Ask the Tekspert: How do I make things on my computer screen bigger?

Senior-Planet-Amy-MikelLooking for computer help? Every week, our Tekspert answers one question about digital technology. Computers, phones, cameras, tablets… 

How do I make things on my computer screen bigger? I have trouble seeing what’s going on.

It’s generally very easy to customize the settings on a computer. To make text, icons and images on your screen easier to see, you might try learning about hidden tools like the Windows Magnifier, resizing icons on your screen or slowing down the speed of your mouse. Here’s how you can make these adjustments on a Microsoft computer running the Windows 7 operating system.

Resize Everything on the Screen

You can change the size of everything that you see on the screen by changing screen resolution. (Technically, what you are adjusting is the number of pixels per square inch displayed on the screen.) At higher resolution, items on your desktop appear sharper, but smaller. Setting your desktop to a lower resolution will increase the size of what you see on the screen. To do this, visit Microsoft’s step-by-step tutorial on changing screen resolution by clicking here.

Choose How Much of the Screen to Resize

You can use a program called Windows Magnifier to magnify the entire screen (this is different than adjusting screen resolution) or just a portion of the screen that you need to see more clearly. To learn how to use Magnifier, visit Microsoft’s step-by-step tutorial by clicking here.

Make Just the Icons Bigger

Resizing desktop icons is very quick and easy. From the desktop, right click your mouse and then select View > Large Icons.

Another way to resize desktop icons is to hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and then scroll the mouse wheel up or down. You’ll notice this trick also works when you are working with software like MS Word or when you are using the Internet.

Make Your Mouse Pointer Easier to Find

If you seem to have trouble finding the mouse pointer as it moves across your screen, you can try making the mouse pointer bigger or slowing down the speed of the mouse as it moves. You’ll find several tools for updating mouse settings in the same place.

Open Mouse Properties by clicking the Start button and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type “mouse” and then click Mouse. The Mouse Properties window will appear. Click on each tab to view the different mouse settings. For example, click on “Pointer Options” to increase or decrease the speed that the mouse moves across the screen.

Click on “Pointers” to increase or decrease the size of the mouse pointer. Under the “Scheme” menu, you’ll find different color and size schemes to pick from.


Keep in mind that when you change settings on a computer, the settings will remain that way. If you’re using a shared computer, it’s good etiquette to change the sizing settings back before you sign out so that you leave the computer the way you found it.

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