Testing retina graphics on non-HiDPI displays

If you have OS X Lion installed, there’s a small trick that will allow you to switch to HiDPI resolution display modes. It doesn’t work on the MacBookAir because the screen is too small and the resolution will drop below the minimum required resolution for HiDPI. It works on a MacBook Pro but the maximum HiDPI resolution you can get is 720×450. However if you are on an iMac or have a display with higher resolutions, then this trick should do the trick.

How to enable HiDPI display modes in OS X Lion

  1. Make sure you are signed into your computer with an account that has administrative privileges.
  2. Launch the Terminal app located in your /Applications/Utitlities folder.
  3. Copy and paste the following command:
    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool YES
  4. When prompted, enter your password.
  5. Sign out of your account and sign back in.
  6. Done. HiDPI is activated and you can access these new resolutions in your Display Preferences.

The new HiDPI resolutions will display with (HiDPI). These is a cool app called Resolution Tab that allows you to fast switching between standard and HiDPI resolution display modes. Useful with OS Lion 10.8 since the ability to show displays in menu bar no longer exists.