How to Make Font Size Bigger or Smaller on Your Screen

When you encounter a screen with a font that's too small, you can easily adjust it with a few keyboard shortcuts or a setting in your browser or other part of your computer.

The method you use to make the text larger might depend on how long you want the text to be a different size or which program you're using.

The steps you need to take vary depending on your computer's operating system. Follow the steps below that apply to the OS you're using.

Keyboard Shortcut for Zoom

Some applications let you adjust the zoom level with your keyboard. This works in web browsers, Microsoft Office programs, and other software.

Windows

If you're using a PC, hold down the Ctrl key while tapping either + (to zoom up) or - (to zoom out). The plus and minus buttons are in the top-right corner of the main set of keys.

MacOS

The zoom function is similar on a Mac except that you'll use the Command key with + or -. Press and hold , near the bottom-left of the keyboard, and then use either of the zoom buttons to zoom in or out on your Mac.

If you also hold down Option, only the font size will change, not the size of images.

Windows Zoom Settings

Another way to change the font size on your Windows computer is through settings that affect the whole operating system. Doing this won't change the text size in all programs but it will make menus and other buttons easier to read.

These directions are different depending on the version of Windows you're using:

  1. Right-click the desktop and choose Display settings (Windows 10) or Personalize (Windows 8/7).

  2. In Windows 10, scroll down to the Scale and layout section and select the menu next to the text that says Change the size of text, apps, and other items.

    Windows 10 Scale and layout settings

    In Windows 8 and 7, select Display on the bottom left.

  3. In Windows 10, choose a zoom level.

    In Windows 8, adjust the slider to make text and other items larger or smaller. There's also a Change only the text size option at the bottom of this page that you can modify to make title bars, menus, icons, and other items larger or smaller.

    In Windows 7, choose a different zoom level, either Smaller, Medium, or Larger.

  4. If you ever need to reverse these steps, just return to the above settings and make the change there.

To temporarily make everything on the screen larger, including images, videos, menu items, text, etc., use the built-in Magnifier tool. One easy way to open Magnifier is by holding down the Windows button and then pressing + once, but you can also search for it in the Start menu.

Mac Zoom Settings

The best way to make text easier to read on your Mac is to adjust it within each app you're using.

For example, to make email text larger and easier to read in Mail, go to Mail > Preferences, choose Fonts & Colors, choose Select next to Message font, and then select a font size.

In Messages, go to Messages > Preferences > General, and then move the Text size slider to the right.

You can also change the font size for desktop icons by right-clicking the desktop and choosing Show View Options. Move the Icon size slider to the right, and choose Text size to pick a different text size.

To increase the size of items in the Finder and Mail sidebars, go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences > General, select Sidebar icon size, and then choose Large.

There's a zoom tool built-in to macOS that you can read more about in our How to Use Zoom on a Mac guide.

Something else you can try if the other methods aren't working to increase the font size on your Mac is to adjust your computer's screen resolution:

  1. From the main Apple menu, select System Preferences.

  2. Choose Displays and then Display.

  3. Select Scaled and then choose a lower resolution.

Browser Font Adjustment

Web browsers have built-in zoom settings, too, so that you can change the font size on just the one website you're on. This means each website can have its own custom zoom level. To do that, you can use the Ctrl or Command shortcut explained above.

However, a browser can also have a default zoom level set up so that each website displays larger text. Here's how to change the default font size level in various web browsers:

Firefox

Use the menu button at the top right to find Options. From there, adjust the Zoom setting from the Language and Appearance section. Optionally enable Zoom text only so that images don't zoom as well.

To define the default text size, adjust the Size option in the Fonts and Colors section.

Firefox font and zoom settings

Chrome

From the Chrome menu, choose Settings. Scroll down to Appearance and choose the menu next to Font size to make font bigger on every site you visit. You can also adjust the default page zoom so that everything on the page appears larger by default.

Chrome font size and page zoom options

Edge

Open the menu at the top right and choose Settings. Select the Appearance tab on the left and then adjust the Zoom level on the right. Font size lets you change the default font size for all web pages.

Edge zoom and font size settings

Safari

From the Safari menu, choose Preferences. Under the Websites tab, choose Page Zoom, and then choose a default zoom level from the right panel. Adjust the setting for When visiting other websites to change the font size for other sites.

Some websites are built in such a way that increasing the font size using your browser settings will drastically disrupt the way the page is displayed. On some websites, the text size won't change at all when you zoom in or out in your browser.