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How to zoom in or out on a Chromebook

All the ways to make things appear smaller or bigger on your Chromebook.
By
March 8, 2022

Chromebooks come in all shapes and sizes and have many different screen resolutions. As such, the default text size, window size, and zoom may not be the best fit for everyone. Do you want to change the zoom on your Chromebook? Here’s how to zoom in and out on a Chromebook.

Read more: The best Chromebooks you can buy

QUICK ANSWER

To zoom in on a Chromebook, press Ctrl and the + (plus) keys simultaneously. To zoom out on a Chromebook, press Ctrl and the -- (minus/dash) keys at once. You can also use the pinch out/in gestures on the trackpad, use the settings to adjust scaling, or use the built-in magnifier tool.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to zoom in or out of a specific window using keyboard shortcuts

Samsung Chromebook 4 keyboard
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

To zoom in and out of a specific window on Chromebook, click the window and make sure it’s active. You can then move on to use the keyboard shortcuts.

To zoom in to the window, press Ctrl and the + (plus) keys simultaneously. To zoom out of the window, press Ctrl and the (minus/dash) keys simultaneously. You can reset the zoom to the default by pressing Ctrl and 0 (zero) at once.

Also see: How much should you spend on a Chromebook?

How to zoom in or out of a specific window using the trackpad

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 trackpad closeup
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Trackpad gestures on Chromebooks are the same as Windows ones, and you can use them to zoom in and out of a window on a Chromebook. To zoom in, move the cursor to the area you want to zoom in on. Pinch open, from the center to the diagonal edges of the trackpad, with two fingers.

To zoom out, pinch close, using two fingers from the diagonal edges of the trackpad to its center. Note that you can’t zoom out below the default 100% zoom using this method. You will only be able to zoom out using a trackpad if you have zoomed in over 100% beforehand.

Also see: Chromebook vs. laptop — Which one should you get?

Zooming in or out of a specific window using the menu settings

Google Chrome zoom options
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

This is a useful method for Google Chrome and other apps like Google Docs that open in Chrome. You can use the browser menu to zoom in and out of a specific window in Chrome.

Navigate to the page you want to zoom in or out of in Google Chrome. Click on the three-dot menu button at the top right, present on the toolbar. The dropdown menu will have a Zoom option, with the current zoom percentage showing, and a + and – symbol around it. To zoom in, press the + key and press the – key to zoom out.

Also see: How to install Chrome OS Flex

How to increase or decrease the desktop screen size

You can use the Settings app to change the size of the desktop, among other elements. This is similar to the text scaling feature we see on Windows and other operating systems, where you can set an apparent resolution so that things don’t look too small on high-pixel density screens. Follow these steps to increase or decrease the desktop screen size.

Open the Settings app on your Chromebook. Click the Devices tab in the left navigation pane. In the right pane, click Displays to open the display settings.

Chromebook settings display
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

There will be an option called Display size under the Built-in display section. Move the slider on the right towards Large to increase the screen size, and move it towards Small to decrease it.

Chromebook scaling settings
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Using the magnifying tool on a Chromebook

In addition to these methods, you can also use the magnifying tool built into the Accessibility options in Chromebooks. Open the Settings app on your Chromebook, and click on the Advanced tab in the left navigation pane. The Advanced menu will expand in the left pane. Click on the Accessibility tab. In the right pane, click Manage accessibility features.

Chromebook magnifying settings
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click on the toggle next to the Enable fullscreen magnifier option to use the full-screen magnifier. Alternatively, you can press the Ctrl + Search (or Launcher) + m keys on your keyboard. You can use Ctrl + Alt + Arrow keys to move the section of the screen that’s magnified.

Chromebook fullscreen magnifier
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Alternatively, you can use the docked magnifier, the toggle for which is available right below the fullscreen magnifier. To enable it, you can also press the Ctrl + Search (or Launcher) + d keys. The docked magnifier shows the magnified screen at the top of your display, and the rest of your display appears in the default size.

Chromebook docked mangnifier
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

You can flip the same toggles off or use the keyboard shortcuts again to turn off magnification.


Read more: Chromebook vs. iPad — Which is best for you?

FAQs

Why is my Chromebook zoomed in?

Your Chromebook could be zoomed in due to incorrect zoom or scaling settings, or because the magnifier tool is turned on. Try following the methods above to reduce the zoom to the default.