How to Zoom in or out on Windows or a Mac

Make your screen the right size for your eyes

Sometimes it's too hard to read the fine print on your computer screen. Whether you're using a MacBook or a Windows 10 PC, there are some quick and easy ways to zoom in on a portion of your screen, or to enlarge your entire screen.

Whether you're looking for a way to zoom in on a specific area, or would like your entire screen content to be enlarged, read on to learn how these features work.

Zooming in and out on a Mac

Here's where to increase text size on a Mac.

Increase Size in Apps

Increasing text size in many Mac apps can be done from the View menu (found along the top of the screen in the Menu Bar). Typically the feature will be called Zoom In along with a corresponding feature called Zoom Out. This will increase the size of everything within that window. You'll also notice, next to the menu commands, symbols that show you how to do right from the keyboard. In most apps, you'll use command++ and command+- to increase or decrease the text size respectively.

Increase Size in Finder

Technically an app like any other app, the Finder works a little differently when it comes to making text and icons bigger.

Open Finder, and Click View from the Menu Bar. At the bottom of the menu, select Show View Options. This will open a pop-up menu with an option to increase text size. Increase the number next to text size. The default is 12 and you can increase up to 16 points. There are other options you can increase, such as the size of the icons.

Configuring Mac Zoom Accessibility Settings

Screenshot of the zoom preferences page under Accessibility

If you need more assistance than just the text being a little bigger, you might need to delve into the Mac's accessibility settings. This enables you to increase the contents of the screen to a bigger scale as if a magnifying glass was placed over the screen.

You can find Apple's Zoom Accessibility functions by clicking Apple menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom

To zoom the entire screen, rather than a section, select,  Zoom Style > Fullscreen.

Or select Zoom Style > Picture in Picture. When using the Picture-in-Picture zoom, a magnifier lens is used, which you can customize within Zoom Settings under Options > Zoom Style.

Enable shortcuts for the Picture-in-Picture Zoom style by pressing Option+Command+8 to bring up a magnifying glass on the page.

Configuring Zoom Accessibility Magnifier for Windows

Screenshot of PC Windows 10 magnifier settings with magnifier set at 200%

Windows 10 also has accessibility features for Zoom with a magnifier, which can be found by clicking Start  > Settings  > Ease of Access  > Magnifier and use the toggle under Magnifier.

From here, you can select options:

  1. Fullscreen. 
  2. Lens View zooms a portion of the screen.
  3. Docked which leaves the Magnifier anchored to your screen, with portions of the screen magnified in the docking area, while the main part of the screen is unchanged.

If you want instant access to your magnifier when working on your PC, choose from these options to ensure the zoom feature is instantly accessible: 

  • Start Magnifier automatically after you sign in to your PC.
  • Turn on Magnifier for everyone before they sign in to your PC.
  • Change tracking options. Choose whether the Magnifier lens follows the mouse pointer, keyboard, the text insertion point, or the Narrator cursor.

You can also customize more zoom setting on your PC, including: 

  • Zoom level
  • Zoom level increment
  • Invert colors
  • Collapse to ​magnifying glass icon
  • Change the size of the lens.

Additionally, depending on your computer setup, you may also have a Display option to the left, a few options above Magnifier. Here you can set the size of apps and text, which can be very helpful if you're connecting a laptop to a second monitor.

Better Web Browsing

Screenshot of web browser drop down menu with Zoom highlighted to 200%

You also have the ability to quickly Zoom your web pages while surfing the internet. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Edge have built-in zoom features that let you enlarge the page.

To find this feature in Chrome and Firefox, click the Three Dots, or the Three Bars at the top right of the browser to find the pull-down menu and click the + to increase the zoom.  

You'll find Internet Explorer's Zoom features by clicking the Gear Icon in the upper right of the screen and click Zoom In

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download the newest version.

For Microsoft Edge, Click Ctrl++ to zoom in and Ctrl+- to zoom out. This quick trick works for Chrome as well.

No More Squinting!

Instead of trying to pull your monitor as close to you as possible, put these shortcut tips into actions to increase your zoom so you can see what's on the page.

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