Make Text, Apps, And Other Items Bigger On Your Surface

text size

If you just got a new Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book, you are probably looking at the display in Desktop Mode and squinting your eyes. Everything looks tiny!


It’s because the native resolution for the new devices is a really high at 2736 x 1824 pixels! WOW! That’s fantastic because by cramming that many pixels in an inch, Microsoft achieved an amazingly crisp display but, the downside is that everything tends to appear tiny. And so, text, apps, icons and other things look very small – personally I think they are sometimes unreadable.

Even the slightly older (but still very capable) Surface Pro 3 also has the same problem with its 2160 x 1440 resolution screen.

So, how then can you adjust this, so you can actually easily see what on your screen?

Make Text, Apps, And Other Items Bigger: Changing Display Settings

  • Press and hold your finger (or right-click) anywhere on the Desktop
  • Select Display Settings from the menu

text, icons, and other items bigger

  • You will see a scroll bar on the right that allows you to change the size of text, apps, and other items. Slide it to the right to increase the size – default is 200%. I changed mine to 250% and I can now see things much better, especially the items in the Toolbar.

Make Text, Apps, And Other Items Bigger

Note: as you can see above, some apps will not respond to scaling changes until you log out.

Also, if you want to adjust your screen brightness, this screen is where you’ll find those settings.

Make Text, Apps, And Other Items Bigger: Only Adjust Some Items

If you decide that you don’t want to enlarge everything, you can change text size on certain items by scrolling down to the bottom of the display settings page and clicking on Advanced Display Settings.

From there, choose Advanced sizing of text and other items under Related settings.

Make Text, Apps, And Other Items Bigger

Here you can choose specific items and adjust their text size. You can change the text size for the following items individually:

  • Title bars
  • Menus
  • Message boxes
  • Palette titles
  • Icons
  • Tooltips

Make Text, Apps, And Other Items Bigger

The size is adjustable from 6 to 24 (9 is default) and you can make the items Bold by checking the adjacent box.

This is all pretty easy to do and well worth the couple of minutes to be able to see things better.

Of course, if you want to temporarily make portions of the screen bigger, use Magnifier – see my post Windows Magnifier.

Cheers and happy reading!


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