How to use the Magnifier in Windows 10

If you want to temporarily enlarge a portion of the screen in Windows 10, you can use the handy built-in Magnifier. It's one of the options you can use to make text, apps, and other items bigger in Windows 10. We'll show you how to use the Magnifier and share some tips to take advantage of it.

You can quickly open the Magnifier by using the keyboard shortcut Windows key with the plus sign (+) to zoom in and Windows key with minus sign (-) to zoom out. Use Windows key and Esc to exit the magnifier. You can use the Magnifier knowing just these three shortcuts, but there are actually a few more options.

View options

While you're zoomed in, click the magnifying glass icon to see more options. Tap or click Views to change the way you zoom in or out. Here are the three different modes:

Full screen – This is the default mode. A portion of your screen gets enlarged, and the zoomed view follows your mouse pointer. If you're using the touch screen, you can tap the plus or minus sign at the corners to zoom in or out. Tap the edges to move the view up, down, left, or right.

Lens – Instead of the whole screen zooming in, just a portion of your display gets bigger.

Docked – The magnified area stays in one location, no matter where your mouse pointer is. The dock appears on top by default, but you can snap to the other edges of your display or drag anywhere else in your screen.

Magnifier Windows 10

More settings

Tap or click the gear icon within the Magnifier app to see more options. There are additional settings like turning on color inversion, as well as tracking. If you're in Lens mode, you can change the lens size from this section. Use the sliders to increase or decrease the height and width of the lens.

Keyboard shortcuts

Sometimes keyboard shortcuts can get things done faster. Here are all the shortcuts related to the Magnifier:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Keyboard shortcutAction
Windows logo key + plus (+) or minus (-)Zoom in or out
Ctrl + Alt + SpacebarPreview the desktop in full-screen mode
Ctrl + Alt + DSwitch to docked mode
Ctrl + Alt + FSwitch to full-screen mode
Ctrl + Alt + IInvert colors
Ctrl + Alt + LSwitch to lens mode
Ctrl + Alt + RResize the lens
Ctrl+Alt+arrow keysPan in the direction of the arrow keys
Windows logo key + EscExit Magnifier

Do you use the Magnifier on your PC? Did you know about these additional settings? If you think this guide is helpful, we have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks page.

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.

14 Comments
  • I still wonder why they haven't taken the time to redesign all the elements to the new windows 10 style.
    It takes a lot of time, I know. But they have done it with Vista.
    But you know, there have been 2 operating systems in between 10 and that one.
  • Many of the applications still use old design. They could have easily changed the icons at least.
  • Don't use it but it's one of those things you will use at some point. Grateful for the article, simple, bite size, one topic and easy to read. Just keep them flowing.
  • Thanks! Have more how-to's coming
  • Interesting.  Didn't know this existed.  Although it is not new to Windows 10, I just tried it with Windows 7.  Looks like they added some more options since Windows 7.
  • Those Vista buttons!!! SCARY!!!
  • Are you guys planning on doing a How-To of the new OneNote app? I still have a hard time with it after getting used to the previous app for so long.
  • Yup, many things to come. We'll work on that soon though.
  • And on touch screens ?
  • This has been around for ages. I just it all the time.
  • I'm a Windows 7 user (and not upgrading to W10). I never new about this, so thanks.
  • Magnifier on Windows 10 seems to have a bug on Acer Aspire V5 ,the app sometimes fails to launch when i press the key combination.I have to restart the laptop so that i can reuse it.Terrible.
  • I am not sure if any one else noticed but on my  windows laptop which i upgraded to win 10  if i use two fingers to pinch in or out on the track pad any window will magnify . In fact i can even make the icons smaller than the native resolution. I discovered this purely by accident. Also if you alter a window and go to another  window it will remember the magnification you left it at. Can drive you crazy if you torget to zoom back to normal
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