Chromebook Zoomed in Too Far? Stuck? Can’t Zoom Out? Fix it Now.

Is your Chromebook zoomed in a lot more than usual? Can’t get it to zoom out?

Is the font size bigger? Are picture or videos cut off from the edges of the screen? Do you have to scroll like crazy just to read a paragraph?

Or is your entire desktop zoomed in? Your background picture, your menus, and even your folders.

This means your entire Chromebook has been zoomed in.

But…

Don’t worry. I’ve got a solution to your problem.

It’s because you zoomed your Chromebook’s zoom percentage in. Apps that are downloaded can also do the same, so it might not have been with your approval. You could’ve also accidentally done it by pressing a combination of keys or by pressing some buttons in the Chrome Browser.

It also applies to Chrome OS. You could’ve been messing around in the options or you could’ve pressed a keyboard shortcut that zoomed in your entire desktop.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Let’s just get your zoom aspect back to normal, shall we?

So, pick your solution below. This guide is split into two parts. I have methods to fix both scenarios:

  1. If your Chrome Web Browser is zoomed in
  2. If your entire Chromebook desktop is zoomed in

Ready? Let’s go…

 

How to zoom out of the Chrome Web Browser

Okay, so if your Chromebook’s desktop is normal, but your browser is zoomed in, here’s how to zoom out.

There are actually two methods, so you can do either one. If you’re not technically-inclined, I suggest the first method. It’s also faster.

Chrome browser zoom keyboard shortcuts.
You can use the keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out of the Chrome browser.

Method 1: Zoom in and out with a keyboard shortcut

Step 1: Open up Chrome Browser.

Step 2: Press “CTRL” and hold it.

Step 3: Press “+” to zoom in, or press “-” to zoom out.

 

Method 2: Control zoom percentage by the options submenu

Step 1: Open up Chrome Browser.

Step 2: Click the menu button (the three dots at the top-right).

Step 3: Look for the zoom options.

Step 4: Adjust it to your liking.

 

How to zoom out of Chrome OS

Okay, so if you’re zoomed into your Chromebook’s desktop, it’s a little more difficult to fix. It’s usually due to an extension you’ve installed, account preferences, or settings.

 

Adjust zoom level by the settings menu

First, go to your Chromebook’s settings by opening the Chrome Browser and typing the following in the address bar:

 

“chrome://settings” (without the quotations)

 

Scroll down to “Appearance” and look for the following fields:

  • Font size. You’ll want to change this if the text on your screen is too big. The default is “large.”
  • Page zoom. This is the default zoom level for all your web pages. If it’s too zoomed in, you can adjust this percentage. The default is “100%.”

After you’ve changed those settings, check out your desktop and other menus. Is it back to normal? If so, congrats.

If not, move onto the next step.

 

Check for apps or extensions that are attached to the browser

Next, we’ll check if it’s due to an extension attached to your Google Account.

Step 1: Log out of your Chromebook.

Step 2: At the login screen, choose to use it as a Guest (look at the bottom of the login screen).

Step 3: Log in as a Guest.

Step 4: Inspect the desktop, menus, etc.

Is it fixed? If so, your permanently zoomed desktop is due to a browser extension. Disable them all and turn them on one-by-one until you find the one that breaks your laptop.

If your Chromebook’s zoom level is still stuck, proceed to the next method and give it a go.

Reset Google Profile Settings

Reset Google Account to default settings.
Reset your Google Account settings to default to see if it fixes the problem.

This involves resetting your profile settings back to default. It’s very easy to do and won’t delete any of your personal data. However, like the name says, it’ll reset your preferences of your Google Account back to default, so you’ll have to redo them.

Step 1: Launch the Chrome Browser and type the following in the URL bar (again, without the quotes):

 

“chrome://settings/ResetProfileSettings” (you don’t have to use caps, I just did that so it’s easier for you to read.)

 

Step 2: A popup modal will appear. Click on the reset button. Your Google profile will be restored back to default settings and all your browser apps and extensions will be disabled.

Step 3: Restart your Chromebook.

Step 4: Log in to your Google Account.

Step 5: Check if everything’s back to normal. If it is, congrats.

Step 6: Set your profile settings back to your preferences.

If you’re still having problems, try the next technique.

 

Create a new Google Account

This method has been reported to work by some users, and it’s easy to try so why not?

Step 1: Go to Google.com.

Step 2: Create an account using the links at the top-right of the screen.

Step 3: Log out of your Chromebook using your main account (if applicable).

Step 4: Log into your Chromebook using your new account.

Step 5: Check out the zoom level. Is it fixed?

If you’ve restored the zoom back to normal, congrats. If not, go to the next step.

Powerwash your Chromebook

This will delete everything on your laptop and restore it back to factory conditions. You’ll have to backup all your personal data if you want to save it. But don’t worry. It’s not as scary as it sounds.

If you have an external hard drive, you can back up your stuff to it. All you need to do is save your local data. This is stuff like images, videos, music, files, and other media you have saved on your hard drive. It’s basically everything in your Downloads folder and any other custom folders you’ve created.

If you don’t have an external drive, SD card, or a USB drive, don’t worry. You can use a cloud service like Google Drive (which is free and has a special offer for new Chromebook owners). You can backup all your stuff to it, restore your laptop, and download it back into it.

Your apps, Google Account data, and everything else will remain untouched. That data is saved on Google’s servers, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Powerwashing is easy. I wrote a complete guide about the Powerwashing processes here. So check it out if you still can’t unzoom your Chromebook.

 

Is it fixed yet?

You should have a perfectly-zoomed Chromebook by now. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll see if I can help you out.

If this guide has helped you, consider telling a friend about it.

Thanks for reading.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).

37 thoughts on “Chromebook Zoomed in Too Far? Stuck? Can’t Zoom Out? Fix it Now.”

  1. i am playing Elvenar on the App on my Chrombook but its zoomed so much< how do i fix THAT!?? i have tried everything

    Reply
  2. My solution was in your comments- I don’t believe you addressed it in the actual article: Ctrl + Alt + 2 finger swipe. As easy as it was for my 6 year old to accidentally get it into this mode, it was extremely difficult to figure out how to get out of it.

    Reply
  3. it is nt anything on here it it is zoomed too much on the tab where you click new tab but thanks for the help anyway

    Reply
  4. I’ve tried everything in here but Powerwash. The problem I’m having is it’s zoomed out way too far. Everything. Even the top tabs and text on every site I go on. Please help.

    Reply
  5. I did all these steps, and when I logged in for the first time after power washing, the screen suddenly zoomed in again, all on its own. I power washed it 3 more times and it just keeps happening. Do you have any idea of what I should do next?

    Reply
      • Mine works ok in guest mode. But I can’t fix the main google account. I’ve power washed, reset settings, erased all extensions. Please help! I’m hoping to avoid a new account, as everything is saved to this account.

        Reply
  6. I had top tabs, bookmarks super sized, and the body below doesn’t fit the screen, I adjusted the resolution and it made my screen normal view and not oversized, but the top tabs, bookmarks part is now very small. Before, I tried just changing zoom, text and nothing worked and I did a powerwash nothing. Your resolution at least means I can read a paragraph and not move side to side, but now I have to squint to read the top part and sites I am on and the other pages that are pulled up too. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Hey deenterry,

      You’ve tried the zoom controls, correct? Pressing “CTRL + 0” should reset the zoom to 100%.

      What about going to “chrome://settings” and search for “zoom.” From there, you can adjust the zoom level. If the zoom is specific to Chrome, then it’s likely a Chrome setting. If you see your whole Chromebook’s UI is also zoomed, it may be a Chromebook UI setting instead.

      Let me know if you’re still stuck.
      Thanks.

      Reply
      • None of that worked. Not sure what you mean about specific to Chrome, because I thought everything was specific to Chrome on a Chromebook. Sorry not that Techy. UI, is that User Interface? At least I can actually read a paragraph, so that is a lot better than that supersized view. I thought I had tried every setting on this thing. The bottom of the screen is also super small too, just like the top part, but that doesn’t really matter, since the icons are commonly known.

        Reply
        • Hey again,

          No worries. Yes, UI is for the user interface, like the icons, taskbar (shelf), and such. The Chrome Browser is a separate entity from ChromeOS, which powers the how the Chromebook performs (think Windows or Mac). I was trying to see whether the problem is due to your browser or entire Chromebook.

          Try the following and let me know if it works:

          Press “CTRL + SHIFT + 0”

          OR

          Press “CTRL + Search + M”
          Find the zoom controls, and click the default 100% level.

          OR

          Press “CTRL + ALT + Brightness Up”

          OR

          Press “CTRL + ALT” and then scroll with two fingers up.

          Let me know if any of that works.
          Thanks.

          Reply
          • The CTRL + Shift +0 didn’t do anything today, nor the CTRL + Brightness Up or CTRL + ALT & scroll up with 2 fingers. The CTR + Search + M just increased everything to that large view, but no zoom controls came up to click the default 100% level. It just increased to that large zoomed in view. This tab shows 100%, but the other 2 tabs open show Zoom @ 150. Not sure if that is normal.

            Also, you mentioned about the Chrome browser, and I noticed that when I search a subject that it does come up under YAHOO. After you said that, I did try YAHOO search to see if it would view differently. It did not. Before I tried that, I did notice that Yahoo was coming up on searches. I knew it wasn’t the typical Google Search, but didn’t realize it was YAHOO at first. I looked under Settings to make sure that my default Search Engine is listed as Google and it is, but when I try to search, it comes up YAHOO. Really weird stuff.

          • The CTRL + Shift +0 didn’t do anything today, nor the CTRL + Brightness Up or CTRL + ALT & scroll up with 2 fingers. The CTR + Search + M just increased everything to that large view, but no zoom controls came up to click the default 100% level. It just increased to that large zoomed in view. This tab shows 100%, but the other 2 tabs open show Zoom @ 150. Not sure if that is normal.

            Also, you mentioned about the Chrome Browser, and I noticed that my browser view changed the other day. It actually comes up with Yahoo, when I do a search. I checked Settings, and Search Engine default is Google. I’m not sure why it changed or if that is what is behind all of this chaos. I really appreciate all of your advice. Thank you so much.

          • The CTRL + Shift +0 didn’t do anything today, nor the CTRL + Brightness Up or CTRL + ALT & scroll up with 2 fingers. The CTR + Search + M just increased everything to that large view, but no zoom controls came up to click the default 100% level. It just increased to that large zoomed in view. This tab shows 100%, but the other 2 tabs open show Zoom @ 150. Not sure if that is normal.

            Also, you mentioned about the Chrome Browser, and I noticed that my browser view changed the other day. It actually comes up with Yahoo, when I do a search. I checked Settings, and Search Engine default is Google. I’m not sure why it changed, but maybe that is the explanation for the chaos. Thank you so much for your help!

        • I know this fake information that don’t help me or my friends a lot, I dont understand why I cant get real information when I need it?

          Reply
      • This does not solve the problem of our personal photos that we want to use as wallpaper!! Our phots are zo zoomed in that we lose the tops and bottoms of our photos. No one has ever figured this out that I know of. Before all the updates, our photos would automatically fit our chromebook desktop when chosen for wallpaper and now it is so frustrating that there is no simple solution to prevent the loss of half our photos. DJ`s comment that never got answered. Why is this going unanswered??

        Reply
  7. Not sure if this has always been the case, or if it’s new with a newer version of ChromeOS, but Ctrl= (ie no shift) and Ctrl- (again no shift) will zoom the browser window, and Ctrl+ (with shift) and Ctrl_ (again with shift) will scale all of the elements on the screen. No resetting profiles / etc necessary!

    (For the record, I’m on a HP Chromebook 14 firmware Google_Falco.4389.92.0 with Chrome 70.0.3538.41 (Official Build) beta (64-bit))

    Reply
    • Hey thejz,

      That’s freakin’ awesome. I’m gonna test that out tonight when I get back.

      Thanks for the Chromebook zooming tip! If you have any more, keep ’em coming!
      Thanks again =].

      Reply
      • This does not solve the problem of our personal photos that we want to use as wallpaper!! Our phots are zo zoomed in that we lose the tops and bottoms of our photos. No one has ever figured this out that I know of. Before all the updates, our photos would automatically fit our chromebook desktop when chosen for wallpaper and now it is so frustrating that there is no simple solution to prevent the loss of half our photos.

        Reply
        • Exactly DJ, and as you can see no expert has bothered to reply to this frustrating problem. Makes me so mad. Where are you now Andy to find a solution to this problem of using our personal photos as wallpaper. HELLO!??

          Reply
  8. Uh, my chromebook is acting weird the top half of my screen is super zoomed in and the bottom half is completely normal. How do I fix this?

    Reply
    • Hey Gracey,

      That’s strange. Have you tried messing around with the zoom controls (“CTRL and +/-“)? It also may be due to your Chromebook’s default settings. Try launching the Launcher (bottom-left corner) and then typing in “zoom” in the search bar. Then adjust your zoom settings.

      Let me know if you’re still having issues.
      Thanks.

      Reply
  9. Only my address bar and the bottom bar on my chromebook is zoomed in. I tried everything and it wont work.

    Reply
    • Hey Pupolphin,

      Have you already tried setting the default zoom rate in “chrome://settings” yet? Or change the resolution? Sounds like an internal setting issue.

      If those solutions don’t work, you’ll be able to reset it with a Powerwash.

      Thanks.

      Reply
    • Hey there,

      No problem =]. Thanks for the kind words. This is why I write.

      If you have any other questions, let me know.

      Thanks again. And happy holidays!

      Reply
  10. Samsung chromebook xe500c13 stuck on install os update screen zoomed in no address bar or any way to exit. Cant reduce screen size

    Reply
    • Hey Bonnie,

      Can you force it to zoom-out with either “CTRL + 0” or “CTRL + -” keyboard shortcuts? Also check to make sure you’re not in full-screen mode (press the Fullscreen key in the top row of your keyboard to toggle it).

      If not, try forcing a Powerwash at the login screen to restore it to factory defaults. You can do this with a simple keyboard combination.

      Note that this will delete all your local data, but it should fix the zoom level back to normal. You may want to check out this guide for reference.

      Let me know if you’re still stuck.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Reply

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