Use Magnifier to make things on the screen easier to see

A group of people looking at a magnified computer screen

Using Magnifier on Windows 10

Magnifier makes part or all of your screen bigger so you can see words and images better. 

Expand any or all of the following sections to learn more about Magnifier. 

To quickly turn on Magnifier, press the Windows logo key  + Plus sign (+) . To turn off Magnifier, press the Windows logo key + Esc .  

If you prefer using a mouse, select  Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier > Turn on Magnifier.  

If you are using a mouse, select   Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier  and use the Change zoom level buttons to select how much Magnifier enlarges the screen when you turn it on.  

If you are using Narrator and a keyboard:  

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + Ctrl M  to open the Magnifier settings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Zoom out, button” or “Zoom in, button,” and press Spacebar to adjust the zoom level accordingly. Narrator announces the new value.

  3. Press  Shift + Tab or the Tab key to move between the buttons and adjust the value to your liking.

If you are using a mouse, select   Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier and open the Change zoom increments drop-down menu, and select how much the screen enlargement level changes when you zoom in and out with Magnifier.  

If you are using Narrator and a keyboard:  

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + Ctrl M  to open the Magnifier settings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Change zoom increments,” followed by the current value.

  3. Press  Alt + Down arrow key to open the menu, use the Up and Down arrow keys to find the zoom increment value you want to use, and press Enter to select it and close the menu.

If you know a computer will often be used by people with low vision, it may be helpful to have Magnifier turn on automatically.  

If you are using a mouse, select   Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier, and select or unselect the  Start Magnifier after sign-in and Start Magnifier before sign-in for everyone check boxes according to your preferences.  

If you are using Narrator and a keyboard:  

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + Ctrl M  to open the Magnifier settings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Start Magnifier after sign-in” or “Start Magnifier before sign in for everyone,” followed by “unchecked” or “checked.”

  3. Press  Spacebar to turn the selected option on or off.

Edge smoothing is something you should experiment with to see if smoothing works better for you than no smoothing.  

If you are using a mouse, select Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier and select or unselect the Smooth edges of images and text check box according to your preferences.  

If you are using Narrator and a keyboard:  

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + Ctrl M  to open the Magnifier settings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Smooth edges of images and text,” followed by “unchecked” or “checked.”

  3. Press Spacebar to turn the option on or off.

Inverted colors may reduce eye strain or make text more readable for some people.    

To invert screen colors while Magnifier is turned on, press Ctrl + Alt + I. Black color becomes white and vice versa, and other colors change to suit that.  

To return the colors to normal, press Ctrl + Alt + I again.  

  Use the following shortcuts to change between Magnifier views:  

  • To use the full screen view, press  Ctrl + Alt + F.

  • To use the docked view, press Ctrl + Alt + D.

  • To use the lens view, press Ctrl + Alt + L.

To cycle between the views, press Ctrl Alt M. You can use this to quickly compare the views and see which one works best for you in each situation.  

To temporarily show the entire screen when you are zoomed in, press Ctrl Alt Spacebar.  

Depending on how you navigate Windows, you may want to change the default Magnifier behavior so that it only follows the Narrator cursor, for example. These settings are something you should experiment with to see what works best for you.  

If you are using a mouse, select   Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier, and select or unselect the Mouse pointer, Keyboard focus, Text cursor, and Narrator cursor check boxes according to your preferences. These settings can be selected in any combination you like.  

If you are using Narrator and a keyboard:  

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + Ctrl M  to open the Magnifier settings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Mouse pointer,” “Keyboard focus,” “Text cursor” or “Narrator cursor,” followed by “unchecked” or “checked.”

  3. Press Spacebar to turn the selected option on or off.

If you are using a mouse, select  Start  > Settings >  Ease of Access > Magnifier, open the Keep the mouse pointer or Keep the text cursor drop-down menu, and select how Magnifier behaves when the mouse pointer or text cursor move around the screen. This is something you should experiment with to see which combination works best for you.  

If you are using Narrator and a keyboard:  

  1. Press the Windows logo key  + Ctrl M  to open the Magnifier settings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Keep the mouse pointer” or “Keep the text cursor,” followed by the current value.

  3. Press Alt + Down arrow key to open the menu, use the Up and Down arrow keys to find the pointer or cursor option you want to use, and press Enter to select it and close the menu.

To learn how Magnifier can read text from your screen aloud, refer to How to use Magnifier reading.

Here are some tips on how to use Magnifier with a touchscreen:

  • To zoom in and out, tap on the plus (+) and minus (-) symbols on the corners of the screen.

  • To move around the screen, drag along the borders of the screen in full screen view.

  • To instantly zoom out and see where you are on the screen, tap with one finger on opposite borders of the screen simultaneously.

  • To close Magnifier, tap the Close  button.

Open Magnifier settings

Magnifier is a useful tool that enlarges part-or all-of your screen so you can see the words and images better. It comes with a few different settings, so you can use it the way that suits you best.

Using Magnifier

You can open and close Magnifier quickly so it's handy when you need it and it's out of your way when you don't.

To open Magnifier using a keyboard

  1. Press Windows logo key  + "+" (plus sign).

  2. Magnifier will open in Full-screen view unless you change the settings.

To open Magnifier using touch or a mouse

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.

  2. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  3. Tap or click Ease of Access, tap or click Magnifier, and then move the slider under Magnifier to turn it on.

  4. Magnifier will open in Full-screen view unless you change the settings.

To close Magnifier

To exit Magnifier quickly, press the Windows logo key  + Esc. You can also tap or click the magnifying glass icon , and then tap or click the Close button on the Magnifier toolbar.

Notes: 

  • If you want to have Magnifier always at your fingertips, you can pin it to the Start screen or taskbar.               

  • Some people want to change the clarity or size of the words and images on the screen. If this is what you want to do, you can use the app to zoom in on a page or change your screen resolution. For more info about changing your screen resolution, see Get the best display on your monitor.

Changing Magnifier views

If you're using a mouse, you can use Magnifier in a few ways, depending on how you like to work: full-screen, lens, and docked. Try them all to find out which one you prefer.

  • Full-screen. In this view, your entire screen is magnified. You probably won't be able to see the whole screen at the same time when it's magnified, but as you move around the screen, you can see everything. If you have a touchscreen, Magnifier will display white borders around the edge of your screen. Drag your finger or mouse along the borders to move around the screen.

  • Lens. In this view, when you move around the screen, it's like moving a magnifying glass around.

  • Docked. Docked view works on the Windows desktop. In this view, a magnifier is docked to a portion of your screen. As you move around the screen, parts of the screen appear magnified in the docking area, even though the main part of the screen is unchanged.

Customizing Magnifier

You can change the way Magnifier works. For example, you can use the zoom buttons (Zoom in button  and  Zoom out button) to change how much Magnifier enlarges your screen. Pressing Windows  + Plus and Windows  + Minus on your keyboard is another quick way to zoom in and out. You can also open the Magnifier options button Magnifier options button  to change Magnifier.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter Magnifier in the search box, and then tap or click Magnifier.

  3. Go to the Windows Desktop and click the Magnifying glass .

  4. Click the Options button Magnifier options button.

  5. Do one or more of the following:

    • Use the slider to choose a zoom increment. The percentage you choose here will be the increment by which Magnifier enlarges the screen when you press the zoom in button Zoom in button.

    • Select the Turn on color inversion check box to reverse colors on the screen. Sometimes reversing colors makes text easier to read.

    • Select a check box to choose how Magnifier focuses. Magnifier can follow your mouse, the insertion point, or the keyboard.

Note:  When you open Magnifier, the Magnifier toolbar appears briefly. It quickly gets out of your way, but you can display it again by clicking the magnifying glass icon  on your screen or the Magnifier icon on the taskbar.

Using Magnifier with touch

You can use Magnifier with a touchscreen to perform a variety of tasks:

  • Zoom in and out by tapping on the corners.

  • Move around the screen by dragging along the borders.

  • Exit Magnifier by tapping the "X."

  • See where you are on the screen by tapping with two fingers on opposite borders.

Magnifier enlarges different parts of the screen and is part of the Ease of Access Center. To open it quickly, click Start, and then type Magnifier.

You can also change the screen resolution, which adjusts the clarity, size, and amount of things that fit on your computer monitor. To learn more about adjusting the screen resolution, see Getting the best display on your monitor.

Notes: 

  • If you want to have Magnifier at your fingertips, you can pin it to the taskbar.     

  • To exit Magnifier, press the Windows logo key Picture of the Windows logo key  + Esc.

There are three Magnifier modes:

  • Full-screen mode. In full-screen mode, your entire screen is magnified. Depending on the size of your screen and the zoom level you choose, you might not be able to see all of the screen at the same time.

  • Lens mode. In lens mode, the area around the mouse pointer is magnified. When you move the mouse pointer, the area of the screen that's magnified moves along with it.

  • Docked mode. In docked mode, only a portion of the screen is magnified, leaving the rest of your desktop unchanged. You can then control which area of the screen is magnified.

Note: Full-screen mode and lens mode are only available as part of the Aero experience. If your computer doesn't support Aero, or if you're not using an Aero theme, Magnifier will only work in docked mode.

Watch this video to learn how to make items on the screen appear bigger (1:56)

To make items on the screen appear bigger

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. On the Views menu, click the mode that you want to use.

  3. Move the pointer to the part of the screen that you want to magnify.

Notes: 

  • When you're using full-screen mode, you can quickly preview your entire desktop by clicking the Views menu, and then clicking Preview full screen.

  • For a list of keyboard shortcuts that you can use with Magnifier, see Keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. Click the Options button Magnifier options button, and then select the option that you want:

Option

Description

Follow the mouse pointer

Displays the area around the mouse pointer in the Magnifier window. When you select this option, you can choose to have the Magnifier window move when the mouse pointer approaches or when the mouse pointer hits the edge of the Magnifier window.

Follow the keyboard focus

Displays the area around the pointer when you press the Tab or arrow keys.

Have Magnifier follow the text insertion point

Displays the area around the text that you're typing.

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. Do one of the following:

To

Do this

Zoom in

Click Zoom inZoom in button  or press the Windows logo key Picture of the Windows logo key  + Plus sign

Zoom out

Click Zoom outZoom out button  or press the Windows logo key Picture of the Windows logo key  + Minus sign

The zoom increment determines how quickly Magnifier zooms in and out.

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. Click the Options button Magnifier options button, and then move the slider to adjust the zoom increment. Moving the slider to the left causes Magnifier to zoom slower, with smaller changes between zoom levels. Moving the slider to the right causes Magnifier to zoom faster, with larger changes between zoom levels.

When you're using lens mode, you can adjust the size of the Magnifier lens.

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. Click the Options button Magnifier options button, and then, under Magnifier Lens Size, move the sliders to adjust the size of the Magnifier lens. The lens size changes right away. Adjust the level until it's right for you.

Notes: 

  • You need to use lens mode for the lens size options to appear.

  • You can quickly change the lens size by pressing Ctrl + Alt + R, and then moving the pointer up and down to change the height, and left and right to change the width.

Turning on color inversion increases the contrast between items on your screen, which can help make your screen easier to see.

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. Click the Options button Magnifier options button, and then select the Turn on color inversion check box.

When you start using Magnifier, the Magnifier toolbar disappears to get out of your way, but you can display it again.

  1. Open Magnifier by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Magnifier.

  2. After Magnifier opens, click the magnifying glass icon on your screen  or click the magnifier icon on the taskbar.

See also

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