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How to Fix Screen Size Too Big or Small on a Mac

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Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

When the size of the text and objects are too large or too small for you to see on your Mac's display, it can become incredibly difficult to use.

This guide will walk you through making sure your display settings are configured just right to make it as easy to use.

Large and small resolutions on Mac, side by side.

1 Adjust the Display Resolution

Display resolution is the amount of dots making up your screen. It's represented by the number of horizontal dots multiplied by the number of vertical dots on your screen. The higher the numbers, the smaller everything will be on your screen, and the other way around. Retina Displays have a much higher number of dots per inch making up the screen, also known as density, which brings a lot more detail to what you see. This gives content incredible detail and dramatically improves your viewing experience. Whether you have a Retina Display or not, the settings for controlling the size of things on your screen are in the same place.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Apple menu with system preferences highlighted
  2. Go to Displays.
    system preferences with displays highlighted
  3. Here you can choose between Default for display or Scaled. Default for display gives the sharpest text and most detailed images. Scaled allows you to pick a resolution that best fits your needs. The choices you can pick from will be different based on the type of display you have:
    • For regular screens without Retina Display you can pick a Display Resolution.
      Text size picker highlighted in macOS display settings.
    • For screens with Retina Display you can pick out of four or five scaled resolutions, depending on your Mac model. With scaled resolutions, text and objects can appear larger and more visible, or smaller to provide more space for windows and apps.
      Screen resolution picker highlighted in macOS display settings.

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When the size of the text and objects are too large or too small for you to see on your Mac's display, it can become incredibly difficult to use.

This guide will walk you through making sure your display settings are configured just right to make it as easy to use.

Large and small resolutions on Mac, side by side.

Display resolution is the amount of dots making up your screen. It's represented by the number of horizontal dots multiplied by the number of vertical dots on your screen. The higher the numbers, the smaller everything will be on your screen, and the other way around. Retina Displays have a much higher number of dots per inch making up the screen, also known as density, which brings a lot more detail to what you see. This gives content incredible detail and dramatically improves your viewing experience. Whether you have a Retina Display or not, the settings for controlling the size of things on your screen are in the same place.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Apple menu with system preferences highlighted
  2. Go to Displays.
    system preferences with displays highlighted
  3. Here you can choose between Default for display or Scaled. Default for display gives the sharpest text and most detailed images. Scaled allows you to pick a resolution that best fits your needs. The choices you can pick from will be different based on the type of display you have:
    • For regular screens without Retina Display you can pick a Display Resolution.
      Text size picker highlighted in macOS display settings.
    • For screens with Retina Display you can pick out of four or five scaled resolutions, depending on your Mac model. With scaled resolutions, text and objects can appear larger and more visible, or smaller to provide more space for windows and apps.
      Screen resolution picker highlighted in macOS display settings.