How to set your browser zoom level properly at 100%

It sounds pretty crazy. But you’d be surprised how often it happens. We keep coming across people who can’t see their websites properly. They can only see a big blur. Everything is massive. It’s all wrong… what’s going on?

At first it would send us into a mild panic. What on earth had we done? But we soon realised it wasn’t down to us. As it turns out, it’s because they hadn’t set their browser zoom to the usual 100%. No wonder everything appeared the size of Wales.

The trick is, you need to set your browser zoom to actual size. If you leave it at 200%, or more, or less than 100%, there’s no way you’ll ever be able to see web content properly.

If a website looks weird, have you tried setting your browser to ‘actual size’? When you set it up right you’ll be able to see websites the same way as the rest of the world sees them. Trust us, very few people leave their settings at 200% or more all the time.

Why would you change the zoom on your browser anyway?

Why zoom closer in the first place? The zoom facility lets you increase or decrease either the size of an entire web page or specific content, for example a chunk of particularly small print. But there’s no need to leave it zoomed in or out. If you do, you’ll never really be able to see anything as it was designed to be seen.

How to set your browser zoom to 100%

Here’s how to set your browser to actual size in Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

  • Google Chrome – Click the ‘hamburger’ symbol icon in the top right hand corner of the Chrome browser window, and set it to 100%
  • Internet Explorer – Press the ‘gear’ symbol in the top right hand corner of the browser window and choose ‘100%’
  • Firefox – Press the view tab in the menu bar then choose ‘zoom’ and relect ‘reset’
  • Safari – Click the menu icon in the top right corner, pick ‘zoom’ and choose ‘actual size’

Users stuck on 200%? There’s nothing you can do

Now and again a web design client asks us what they should do to cater for the needs of users who have their browsers set at less or more than actual size. The short answer is, nothing. It’s their loss, and unless you contact each of them personally and ask them individually to recalibrate their browsers to 100%, you’re stuck.

On the bright side everyone else’s websites, as well as yours, will look very odd in these people’s eyes. In