How to Modify Text Size In Internet Explorer

You're not stuck with the browser's default text size

Searching internet, man's hands laptop keyboard, magnifying glass on screen
Dominik Pabis / Getty Images

Internet Explorer supports various customizations, including allowing users to control the size of a Web page's text. Change text size either temporarily using keyboard shortcuts, or change the default size of the text for all browser sessions.

Note that some Web pages have explicitly fixed the size of text, so these methods don't work to change it. If you try the methods here and your text is unchanged, use Internet Explorer's Accessibility options.

Temporarily Changing Text Size Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Most browsers, including Internet Explorer, support common keyboard shortcuts to increase or decrease the size of the text. These affect the current browser session only, in fact, if you open another tab in the browser, the text in that tab reverts to the default size.

  • To increase text size: Press Ctrl + (the plus sign) on Windows, or Cmd + on a Mac.
  • To decrease text size: Press Ctrl - (the minus sign) on Windows, or Cmd - on a Mac.

Note that these keyboard shortcuts actually zoom in or out, rather than increasing only the text size. This means that they increase the size not only of text but also images and other page elements.

Changing the Default Text Size

Use the menus to change the default size so that every browser session reflects the new size. Two toolbars provide text size settings: the command bar and the menu bar. The command bar is visible by default, while the menu bar is hidden by default.

Using the Command Toolbar

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

    Internet Explorer home
  2. Select the Page drop-down menu on the command toolbar.

    Internet Explorer page menu
  3. Then select the Text Size option.

  4. Choose from Largest, Larger, Medium (default), Smaller, or Smallest. The current selection displays a black dot.

    Internet Explorer text size via the page menu

Using the Menu Toolbar

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

  2. Press Alt to display the menu toolbar.

    Internet Explorer with the menu toolbar
  3. Then select View from the menu toolbar.

    Internet Explorer view menu
  4. Choose Text Size.

  5. The same options appear here as on the Page menu.

    Set the text size in Internet Explorer via the view menu

Using Accessibility Options to Control Text Size

Internet Explorer provides a range of accessibility options that can override a Web page's settings. Among these is a text size option.

  1. Open Settings by selecting the gear icon to the right of the browser and choosing Internet Options to open an options dialog.

    Internet Explorer settings menu
  2. Select Accessibility near the bottom of the window to open an Accessibility dialog.

    Internet Explorer options
  3. Tick the checkbox Ignore font sizes specified on web pages, then press OK.

    Internet Explorer accessibility options

Exit the options menu and return to your browser.

Zooming In or Out 

A zoom option is available in the same menus that have a text size option, i.e. the Page menu on the command toolbar and the View menu on the menu toolbar. This option is the same as using the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + and Ctrl - (or Cmd + and Cmd - on a Mac).