Are the objects on your screen too small or too large? Although you can leave them be and strain your eyes, it’s simply not how an operating system is intended to be used. It’s the complete opposite – it should serve you, allowing you to tweak things so that fit your needs. Additionally, Windows has worked hard over the years to implement built-in Ease of Access options for those with sight problems. With that said, there’s simply no need to suffer any longer – it won’t take long, and won’t require advanced technical knowledge. Without further ado, here’s how to zoom in or zoom out on PC.
Quick Answer to Zoom In and Zoom Out on PC
To zoom in and out on a PC, hold down the “Ctrl” key and scroll up with the mouse wheel to zoom in or scroll down to zoom out. Alternatively, you can press “Ctrl” and “+” to zoom in, and “Ctrl” and “-” to zoom out. Pressing “Ctrl” and “0” will reset the zoom level to default.
Method 1. Adjust the monitor resolution on a PC
This isn’t a method that’s always possible, since the resolution on most PCs is configured automatically when you install GPU drivers. However, if you bought a new monitor and the text is too big, the resolution might be mismatched. Follow these steps to change the display resolution on PC:
- Right-click anywhere on the desktop except on icons or taskbar.
- Select Screen resolution (Windows 7, 8, 8.1) or Display settings (Windows 10)
- Find the Display resolution or the Resolution option.
- In the drop-down list, select the resolution with (Recommended) next to it. Alternatively, check the product description for your monitor/TV.
- Click on Keep changes when prompted.
Method 2. Zoom in or zoom out on PC by scrolling
This is a quick fix that works with icons on the desktop, as well as in many applications such as Skype, web browsers, or photo viewer apps. So, to increase or decrease the size of on-screen objects with a mouse scroll wheel, do this:
- Hold Ctrl while scrolling up to zoom in, and scrolling down to zoom out.
- To quickly reset the value to default, press Ctrl + 0 (zero).
Scrolling doesn’t work. What do I do?
It’s hard to be precise. After all, apps don’t always share the same interface. However, the majority of them have a View option in the menu at the top. For example, by clicking on View, then selecting Zoom from a drop-down list, you can magnify in or magnify out in Paint, Skype, Microsoft Office set of apps, etc. If that fails, check product documentation of the F.A.Q./knowledge base on the official website.
Method 3. Guide to magnify in or magnify out objects on PC with TouchPad
By this, we mainly mean notebooks with Windows 10 that have a TouchPad. Although many prefer to use a computer mouse even when traveling, sometimes that’s not possible. That’s why you can augment the size of objects on a PC with a TouchPad by doing this:
- To make objects larger, tap the TouchPad with 2 fingers, then move them apart.
- To make objects smaller, use 2 fingers that are spread apart to tap the TouchPad, then bring them together.
Method 4. Use the Magnifier tool to zoom in or zoom out on PC
Magnifier is a great built-in utility that is essential for those who have problems with sight. It’s also very simple to use daily. With that said, here’s how to utilize the Magnifier tool in Windows 10:
- Click the Start orb or press the Windows key. Search for ‘magnifier’ and click the Magnifier option that appears under Best match.
- Alternative. Press the Windows key and the + key to launch the Magnifier app.
- A small Magnifier window will pop-up. It might be zoomed to 200% by default.
- Click on the – and + buttons to zoom out or zoom in.
- By clicking on Views, you get three options in the drop-down menu:
- Full screen. The magnification of the entire display screen of your monitor is controlled by the percentage value.
- Lens. Only a rectangular area that follows your cursor is magnified in or magnified out, based on the percentage.
- Docked. Identical to the lens, except that the rectangular area is docked across the top portion of your display instead of following the cursor. You can still hover over things you need to be magnified.
- Tip. You can switch between 3 different views using these keyboard shortcuts:
- Cycle through views. Press Ctrl + Alt + M.
- Full screen. Press Ctrl + Alt + F.
- Lens. Press Ctrl + Alt + L
- Docked. Press Ctrl + Alt + D.
- By clicking on the cogwheel icon, you get additional settings such as starting Magnifier with Windows. Also, you can enable a floating icon of a magnifying glass. By clicking on it, you pull up the Magnifier window.
Does Magnifier exist in Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1/11?
Yes, and it’s accessed by searching the Start menu as well. Moreover, the app interface is identical.
Method 5. How to shrink and enlarge the object size on a PC
If you need to settle on a particular percentage value, here’s how to adjust the size of on-screen objects on a Windows 10 PC:
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard or click the Start orb in the bottom left corner.
- Search for ‘ease of access vision’ and click on Ease of Access vision settings when it appears.
- You now have two options:
- Drag the slider below Make text bigger to a value between 100% and 225% that looks good to you. Click on Apply to see PC-wide changes.
- Choose a value between 100% and 175% under Make everything bigger. If you have a secondary display, click on Change the size of apps and text on other displays
Method 6. Zoom in or zoom out on PC with a third-party application
What if you need to zoom in and out rapidly, on certain portions of the screen, or custom shapes? This is very common if you need to hold a presentation, both in person and virtually, or if you’re using a tablet PC to demonstrate something. Since there are no built-in methods, we recommend an application such as ZoomIt.
It’s reputable, lightweight, and easy to use, yet very feature-rich. If you decide to install it, it rests in the tray and awaits instructions. As a bonus, you don’t have to install it. The app is part of Windows Sysinternals, which is a Microsoft service that allows you to run various tools from the cloud. The download page also lists tens of keyboard shortcuts, most of which can be customized.
Method 7. Steps to zoom in or zoom out in a web browser on PC
This isn’t a Windows-specific set of steps, obviously. Many browsers are cross-platform or based on the same source code, such as Chromium, and thus share a similar interface. Most importantly, they share keyboard shortcuts. With that said, follow these steps to zoom in or zoom out in web browsers:
1. Is there a keyboard shortcut for zooming in/out in the browser?
Yes. In fact, there are two keyboard shortcuts for zooming in or zooming out in all browsers:
- Hold Ctrl and press the + key on your keyboard to zoom in, and the – key to zoom out.
- Use the mouse scroll wheel method described in the beginning.
2. Chromium-based browsers
By this, we mean browsers such as Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, new Microsoft Edge, etc. With that said, follow these steps to zoom out or zoom in browsers based on Chromium:
- Click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner.
- Find the Zoom option, and use + and – to magnify web pages.
- Tip. If you want to go back to the default value (100%) quickly, or zoom in/out once, then click on the Reset button in the pop-up window.
3. Mozilla Firefox
Do this to magnify webpages in or out in Mozilla Firefox:
- Click on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner.
- Use + and – buttons next to the Zoom option.
Q: Why am I unable to zoom in or out on my PC?
A: If you are unable to zoom on your PC, make sure your keyboard and mouse are working properly. Some applications may not support zooming, so check if the issue occurs across different programs.
Q: Can I zoom in on a specific area of my screen?
A: Yes, on Windows 10 and other versions like 11, 8, 8.1, and 7, you can use the Magnifier tool found in the Ease of Access settings to magnify specific areas of your screen.
Q: How can I return to the default zoom level quickly?
A: Press “Ctrl” and “0” simultaneously to reset your zoom level to default.
Q: What do I do if my screen is constantly zoomed in?
A: This could be due to a setting in your operating system or browser. Check your display settings and ensure the zoom/magnification option is set to 100%. If not, resetting it will fix the issue.
Q: Does the Ctrl + mouse wheel zoom method work on all applications?
A: This method works on most browsers and many other applications, but it may not work everywhere. Always check the specific application’s documentation for zoom instructions.
Q: Is there an alternative way to zoom in or out if I don’t have a mouse wheel?
A: Yes, you can press “Ctrl” and “+” to zoom in, and “Ctrl” and “-” to zoom out.