How to Change the Size of Print on the Screen

By Dave Kane

Updated September 28, 2017

Characters on a computer screen can be difficult to read, but can be enlarged.
i business woman lay on the red sofa with laptop image by Elena Vdovina from

If you're not a confident computer user, Windows may sometimes seem a bit daunting. It can also sometimes seem like a "one-size-fits-all" product, and you have to live with what you're given. Actually, under the hood, Windows provides a lot of flexibility to customize many of its capabilities. One that often crops up is how to change the size of the characters displayed by Windows, which is a reasonably straightforward process.

Click the Windows start button, which is the icon at the very bottom left of the screen, displaying the Windows symbol.

Select "Control Panel," then "Appearance and Personalization" and finally, select "Display."

Select a screen text size that you find suitable. Choose the option "Smaller -- 100% (default)" text size or the option "Medium -- 125%." In this case, 125 percent means that the text size on the screen will be 125 percent larger than the default size. In some cases, you can also choose the option "Larger -- 150%" for items on your screen.

Click "Select Custom Text Size (DPI)" in the left hand pane of the window (the last selection), if none of the options from step 4 result in a text size you require.

DPI stands for "dots per inch." If you select more "dots per inch," the text on your screen will be larger. The text will be smaller if you select fewer "dots per inch."

Click on the down arrow in the box next to "Scale to This Percentage of Normal Size." A drop-down menu appears, displaying more options. Choose a size you like. If the size still isn't what you want, continue to step 6.

Position your mouse pointer on the ruler visible below the text "Scale to This Percentage of Normal Size." The mouse pointer will turn into a hand symbol. Left-click on your mouse or mouse pad and drag the mouse pointer to the right to increase the size until it suits you. When you release the mouse button, the actual print size will display below the ruler, giving you an instant preview of the size you have selected.


You may have to restart your computer for the change to take effect.

This will only change the text size for things Windows displays, such as menus, icons and warning messages. If you need to change the text size for software you are using, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, you'll have to change that from within the software itself.


If you do select a new text size that is greater than the default size, you'll receive a warning that some items may not fit on your screen properly with this setting.