How to Zoom Out on Mac: Quick Guide

How to Zoom Out on Mac: Quick Guide

To zoom out on a Mac, you can use keyboard shortcuts, your trackpad or mouse, or adjust the display settings in System Preferences.

Whether you’ve zoomed in too much by accident or need a broader view, learning these techniques can help you work more efficiently.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Zoom Out with Command and Minus

The quickest way to zoom out is to press the Command (⌘) key and the Minus (-) key simultaneously.

This combination reduces the size of icons, text, and other items on your screen, making everything appear smaller.

It’s a handy shortcut for those who prefer using the keyboard over the mouse or trackpad.

Reversing Magnification

If you’ve used the Command and Plus shortcut to zoom in, you can reverse it by using Command and Minus.

This can come in handy when you’re working on detailed tasks and need to switch between different magnifications quickly.

Using Your Trackpad

Pinch to Zoom Out

If you’re using a MacBook with a trackpad, you can use a pinch gesture to zoom out.

Simply place two fingers on the trackpad and move them closer together in a pinching motion.

This gesture will reduce the size of the content on your screen, making it easier to see the bigger picture.

Trackpad Preferences

To customize your trackpad gestures, go to System Preferences > Trackpad.

Under the “Scroll & Zoom” tab, make sure the “Zoom Out” option is enabled.

This ensures that the pinch gesture will work smoothly across different applications.

Using a Mouse

Scroll to Zoom Out

If you’re using a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can hold down the Control key and scroll down to zoom out.

This method is particularly useful for desktop Mac users who rely on a mouse rather than a trackpad.

Customize Mouse Settings

To adjust these settings, navigate to System Preferences > Mouse.

Here, you can customize the zoom options to better suit your needs.

Adjusting Display Settings

Display Settings in System Preferences

For a more permanent solution, you can adjust the display settings directly in System Preferences.

Open System Preferences and select “Displays.”

From there, you can set a lower resolution to make everything appear smaller, effectively zooming out on your screen.

Scaling Resolution

Under the Displays tab, select “Scaled” and choose a lower resolution.

This change will apply to your entire screen, giving you a broader view of your workspace.

Accessibility Options

Using Zoom Feature

Macs come with built-in accessibility options that can help you zoom in and out.

Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom.

Here you can check the box for “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom.”

This allows you to zoom in and out by holding down a modifier key (like Control) while scrolling.

Accessibility Keyboard Shortcuts

In addition, you can assign specific keyboard shortcuts for zooming in and out within the Accessibility settings.

These shortcuts can make it easier to quickly adjust your screen’s zoom level without needing to navigate through multiple menus.

Browser-Specific Zoom Options

Safari Zoom Options

If you’re focused on zooming out within a web browser like Safari, you have specific options.

Use the Command and Minus shortcut to zoom out on web pages.

You can also go to View > Zoom Out in the Safari menu bar for the same result.

Reset Zoom

If you’ve changed the zoom level multiple times, you can always reset it to default by pressing Command (⌘) key, and Zero (0).

This will bring the zoom back to its original setting, giving you a clean slate.

Third-Party Applications for Better Zoom Control

While we’ve covered the built-in methods, there are also third-party applications available that offer more advanced zooming capabilities.

These apps can provide additional customization options, making them useful for specific tasks or workflows.

Choosing the Right App

When selecting an application, look for features like customizable shortcuts, and additional zoom levels.

Always read reviews and ensure the app is compatible with your version of macOS.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Zoom Not Working

If your zoom features aren’t working, first check your System Preferences to make sure the zoom settings are enabled.

Sometimes, a system update might revert these settings, requiring you to re-enable them.

Trackpad or Mouse Issues

If you’re having trouble with zooming gestures on your trackpad or mouse, it might be worth resetting your preferences.

Simply go to System Preferences, and check the settings under Trackpad or Mouse to ensure everything is set up correctly.


Zooming out on a Mac is a simple yet essential skill that can greatly enhance your user experience.

Whether you choose to use keyboard shortcuts, your trackpad, or adjust display settings, each method offers unique benefits.

Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you, and you’ll be navigating your Mac with ease in no time.