Is the Chromebook display screen too small for your liking? If it was a PC or Mac, the first recommendation would be to get a larger monitor. However, because the goal of Chromebooks is to be thin, lightweight, and small enough to be easily portable, that beats the point. You’re in luck, however, because Google has thought about this problem. They not only created both built-in ways to zoom in or out on both specific windows and the entire screen but also ship the operating system with a built-in utility that helps you fine-tune magnification. With that said, here’s how to zoom in or zoom out on Chromebook.
1. How to zoom in or zoom out the whole screen on Chromebook
This is a quick set of steps that work for most people, especially if the resolution is very high while the screen size is small, between 13″ and 15″. Keep in mind that, by doing this, you’re decreasing resolution to increase the size of everything on your screen. So, although unlikely on a Chromebook, some elements might not look as sharp. With that said, here are 2 ways to enlarge or shrink a screen on Chromebook:
1. Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom in or zoom out
Here are 3 quick keyboard shortcuts to make everything on the screen bigger or smaller:
- To make everything bigger, decrease your resolution by pressing Ctrl + Shift and + (Plus key).
- To make everything smaller, increase your resolution by pressing Ctrl + Shift and – (Minus key).
- Reset the resolution to default values by pressing Ctrl + Shift and 0 (zero).
2. Change the display resolution
Here’s how to alter the display resolution on Chromebook manually:
- Open the system tray menu in the bottom right corner or press Shift + Alt + S.
- Click the gears icon in the top right corner.
- Click on the Device tab in the sidebar on the left.
- Select Display.
- Use the Display size slider to increase or decrease resolution on Chromebook.
2. Shrink or enlarge certain windows on Chromebook
This applies to many other windows you launch on Chromebook. However, the most common practical application is the web browsers, Google Chrome primarily. To clarify, this allows you to magnify in or magnify out a window while keeping the rest unchanged. If you use a computer mouse with your Chromebook, try the first section of method 2 in our “how to zoom in or zoom out on PC” guide. If you aren’t, skip following the steps listed in method 7 right away.
Change the font size and type on webpages in Chromebook (Alternative)
The methods above zoom in or out all elements on the web page, including photos and videos. This might not be ideal on smaller notebook screens such as the one on a Chromebook. If you find the text hard to read, you can alter its display without affecting other elements. To do this, change the font type and size of Google Chrome webpages like this:
- In the top right corner, click the three-dot menu.
- Select Settings then, under Appearance, find the following options:
- Font size. Click the down arrow next to it, then select a size between Very small and Very large.
- Customize font. Select another font, and change its size while checking the previews below.
3. How to use the Magnifier tool on Chromebook?
Magnifier on Chromebook is an equivalent to Magnifier tool on Windows 10 or Zoom on Mac. In other words, it’s a built-in utility that only needs to be enabled to work. Additionally, it won’t cause on-screen elements to look less sharp, since you’re not changing the resolution. Here are 2 main ways to utilize the Magnifier tool on Chromebook:
1. Use Fullscreen Magnifier to magnify your entire screen
First, you need to turn Fullscreen Magnifier on by following these steps:
- Press Alt + Shift + S on your keyboard.
- A menu pops up in the bottom right corner. Click or tap on the three-line (hamburger) menu or the gearbox/cogwheel icon.
- In the left sidebar, click on Advanced. When it expands, select Accessibility.
- Tap or click on Manage accessibility features.
- Under Display, tap or click on the toggle icon next to Enable fullscreen magnifier.
- Configure the magnification value by clicking on the down arrow next to the Fullscreen zoom level below. In our experience, 2x or 4x are both great starting points.
- Tap and hold with two fingers, then move around the screen.
Are there any Fullscreen Magnifier keyboard shortcuts?
Yes, there are two shortcuts tied to the Fullscreen Magnifier on Chromebook:
- Press Ctrl + Alt together. While holding the keys down, use Up, Down, Right, and Left arrows to navigate the screen.
- Press Ctrl + Launcher key + M at the same time to launch Fullscreen Magnifier. Alternatively, you can use Ctrl + Search key + M to bring up the utility.
2. Use Docked Magnifier to magnify part of the screen
Start by enabling the Screen Magnification tool on Chromebook like this:
- Follow steps 1 through 4 for turning Fullscreen Magnifier on.
- Toggle Enable docked magnifier to on.
- Find the Docked zoom level and tap/click on the down arrow to set a default value. We recommend 2x or 4x once again.
- Move your cursor to see the parts you hover over magnified at the top of the screen.
Do Chromebook Docked Magnifier keyboard shortcuts exist?
Yes, there are four main keyboard shortcuts for Docked Magnifier on Chromebook:
- To open Docked Magnifier, press Ctrl + Search key + D or Ctrl + Launcher key + D.
- To zoom in, press the Ctrl + Alt + Brightness Up keys together. Also, you keep Ctrl + Alt pressed while dragging two fingers down simultaneously on the touchpad to “scroll” down.
- To zoom out, press the Ctrl + Alt + Brightness Down keys at the same time. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Alt together, then “scroll” up using two fingers on the touchpad.
- Use the Tab key to highlight items on the screen instead of hovering using a cursor, touchscreen, or touchpad.
4. Using a touch screen or touchpad to zoom in and out on Chromebook
The steps are identical, but the touch screen is superior to the touchpad. The reason is obvious – precision that comes with touching the on-screen elements you want to manipulate. Here’s how to utilize a touch screen on Chromebook to magnify or reduce the size of screen elements:
- To increase size. Tap on the part of the screen with two fingers. Without releasing the hold, spread your fingers apart until you reach the desired magnification.
- To decrease size. Tap the part of the screen with two fingers already spread apart. Slowly bring them together until you find an optimal zoom level.