How to zoom out on a laptop


A laptop offers users flexibility and convenience, but sometimes, there's a need to zoom out of a particular screen or application to get a better view or access additional features. Zooming in or out refers to the process of changing the size of display elements on a computer, increasing or decreasing their appearance without altering their actual dimensions. Zooming out is especially beneficial for laptop users who work on smaller screens, enabling them to view more content without scrolling or utilize multiple more efficiently.

In this article, we will discuss various devices and methods to zoom out on a laptop, ranging from using touchpad gestures to keyboard shortcuts, built-in , and even specific application settings.

Zooming Out Using a Laptop's Touchpad

Many modern come with touchpads that support gestures or multi-finger actions, making it easier to zoom in and out.

First, ensure that touchpad gestures are enabled on your laptop. You can do this by opening your computer's settings or control panel, then locating the touchpad and enabling gestures if they are not already active.

One popular method for zooming out is the two-finger pinch gesture, which involves placing two fingers on the touchpad and moving them apart or together to zoom in or out, respectively. In some cases, you may have to change the touchpad settings to enable better control over zooming or to adjust the sensitivity of the gestures.

Zooming Out Using a Laptop's Keyboard

Another method for zooming out on a laptop is using keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts will vary depending on whether you are using a Windows or laptop, but they typically involve combinations of the “Ctrl” or “Cmd” keys with “+” or “-” keys.

In addition to standard shortcuts, some laptops may support zooming through the Function (Fn) key, usually combined with designated keys for zooming in or out. Meanwhile, you can also customize keyboard shortcuts in settings or through third-party applications for more personalized control.

Zooming Out Using a Laptop's Built-in Software

Both Windows and macOS systems have built-in software to help users zoom in and out more efficiently.

For Windows users, the Magnifier tool can be activated through settings or by pressing the “Win” key and “+” or “-“. Once active, users can zoom out using the Magnifier toolbar, and fine-tune their zoom control through settings.

On macOS, the Zoom feature can be enabled through the Accessibility settings. With this feature active, users can zoom in and out using keyboard shortcuts or scroll gestures on the touchpad. Settings customization further enhances control over the Zoom function.

Zooming Out in Specific Applications and Browsers

Some applications and browsers have distinct methods or shortcuts for zooming out.

Popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge usually support zooming through keyboard shortcuts or menu options. Meanwhile, PDF readers like Adobe Acrobat and Foxit Reader and image editing applications like Photoshop and GIMP have their unique zoom controls, which may involve toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, or even scroll bars.

Troubleshooting Zooming Out Issues on a Laptop

If you encounter difficulties zooming out on your laptop, try restarting your computer or checking for updates to your touchpad drivers. You should also ensure that no software conflicts are causing the issue, and if necessary, reset the settings of the affected application or browser.

Tips for Maintaining Eye Health While Using a Laptop

Using appropriate zoom levels is essential for maintaining eye health when working on a laptop. One popular tip is the 20-20-20 rule, which recommends looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes while working on a screen. Adjusting screen brightness and contrast can also enhance readability and reduce eye strain.


Zooming out on a laptop can make a significant difference in user experience, especially for those working on smaller screens. Explore the various methods for zooming out, such as touchpad gestures, keyboard shortcuts, or built-in software, and find the one that works best for you. Additionally, make sure to practice good digital eye health habits to protect your vision while using a laptop.


1. How can I zoom out on my laptop without a touchpad?
You can use keyboard shortcuts, built-in software like Windows Magnifier or macOS Zoom, or application-specific zoom controls to zoom out without using a touchpad.

2. Can I disable touchpad gestures if they interfere with my typing?
Yes, you can disable touchpad gestures through settings or control panel, depending on your laptop model and operating system.

3. Do all laptops support zooming out using touchpad gestures?
Not all laptops may support touchpad gestures for zooming, dependent on their touchpad hardware and settings.

4. Why can't I zoom out on my laptop's screen?
If you are unable to zoom out, consider checking touchpad gestures, keyboard shortcuts, and built-in software settings. If these do not work, you may need to troubleshoot your laptop, update drivers, or look for conflicting software.

5. How do I zoom out on a laptop when using a browser?
You can typically zoom out using keyboard shortcuts, menus, or touchpad gestures, depending on the browser you are using.

6. Can I customize keyboard shortcuts for zooming out on my laptop?
Yes, you can customize keyboard shortcuts for zooming out through settings or third-party applications.

7. What is the 20-20-20 rule for digital eye health?
The 20-20-20 rule involves looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes while working on a screen to minimize eye strain.

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Tracy C.
Tracy C.

Hi! I'm Tracy and I am the owner of this little website. I build it as a resource center to troubleshoot common tech, hardware and software issues.

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