How to zoom in on a Windows PC in a web browser or app, or using its built-in Magnifier tool

If you need to get a closer look at details on your screen, knowing how to zoom in on a PC is key.

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If you need to get a closer look at details on your screen, knowing how to zoom in on a PC is key.
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Shutterstock

If you have trouble reading elements on the screen, Windows can help by zooming or enlarging the display.

There are a few ways to do this. Not only do many programs come with their own zoom control, but Windows has an accessibility tool called Magnifier, which you can use to zoom in on the entire desktop and all its content.

Here’s how to do it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Windows 10 Home (From $139.99 at Best Buy)

How to zoom in on a PC

How to zoom in on any web browser

No matter which browser you happen to use in Windows – Google Chrome, Firefox, or Edge, even Internet Explorer – the technique to zoom in on your browser window is the same.

1. Open the browser of your choice.

2. To zoom in and out with a keyboard shortcut, hold CTRL and press the + key to zoom in.

3. Hold CTRL and the – key to zoom out.

You can zoom in and out multiple levels. If you prefer, the Zoom command is usually also available in the browser’s menu.

  • In Firefox, click the three horizontal lines at the top right and then click the + and – beside Zoom.
  • In Chrome or Edge, click the three dots at the top right and then click the + and – beside Zoom.
  • In Internet Explorer, hold ALT to get the menu bar to appear, then click View, followed by Zoom.

You can zoom in on any browser window with a keyboard shortcut or the Zoom menu.

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You can zoom in on any browser window with a keyboard shortcut or the Zoom menu.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to zoom in on Windows using Magnifier

In the Start menu search box, type “Magnifier” and click the program when it appears in the search results.

Start the Magnifier app from the Start menu.

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Start the Magnifier app from the Start menu.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

The Magnifier starts with the desktop zoomed to 200 percent. You can find the Magnifier controls at the top left of the desktop (it can be initially disorienting to find your way around the desktop because of the magnification). Once you find the Magnifier, you can use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out.

You can also click the View menu and choose from these options:

  • Full Screen. The entire display is zoomed into the selected value.
  • Lens. Only a rectangular “lens” around your mouse pointer is zoomed, so you can move the mouse around the display to get a better look at whatever your mouse is hovering over.
  • Docked. The zoomed “lens” is docked to the top of the display rather than moving around with the mouse pointer. But the docked display shows wherever your mouse pointer is located at the current zoom level.

You can control the zoom level and style using the Magnifier app.

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You can control the zoom level and style using the Magnifier app.
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

To stop magnifying the screen, you can close the Magnifier program or press Windows + ESC.

Zooming in other apps

Many other apps have their own built-in zoom, so if you frequently need to enlarge text, you should look for this in the programs you commonly use.

Most apps that include this feature tend to locate it in the “View” menu. In Microsoft Word, for example, click “View” in the ribbon menu and then click the “Zoom” button in the ribbon.