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How to make text, apps, and other items bigger in Windows 10

You can make the text and other things like icons larger in Windows 10. You can choose to resize everything in one fell swoop or temporarily resize with the Magnifier. You can also just change the text size for certain items without affecting anything else. We'll show you.

Resize everything

1. Right-click on desktop and select Display settings.

Desktop display settings

2. Use the slider to change the size of text, app, and other items. It might be set to 150% by default. Dragging the slider to right increases the size, while dragging it to the left decreases the size.

3. Tap or click the Apply button. A window pops up to let you know that signing out of Windows and signing back in is recommended.

Magnifier

If you want to temporarily enlarge a portion of the screen, use the built-in Magnifier. You can quickly open it by using the keyboard shortcut Windows key and the plus sign (+) to zoom in and minus sign (-) to zoom out. Use Windows key and Esc to exit the magnifier.

Change only the text size

If you don't want to change the size of everything on desktop, it's possible to just change the text size for these specific items:

  • Title bars
  • Menus
  • Message boxes
  • Palette titles
  • Icons
  • Tooltips

Here's how to do it:

1. Right-click on desktop and select Display settings.

2. Scroll down and tap or click Advanced display settings

3. Scroll down and tap or click Advanced sizing of text and other items

4. Select the item you want to change in the drop-down list and choose the text size. You also check the box to make it bold.

Windows 10 Display settings

Preference

It's great that we have these options available to change the size of text, apps, and other items in Windows 10, but we've mostly stayed with the default settings in our PC. Have you changed anything with your display settings? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

34 Comments
  • Thanx for the tip!!
  • Seems bigger
  • Seriously? People can't look this up on the official site, or in get started app?
  • They can't look it up if they don't even know it's an option. Also, when they do look it up, WindowsCentral probably wants to show up in the search results. That helps them bring in new visitors.
  • Bingo. Side note, writing these articles also makes us better at our jobs. It forces us to learn and try things ;)
  • here we go again
  • If you're so far above this question, why are you reading and responding to it? 
  • Cool, thanks.
  • Windows 10 handles this so much better than 8.1 did on multi-monitor systems. It's great to be able to set appropriate scaling for different size monitors and have it work. This is one of my favorite features of windows 10.
  • As someone who runs three monitors, amen!
  • So eversince i upgraded to Windows 10 i find all the fonts throughout the OS are very pixelated and i haven't been able to figure out what to do.  I have a extra widescreen 29 inch monitor  with a resolution of 2560x1080.    I've checked to make sure font smoothing and cleartext is on.  Anyone got any tips because i haven't been able to find any solutions yet.  
  • Have you confirmed that the monitors resolution is set correctly? I imagine it would look bad if it defaulted to 1920x1080 for some reason. Other than that, try downloading the latest video drivers from the manufacturer website.
  • I'll try getting the video drivers from manufacturer.  I was just using the ones Windows 10 installed.  
  • Is ClearType enabled?
  • Thats weird I did an upgrade with a 4k everything was auto adjusted correctly. Maybe the brand isn't being noticed by w10(edid-wise)
  • Very useful for smaller tablets such as the HP Stream 7.
  • still don't know how to change the space between icons on the desktop whitout messing up with the registry :/
  • Does this apply to text on Live Tiles and throughout all of the Metro/Modern UI elements? How about Mail, Maps, Groove, Weather and other core MS apps?  
  • More options needed, I refuse to use scaling as it has always caused issues,you can feel its still bad in 10, but the individual options are so lacking and scattered they're not worth using either. so I live with eye squint, and I'm only on 1920x1080. Perhaps I should just use a lower res for windows and the web.
  • I saw this as an option but thought it may have a negative effect on overall quality so ignores it. But.....like I have said before this week....these articles are not only helpful but also enlightening. Will use this on my SP3 for sure.....thanks again and just keep the articles flowing please, many of us are users and not techies/geeks. Cheers :)
  • So far for me 125% works best. But many apps just look too bad. I tried advanced sizing but not getting better results :( screen resolution is 1600x900
  • Yes, if there are any settings that can change the font size then let that be it. On my surface pro many element fonts are preposterously small, font size 9 and smaller. I can understand the need for this on a smartphone, but on a tablet as my desktop replacement I need and want to read comfortably. In many apps and dekstop app settings the base font size is 9. That's too small. It might be esthetically please but I'm increasing noticing that many developers are designing the smaller font size. My eyes are actuallly starting to hurt. The magnifying glass is a poor solution in my opinion. The 175% option helps, but it does change the layout of the live tiles dramatically. Also you could encounter an issue when changing orientation at this percentage. Webpages are still rendered to a smaller font in portrait orientation compared to landscape orientation. I hope they are bugs, but I'm affraid the rendering issue is here to stay. Looks sloppy. Something for windows feedback. Thus changing the size of elements and fonts is not without its peculiarities and inconsitent experience. Also the snapping of apps in multitasking in neat quadrants is somewhat different when changing the percentage to different from the recommended screen size. In desktop mode. I notice more overlapping of apps rather than neat 4 quadrant snapping. Probably restrictions due to resizing and rerendering limits. Looks sloppy. Also when changing between percentage size windows will not remember your advanced screen settings of font size changes. You have to manually reenter them. The advanced settings are limited to the desktop only. They do nothing for windows apps.
  • my biggest two problems with windows ten are: 1. no placeholder / smart files in onedrive folder 2. The fact that microsoft messed up touch and desktop use even more than in 8/8.1 before you could set your scale-level seperately for desktop and touch/metro environment. The biggest problem with windows 8 was that users were forced to switch between those two worlds all the time even if they didn't want to. With windows 10 it just got worse. Now everything is meshed together in one 'world' so I can't work in desktop mode with my native resolution without having way too small text and buttons in my touch based apps....  
  • They need to bring back 8.1 brightness slider. Action center 25% is terrible.
  • Life on multiple high resolution monitors is much better with Windows 10. One problem though: some Live Tiles' content scales according to the 'custom scale' value instead of just using the Live Tiles size. This means some broken Live Tiles when not using the recommended 'custom scaling' value. Alas! Hope they fix this soon, I quite miss the Weather Live Tile.      
  • I installed Windows 10 on a Lenovo T530 laptop today for the first time, took 3 reboots to get the display resizing to take, and then it looked pretty bad, so went back to standard 100%. Took another 2 reboots to get it to take. May be only me, but the display resizing method seems buggy.
  • In the last picture that Daniel provides you can click on custom scaling and tailor it a bit. Warning loss of live Tiles can occur! For instance when you set it to a 140% on a surface 3 its perfect! You end up with three tiers of windows instead of the moronic two. But you calendar tile dies along with your news tile. Mail apps loose some functions as well... it truly sucks that windows 10 can't truly scale things....
  • I can't change the size to more than 175% but this image shows 200% and some more room on the bar after that (which should mean it can get even bigger?). Can I change that? Is there ANY way to increase the size for me to more than 175%? I'm not kidding when I say I need it, I'm seriously straining my fingers trying to hit menu items on the right click bar without hand support (aka. pretty much anytime I'm using my comp as a tablet..)
  • I have just plugged in a second monitor to my PC, the resolution of both monitors are as recommended (1) is 1366 x 768 and the other (2) which is the main display is 1920 x 1080 - I would like to increase the size of the font, task bar icons etc on my main display (2) but when I follow the instructions above when I get to the "Change only the text size" I cannot select specific items this part is greyed out and I cant click on it.  Can anyone suggest why this might be? 
  • I have been resetting the text size as you show above, ever since I upgraded to Win10...however as easy as it is to do..as soon as I re boot...they revert to default size. Is there a way to make the changes permanent? Frustrated now!
  • I recently bought a small Asus Zenbook laptop.  Although most of the font appears the way it should in my programs, some pop-ups in various programs default to about a size 2 font!  For ex:  Join.me meetings are this way in the chat feature and TurboTax submit payment screens also do this. I had to pull out a physical magnifying glass to read the text it was soooooo tiny.  I can drag and enlarge the frame of these pop-up style messages but I cannot enlarge / zoom the text within the frame.  How do I fix this?  Using the instructions you gave above do not do the trick.
  • You mention the way to change the caracter sizes on windows 10. This information is totaly incorrect. 1) If you change the resonluton of the screen you are warned that it will effect the display which it does and also the windows display tablets do not change size either. So a waste of time and does not work. 2) If you try the other option (which I have tried many time), to change each of the different display fonts it does not work for the screen tablets. I have tried it many times, all the other options work but not the screen tablet option, you can put them up to 24 and they do not change. The screen Icon fonts do change but not the popup screen tablets. Also the top of the windows program items fonts are also too small and cannot be changed either. i.e. explorer although the display of the file listing on the drives, the fonts are ok and can be changed but the top lines of information giving you the various options in explorer are too small. This is so with all of the programming options in Windows 10    
  • 1) See my comment (roger-dodger)  these options do not work for the screen tablets fonts. Also Program header  fonts are too small as well.
  • I can't change the text size. how to fix this problem? please help me. screenshot link : http://i.imgur.com/kixFPde.png