How to change display settings to make icons and text bigger on Windows 10

Here are the steps to change the DPI scaling settings on your PC to make icons and text bigger on Windows 10 for a better visual experience.

Changing Windows 10 DPI scaling settings

Nowadays computers come in many screen sizes and with different resolutions. Windows 10 has been designed to automatically use the best display settings for a good user experience.

Although the operating system can deal with different resolutions, we all use and adjust our computers differently, as such Windows 10 includes a number of options to change the display settings to meet your needs.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to change the DPI scaling level on Windows 10 to make icons and text bigger on your display.

How to change display DPI scaling using Settings

On Windows 10, Microsoft has spent a lot of time trying to improve the DPI scaling settings. It’s still not perfect, but it works well. DPI stands for “dots per inch” and it’s a term to define the number of pixels a screen can display per square inch. The ability to change the screen scaling level allows the operating system to adjust the size of visual elements on the screen. Without scaling things on a small 15-inch laptop display featuring 4K resolutions would look really tiny, and you won’t be able to use it properly.

You can change your display DPI settings to make visual elements bigger if the default customization is not optimal for your vision, for example.

To change the DPI scaling settings on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Display.

  4. Under “Change the size of text, apps, and other items”, use the slider to change the DPI settings for Windows 10.

    Windows 10 DPI scaling settings
    Windows 10 DPI scaling settings
  5. Sign out and in again or restart your computer to complete the task.

If you don’t have a high-DPI display, then the default scale level will be 100%, but you can change the settings up to 150% to make icons and text bigger.

How to change DPI scaling using Control Panel

If neither of the available settings make the changes you want, you can click the Advanced display settings link. Then you can click Advanced sizing of text and other items to open Control Panel in the Display settings.

On the old display settings, you can click the set a custom scaling level to choose a specific percentage.

Control Panel Custom sizing options
Control Panel Custom sizing options

If the currently DPI settings are good enough, but you only want to change the size of certain visual elements, you can use the settings under “Change only the size”.

From the drop-down menu select the text for title bars, menus, message boxes, palette title, icons, or tooltips, and change the font size. You even have the option to make the text bold, if that’s something you want.

Control Panel Change only text size settings
Control Panel Change only text size settings

When you’re done, simply click Apply to complete the task, but you may need to restart your computer for the new configuration to take effect.

Quick Tip: If you’re looking to only make icons bigger, you can always right-click on the desktop or on any folder, and from the context menu, select View, and then pick the Large icons options.

Wrapping things up

Although for the most part the default settings are optimal for most users, there are a lot of people with vision problems, and a simple slider to adjust the DPI scaling level can make a big difference to help see elements better on the screen.

In addition, while you can always change the screen resolution on Windows 10, it’s not the correct way to make icons and text bigger. If you change the screen resolution, instead of the DPI scaling settings, elements won’t scale properly and they will look blurry.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He's also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ & Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, and LinkedIn.