Perfect 1:1 Ratio FullScreen Res on iPad Pro


Before running this trick to get a perfectly scaled res on your iPad Pro and you are running Mac OS X 10.11, you’ll need to temporarily disable System Integrity Protection (SIP) by booting your Mac into Restore mode (Cmd-R) and run ‘csrutil disable’ from the Terminal.

Anyways, here is the trick.

Download SwitchResX, install the preference pane. Launch the SwitchResX preference pane and create a scaled resolution of 1366 x 1024. This is exactly half the screen res of the iPad pro’s retina display which ends up creating a very clear pixels at fullscreen. Only create a scaled res, otherwise you could wind up creating a screen refresh that is incorrect for your Mac’s display. You can also try 2048 x 1536 which is an average between the half res and fun res of the iPad display, but to me it is too squinty. You can go a step further and the scaled res to 2732 x 2048 but now we’re talking really tiny. But you have these three options to choose from. SwitchResX allows you to create 2 free scaled resolutions to try before buying the software for $15.

It would be great in the future if AstroPad Desktop could add these scaled resolutions for those who like to use AstroPad in Fullscreen mode. But until then, SwitchResX can do the job.

If you are running a RAID0 on El Capitan Mac OS X 10.11, you’ll have to backup and redo your system and install 10.11 on a non-raid disk. When I redid my system (which was RAID0 with twin SSDs), I had to copy the Mac OS X installer to my desktop, then it would allow it to install the restore partition which is needed to turn off System Integrity Protection. You can turn SIP back on after you’ve added your two favorite screen resolutions.

If you do not want to make a custom res, there are two 4:3 resolutions built into SwitchResX that may fit the bill. One is 1600x1200 which is a little larger than the iPad Pro’s screen at 100% and the other is 1344x1008 which is a little smaller than the iPad Pro’s screen at 100%. 100% is considered to be 1366 x 1024. It is retina display’s actual resolution divided by 2.

You can also try using Apple’s Display preference pane and while holding down the option key, select scaled and you should get 1600x1200 and 1344x1008 two scaled resolutions mentioned out of the box, but for minimum blurriness, 1366x1024 will be optimum and will require SwitchResX scaled res help.

If you somehow manage to get a blank screen because you did not use a scaled res in SwitchResX, you can reboot your system into safe mode by holding down the shift key and you can set your screen to a different its default resolution and reboot. If this does happen, you may have to repeat it twice.

Hope this helps someone. I love details and having a nice full screen that is not distorted or blurred is simply adds to the awesome goodness that AstroPad provides. Not that AstroPad at similar res’ are bad. 1366 x 1024 is just clearer. Feel free to experiment with other resolutions based on the iPad Pro’s pixel res. maybe a more HiDPI res for those who have really bad eyes!

This info is based on simple mathematics. Basically getting the pixels to fit in a perfect ratio where the dots are 1:1 and remain square on your iPad Pro. :slightly_smiling:

Resolution MacBook Pro 2013 Retina / iPad Pro
Astropad as only monitor with Mac Mini
Blank areas on iPad screen

This is great info, we will look more into it as well. Perhaps we can integrate some of this functionality in Astropad itself



That’s great. Today I was able to get HiDPI to work with Astropad with the 1366 x 1024 Scaled Resolution (with a Non-Retina Display, my display is a Thunderbolt 27" Monitor). Effectively displaying a Retina screen directly on AstroPad. The result is astonishing on both your Mac’s Display and on AstroPad itself.

I’ll try to explain the steps and your mileage might vary. When I have time, I will try repeating it on a fresh system.

  1. In the terminal HiDPI Mode on your Mac. Retina Macs may be able to skip this step, but I am not sure.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool true

  1. In terminal make sure SIP is off:

csrutil status

  1. If not, SwitchResX has a helper app to do so. Or you can reboot your Mac into hard disk recovery mode (cmd-R). note: Internet recovery mode will not work.

  2. In Recovery Mode launch Terminal in the apps menu and type in:

csrutil disable

  1. reboot your Mac

  2. Download trial of SwitchResX

  3. Install SwitchResX Preference pane.

  4. Open SwitchResX preference pane in System Preferences.

  5. Create a scaled resolution that is 1366 x 1024.

  • Duplicate that Resolution you just made. Change its resolution to 2x size: 2732 x 2048. Save Changes, Write System Settings and Reboot.

  • If all went well three resolutions should appear in SwitchResX MenuBar app: 2732 x 2048 4:3, 1366 x 1024 4:3, 1366 x 1024 HiDPI 4:3.

  • In SwitchesX menubar app, select 1366 x 1024 HiDPI 4:3 and set your AstroPad iPad app to FullScreen.


Another HiDPI res that you can try is 1600 x 1200 by creating at 1600 x 1200 and a 3200 x 2400 res.

If you just want to more screen real estate and don’t mind a little squinting you can use 2046 x 1536 which is a res in between that iPad’s native pixel res 2732 x 2048 and 1366 x 1024.

It’s really cool playing with HiDPI on the iPad. These scaled resolutions look great on a 20 to 27" inch display and look even better on the iPad Pro. They are crisp, clean and sharp.

To experiment with many resolutions at once, you will need a full license of SwitchResX. While is possible to create these resolutions without SRX, but they are a pain in the butt to make. If not careful, you can still mess up your system screen with SwitchResX and that’s why I only recommend custom scaled resolutions to be made.

Seeing is truly believing.


Thank you so much for figuring this out… the HiDPI settings looks FANTASTIC both on the iPad Pro and my monitor! This makes such a big difference in the user experience and is worth every second to make these settings work.


Awesome! I am glad someone found this useful.


Thanks Goodtime.

I am on Yosemite (10.10 - doesn’t have SIP), and I can’t for the life in me, get switch res x to “install” a custom resolution. I reboot, nothing happens, still says “Not installed” with 1366x1024. I have write permission to windows.plist.

Im running a Dell 4k screen @ HiDPI 2560x1440.

Not sure whats up, but hopefully this could get implementet into Astropad, since it would save a huge headache (like the one I have now).

But glad it works for you…


Thanks for the info.

Made the changes and even though my late 2013 iMac 27" shows the the resolutions 1366 x 1024 and 2732 x 2048 and works fine with them, I don’t have any HiDpi resolutions. I’m assuming my display doesn’t support that?


Did you enable HiDPI on your Mac? And do any other HiDPI resolutions show up on the SwitchResX Daemon Menu bar app?

In terminal type:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool true



Are you running a full version of SwitchResX or a trial? Trial can only install 2 resolutions. After that the next ones will not install. Full version, you can install as many as you want. If using full version make sure you serial # is legit.

Make sure you custom resolutions are scaled… Anything else will can cause a black screen.

In SwitchResX, when making scaled custom resolutions, try File -> Save settings.

And Display -> Write System settings.

Then reboot

If still not installed, contact SwitchResX maker. He usually responds in 24 hours.


Have it now but only after running
sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/ DisplayResolutionDisabled
as well.


It might be helpful to know what version of Mac OS X you are running or what versions you’ve upgraded your system from. I’ve seen this second command but many say it is not required. El Capitan does not show the second entry in the windowServer.plist file. The DisplayResolutionDisabled command itself doesn’t make sense to me as it does not have a value an assigned boolean value. It may be legacy from an older version of OS X, but I’m not 100% positive.


Got the Mac with Yosemite on it and upgraded to El Capitan. Done all the updates since.


Thanks Goodtime.

I tried all these, so I am taking it to SwitchResX.

Thanks for your suggestions, and hopefully I will get this working one way or the other :wink:


Am I understanding this correctly? Are both resolutions supposed to work - one on the imac and one on the ipad pro?

I was able to get everything installed and working. I can see the new 1366 HiDPI resolution in the app, but when I click it for my imac - it turns both the ipad and the imac into that resolution. Is that supposed to happen?

Is there a way to run two separate resolutions for the imac and the ipad pro? This way both screens are full screen and hi-res? I’m not sure if this is supposed to happen with SwitchRes or if I didn’t do something correctly.

Thanks in advance!


Am I the only one who thinks, that Astropad should do this on it’s own? It’s designed for Mac’s and especially for the large iPad Pro.
If you ask me, it is not normal, that the customer/User has to has to do all that stuff to get a crisp resolution…


I shared this knowledge to be a Tips and Trick and apologize that it is not the easiest trick to tackle.

The basic premise is to get the Parent Mac to match the retina Output resolution of the Client iPad Pro.

Because of new security added to El Capitan that Apple introduced. That is one hurdle that the user has to overcome is to boot up in harddisk recovery mode (Cmd-R at startup). And disable csrutil using the terminal.

Next two scaled resolutions on the Parent Mac’s screen need to be created within SwitchResX and are needed in order to make the third HiDPI Resolution for the Mac that will then Match the iPad Pro’s native resolution. The 12.9" iPad Pro res. is 2732x2048… it’s half res is 1366x1024… if you successfully create those to individual resolutions on your Mac with SwitchResX and save and reboot, you will have the third, coveted golden rule 1366x1024 HiDPI (Retina) resolution that you will select on your Mac using the SwitchResX Daemon (Menu Bar App). You will need to launch the Daemon from SwitchResX. Really there is not much ease to this trick and to get a SwitchResX HiDPI res. is documented on SwitchResX’s website. If you buy SwitchResX for $15, the author will reply to support emails.

I’ve detailed the resolutions several times on this board. When there is time, I’ll try to create a video of the steps involved for those that are still totally confused.

Once you know how to do it, it is really trivial. It would be great if Astropad could do it natively, but this is where its at today. Astropad would have to over come the same csrutil disabling to add custom scaled resolutions.

In order the make the Mac match the iPad Pro, a letterbox resolution is used, so you’ll get black bars on the left and right (unless your Mac screen is 4:3 ratio already) of your Mac, but you’ll get the full resolution experience on the 12.9" iPad Pro.

The other alternative is to use a portion of the Mac screen which SwitchResX already does. Remember that Macs are usually Widescreen and the iPad Pro is Letterbox. You could get a 20" Dell 4:3 Display that outputs at 1600x1200, it is not as clean as native iPad Pro res, but it comes close.

Read entire thread and search the forums here for more info. You should be able to get this to work without a hitch.


This is very interesting, i’ll have to check this out. Thanks :slight_smile:


Hi … nice info! … sorry if this is kind of dumb question … but this can work on "non retina " macbooks pro too ?


Yes it will work on any Mac. Retina and Non-Retina.