nic said...

OMG it worked. Thanks for saving my sanity!!!

Andy Heckathorne said...

BOOMSHAKALAKKA!!! thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, IT WORKED!! Apparently this has been an ongoing issue for some folks for years! Someone needs to post this in the correlating adobe forums to help everyone who wasn't lucky enough to find this post! AND THANK YOU AGAIN!!!