How to Zoom the Entire Screen on Your Smartphone or Tablet

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Smartphones and tablets are great but sometimes the contents of the screen are just too small for old eyes like mine. The display of browsers and some apps can be enlarged with a two-finger spread but this gesture doesn’t work on everything. However, many devices have a setting that will allow you to zoom the whole screen, no matter what the contents. Here is how it works.

How to zoom the entire screen in iPads and iPhones

In iOS7 devices, you enable zooming this way:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap General→Accessibility→Zoom
  3. Switch Zoom to “On”
  4. Now you can turn Zoom on and off by double-tapping the screen with three fingers

To pan the screen while Zoom is on, swipe using three fingers.

To adjust the magnification level, double-tap with three fingers but continue to hold down your fingers after the second tap. Drag your fingers up to enlarge things or drag your fingers down to decrease the magnification.

How to zoom the entire screen in some Android devices

On Android devices, some things like browser pages can be enlarged with a double-tap or a two-finger spread gesture. Most recent devices with Android 4.2 and up also have a general zoom feature. The exact details of accessing it may vary, depending on the device. Here is one common procedure,

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap Accessibility→Magnification gestures
  • Turn the switch at the top of the screen to “On”
  • Now you can zoom the entire display by triple-tapping the screen with one finger
  • Another triple-tap will turn zoom off
  • You can pan with two fingers held down
  • You can change the magnification with a two-finger spread or pinch 

And there you have it - a little relief for the eyes.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Comments

The Jelly Bean Zoom accessibility feature helps with older eyes, but also TURNS OFF multiple other features.
Is anyone aware of a switch program configuration (e.g., tasker, power switch, etc.) with a:
FIRST switch position for turning zoom on -AND-
SECOND position for turning the other features back on while turning the zoom off?

Thanks, works great! As someone with their first smart phone...an iPhone 5C, which I love, these tips are invaluable. I can find a ga-zillion tips and ideas and apps out there, but to have this spot in Heaven testing, comparing and then showing me the results? Well, I am here to stay. I wouldn't mind more in the simplify your life and get your act together category. :-) A top notch appointments, notes, phone numbers, etc application or software that also is kind of cool and techie would be great. Thanks for all that all of you do.

A good tip Vic. Apparently users now need to remember gestures that are implemented differently for zooming or magnifying the screen on various OSes, including Windows 8.