Magnify your computer screen: 6 ways to make it easier to see

Many computer users struggle to see the information on their monitors. Fortunately, easy remedies are at hand. Read on to discover ways to make your screen easier to see, including how to make the font bigger, magnify everything on your screen, increase icon size, and fine-tune screen resolution.

1. Get the best display on your monitor

Windows determines the best display settings for your PC based on your monitor. If you want to adjust your display settings, or if they were changed and you want to restore default settings, there are a few things you can try:

Note: You may need to restart your computer for the new settings to take effect.

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, many programs allow you to increase and decrease the size of on-screen text and graphics simply by pressing Ctrl while scrolling up and down. If you want to enlarge what you see in Internet Explorer but your mouse doesn’t have a scroll wheel, press Ctrl+Plus Sign (+); Ctrl+Minus Sign (-) shrinks what you see.

2. Customize your display

Changing the appearance of your on-screen environment can dramatically enhance readability. In Windows 8 and Windows 7, the Ease of Access Center can guide you through some basic display changes. In addition, certain Microsoft programs, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, allow you to choose text and background color, and Internet Explorer allows you to choose the colors and fonts in which webpages are displayed. In addition, the core Microsoft Office programs allow you to change or customize their default color scheme. High contrast schemes are typically easiest to read. Here’s how:

Switching fonts and font color may also improve readability. In Office 2013, you can change the font, font size, and font color from the ribbon on the Home tab. In Word, Ctrl+D also calls up font options. Experiment to find out which combinations work best for you.

3. Increase icon size

You can quickly make just the icons on your Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista desktop larger and easier to see.

  • Right-click the desktop, point to View, and then click Large Icons, Medium Icons, or Small Icons.
    You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to change the size of your desktop icons.
  • On the desktop, press Ctrl while you scroll up or down.

4. Use the Magnifier

You may have been using Windows for years and not realized it features a built-in Magnifier that works much like a magnifying glass does. You can even adjust the Magnifier zoom level and focus wherever you want to.

The Magnifier in Windows 8 includes full-screen and lens modes. Full-screen mode lets you magnify your entire screen and follow your mouse pointer. In lens mode, only the area around the mouse pointer is magnified. When you move the mouse pointer, the magnified area moves with it. To customize Magnifier settings or to exit Magnifier, click the magnifying-glass icon to see available options. Learn more:

5. Enlarge your mouse pointer

You can change the look of your mouse pointer so it is easier to find quickly on screen. Try selecting a new pointer style and changing the color and size of your mouse pointer.

6. Improve your screen resolution

Screen resolution impacts the clarity of the text and images on your screen. At higher resolutions, items appear sharper but they are smaller, so more items fit on the screen. At lower resolutions, fewer items fit on the screen but they are larger and easier to see. Whichever version of Windows you use, changing the screen resolution can make a big difference.