How to magnify (zoom in on) your Android screen

How to magnify (zoom in on) your Android screen
If, for whatever reason, you want to quickly magnify what your Android phone’s screen is displaying, Google provides an easy way to do it. Mind you, we’re not talking about magnifying just a webpage in your browser, or an image from your photo album, but (almost) everything that’s on your screen, at any time, everywhere: in Play Store, in the YouTube app, when playing a video, when playing a game, on the home screen, on your lock screen, and so on and so forth.

What you need to look for is the Magnification gestures feature. This is found in Settings -> Accessibility. The feature is turned off by default, so you’ll - obviously - have to turn it on to use it. Once you find the Magnification gestures feature in the Accessibility menu and click on it, you’ll get to read about how it works: a triple tap magnifies the screen, and then you can pan by dragging two fingers across the display, while also being able to adjust the zoom level with the well known pinch-to-zoom move. To get back to your normal screen you need to triple-tap again.

Another (slightly different) way to magnify things is by triple tapping without lifting your finger from the screen after the third tap. This provides a temporary magnification, and you can pan with the same finger. Once you lift your finger, you’ll go back to your normal screen.

As we noted above, this feature works almost everywhere on the screen, with two exceptions: it won’t work on your keyboard, and neither on the navigation bar. Also, it seems that the feature is available only on devices running Android 4.2.2 or later.



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

There's a Captain option on Accessibility. Where do the captions usually Appear? I'm curious.

3. jpraveensn

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 01, 2012

I think captions are like the dialog boxes in android screen. However with no active button.

4. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

The toast notifications (the black info bar which appears sometimes), it uses the captions.

5. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

A captain obvious option? Where is this? :D

7. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

LOL I just realised!

2. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Pretty cool to play with, but I don't see how I would use it in real life. Probably a useful feature for elders who don't have such great eyesight, though...

6. FerneyZan

Posts: 114; Member since: Jul 21, 2010

As simple as this may seem, I had nooo idea about this feature. Good to see a nice useful article like this one.. This is for sure a good feature I could use in a regular basis and if not that often, at least I know is there.. :)

8. FerneyZan

Posts: 114; Member since: Jul 21, 2010

I take it back.. I had this feature active for a few hours. and it got annoying very fast. Is back to being disable again. lol

9. Salome

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 05, 2015

Hi there! Thanks for your article. However, sometimes, I believe that accessiblity settings are not enough on Android. Often, people with low vision can't use their smartphone properly even though they activated large texts options or magnification gestures. To address this problem, Claria, the company I work for, has been developed Claria Zoom, a great app to help seniors use a smartphone easily. Claria Zoom provides users with an easy-to-read and simplified interface, and more than 20 features redesigned for elderly and people with sight issues. With our new app, staying connected to you loved ones is simple and easy! Would be great if you could give our app a try and help us spread the word about it! Have a great day, Salomé from Claria

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