How to Zoom Out or Zoom In on Mac (Macbook Pro, Air, iMac)

Having trouble zoom out the tiny details on your Mac’s screen? Or maybe your eyes aren’t what they used to be? Whatever, the reason, it seems that you are in need of the macOS’s screen zooming feature. This feature allows you to zoom out or zoom in on Mac screen. There are several ways of doing this depending on the type of Apple machine you are using.

See more: How to take a screenshot on Mac (The Complete Guide)

How to Zoom Out or Zoom In on Mac (3 Medthods)

Zoom in or Zoom out (iMac and Mac Pro)

If you are running Mac OS X on a Mac desktop system such as a Mac Pro or an iMac and using a “normal” keyboard and a mouse equipped with a mouse wheel. Simply press the [Control] key and hold, then proceed to scroll the mouse wheel up and down and you will see the entire screen zooming in and out, similar to the “software zoom” feature on a digital camera. To summarize, here are the desktop Mac zoom commands:

zoom in on Mac

  • Zoom out: Press the [Ctrl] key then scroll down the mouse wheel.
  • Zoom in: Press the [Ctrl] key the scroll up the mouse wheel.

Zooming in and out on a MacBook

You can also zoom your screen in or out when using a Mac Book Pro (or Air). This time, you won’t be using any mouse, so press and hold down the [Ctrl] key, then take two fingers on your trackpad and swipe upwards to zoom in or swipe downwards on your trackpad to zoom out the screen.

zoom in on Macbook

Some people prefer changing the text size in Firefox on a Mac Book by using the [Command] – to make the font smaller or [Command] + to make the font larger, but the aforementioned zoom-out/zoom-in approach is a lot easier.

Read also: How To Turn On The Three-Finger Drag on Mac

Using a magic mouse to zoom in and out

If you bought a magic mouse to use with your iMac, then it is easy to use it to zoom in or zoom out the screen just as you would with a scroll wheel. Simple press the [Control] key and hold, then slide your finger to the top or the mouse to zoom in or zoom out the screen contents.

Using the Preferences options

If any reason none of the above methods don’t work, then you need to take a look at the System Preferences in you Mac OS. In the latest versions of the OS (Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11 and possibly 10.8 and 10.7), it is a lot easier to accomplish this by simply looking for the word “zoom” inside the System Preferences dialog box.

zoom in on Mac

Next, go to the Accessibility option then check the checkbox that comes before “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom.”

zoom in on Mac

Once you enable this feature, you can now start using the zoom in/out features described above.

The process of activating this feature is a little different on older Mac OS X such as 10.6 and 10.5. Here are the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Open Preferences by clicking on the Apple icon in the menu bar

Step 2: Select the Mouse icon, in the subsequent panel, you will come across a setting that says, “Zoom using the scroll wheel while holding…”, then select what key you want to use to zoom in/out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I get my Mac’s screen to return to normal size?

Select your Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

Click on Displays.

You may choose between Default for display or Scaled here. The best resolution is recommended for text clarity and picture detail. The default setting is a good choice if you’re looking to create the sharpest text and finest images possible. Scaled lets you choose an optimal resolution based on your requirements.

My Mac is zoomed in too much. What should I do?

It’s a feature of Accessibility. Remove keyboard zoom or scroll wheel zoom from System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Zoom and shut off either/both options. To instantly remove the zoom, press command + option + 8 at the same time.

What’s the best way to unzoom my Mac mouse?

Simply press the [control] key and then slide your finger to the top or bottom of the mouse, and you can zoom in and out just as you would with a scrollwheel on a mouse.


There are also several ways to zoom out or zoom in on Mac . These include zoom style, which lets you choose between zooming the entire screen, or picture-by-picture, where you are given a window that acts like a magnifying glass to zoom any portion of the screen you select.

See more: How to Zoom In On PC

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