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How To Turn On and Use Magnifier on Windows 11

If you struggle to read small things on your screen, Windows 11 has a built-in tool called Magnifier that magnifies (zoom-in) the screen to make things easier to see and read. This quick little tutorial shows you how to turn on magnifier on Windows 11 and customize its various settings such as the zoom level, zoom increment, magnification view, colors, and more to get the most out of the Windows 11 magnifier tool and make everything on the screen easier to read. Let’s get started.

How to turn on Magnifier on Windows 11

To use Magnifier on Windows 11 you must first turn it on. Follow the below-provided steps to enable Magnifier on Windows 11.

Step 1: Open Settings with Win + I keyboard shortcut.

Step 2: Go to the Accessibility tab on the sidebar of the Settings window.

open accessibility settings on Windows 11

Step 3: Click on the Magnifier option.

open magnifier settings Windows 11

Step 4: Toggle the Magnifier option to ON to enable Windows 11 Magnifier tool.

turn on zoom level on Windows 11

Once turned on, you can start using it. By default, the magnifier tool magnifies your screen by 200% and you can also see a small toolbar from where you can control the zoom level and activate Narrator to read on-screen text. For instance, if the zoom level is too high, press the “-” icon and vice versa. When the screen is zoomed in, moving your mouse to the edge of the screen will move the screen in that direction.

Windows 11 Magnifier controls

If you want to customize the Magnifier tool, read the customization section below.

Windows 11 Magnifier Keyboard Shortcuts

Below is the list of keyboard shortcuts to open, close, and control the Windows 11 Magnifier tool.

  1. Open Magnifier: Win + + (Press the Windows key and the plus key together)
  2. Close Magnifier: Win + Esc (Press the Windows key and the Escape key together)
  3. Zoom In: Win + Plus (Press the Windows key and the plus key together)
  4. Zoom Out: Win + Minus (Press the Windows key and the minus key together)
  5. Switch to Full-Screen Mode: Ctrl + Alt + F (Press the Control, Alt, and F keys together)
  6. Switch to Lens Mode: Ctrl + Alt + L (Press the Control, Alt, and L keys together)
  7. Switch to Docked Mode: Ctrl + Alt + D (Press the Control, Alt, and D keys together)
  8. Activate Narrator: Ctrl + Alt + Enter (Press the Control, Alt, and Enter keys together)
  9. Pan Around the Screen: Use arrow keys to move the magnified view around the screen or move your mouse cursor to the edge of the screen.

Customize Windows 11 Magnifier

The magnifier tool has several options to control things such as the default zoom level, zoom increment, and more. If you want to customize the magnifier tool, read and change the settings listed below.

1. Change Magnifier Default Zoom Level

By default, Magnifier zooms in by 200% as soon as you turn it on. If this is too much or too little for you, you can change the default Magnifier zoom level. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Open settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Magnifier.
  3. Press the + or buttons next to Zoom Level to change the default zoom level.
change magnifier zoom level on Windows 11

2. Change Magnifier Zoom Increment

By default, Magnifier increments or decrements by 100% every time you change the zoom level. You can change this from the settings app.

  1. Open settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Magnifier.
  3. Expand the Zoom Level section.
  4. Select an increment level from the Zoom Increment dropdown.
change default zoom increment for magnifier on Windows 11

3. Change Magnifier View

By default, Magnifier zooms in the entire screen and you can navigate or pan around using the arrow keys or mouse cursor. If you want, you can also change the default magnifier view to Docked or Lens.

  1. Open settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Magnifier.
  3. Choose your preferred magnification mode from the View dropdown.

Magnifier view modes:

  • Docked: Selecting this option will show the magnified portion in a fixed window at the top or bottom. This mode is useful want both a zoomed-in view and an overall view of the screen at the same time.
  • Lens: Selecting this option will display a circular or rectangular lens that follows the movement of the mouse pointer and magnifies the content under the lens while still showing the surrounding area at normal size. This mode is helpful if you want to zoom into a specific area without losing sight of the rest of the screen
  • Full Screen (Default): Magnifies the entire screen. You can pan around using the arrow keys on your keyboard or mouse cursor.
change magnifier view mode on Windows 11

4. Invert Colors When Using Magnifier

To further improve what you see on the screen, you can invert colors and use high contrast when using Magnifier. Here’s how.

  1. Open settings.
  2. Go to the Accessibility > Magnifier page.
  3. Turn on the Invert Colors option.
enable magnifier invert colors on Windows 11

5. Turn on Smooth Edges of Images and Text When Using Magnifier

When using Magnifier, the on-screen text, and images might appear a bit blurry. To fix it, you must turn on the “Smooth edges of images and text” option. It will smooth the edges and sharpens them so that it is easier to see and read. Follow the steps provided below.

  1. Open settings.
  2. Go to the Accessibility > Magnifier page.
  3. Turn on the ‘Smooth edges of images and text‘ option.
enable smooth edges of text and images option

6. Activate Narrator Reading When Using Magnifier

Along with magnifying the screen, you can also activate narrator to read the on-screen when using Magnifier. For that, press the Ctrl + Alt + Enter shortcut or press the Play button in the Magnifier toolbar. This action will read the text currently in focus.

Windows 11 Magnifier - press play to activate narrator


As you can see, enabling and using the Magnifier tool on Windows 11 is quite easy. If you or someone else has visual impairments or needs assistance in reading on-screen text, using Magnifier will make things a lot easier. Additionally, learning the Magnifier keyboard shortcut will make activating, deactivating, and controlling the Magnifier tool easy.

I hope this small tutorial helped you in using Windows 11 Magnifier tool.

If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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