Modifying the Size of Items in Windows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2020)

When you first install Windows, it tries to cram as much info on the screen as it can at one time. This might make it difficult for you to see things, though. Fortunately, Windows allows you to adjust the size of what it displays.

If you are using Windows 7 or 8, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Hardware and Sound link.
  3. Under the Display heading, click the "Make Text and Other Items Larger or Smaller" link. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Setting display options in Windows 8.

  5. Near the top of the dialog box is a slider with the word "Smaller" at the left and "Larger" at the right. Drag the slider left or right to specify how large you want items to appear.
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Close the Control Panel.
  8. Restart your system.

You may have noticed that the slider control only gives you three levels at which items can be displayed. If you are using Windows 10 you have quite a bit more flexibility. Follow these steps:

  1. Type "Display Settings" (without the quote marks) in the search box at the left of the task bar and click Display Settings from the available options. Windows displays the Display tab of the Settings window.
  2. Click the Advanced Scaling Settings link under the Scale and Layout heading. Windows displays the Advanced Scaling Settings dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Advanced Scaling Settings dialog box.

You can then enter a custom scaling size between 100% and 500% in the box under the Custom Scaling heading. Even though Windows says, "not recommended," I've experienced no ill effects in using this feature of Windows.

When you've typed in the magnification level you want, click Apply to actually change the settings. Windows informs you that you need to log out and back in for the changes to take effect; you can choose to do so at this point or at a later time.

 This tip (2489) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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