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How to Change Text/iCons Size on macOS on Sequoia and Earlier

Updated on Wednesday, June 26, 2024

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Written by

Amanda Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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You can change the text and icon size on macOS Sequoia/Sonoma and earlier to suit your eyes if you find that the text and icons on the screen are too small. You can do this by adjusting the settings of programs, the macOS system, and web browsers.

In this post, we will walk you through how to make everything bigger or smaller on the screen, change icons smaller on Mac Launchpad, get the font back to normal size, etc. You can adjust the text and icon size according to your specific needs. 

Make everything bigger by changing the display's resolution

The display's resolution controls how big text and objects appear on your screen. Your Mac will always choose the optimal resolution for the screen by default. Although using the default resolution is recommended, you can manually change the resolution to increase the size of text and items on your screen or decrease it to free up more space. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > System Settings.
  2. Scroll down the left sidebar and choose Displays.
  3. You may see a thumbnail view or a list of the available resolutions(you can right-click the view to switch from the drop-down menu), and click the resolution you want.
  4. Once you click the preferred resolution, it immediately applies it.

change display resolutions

 Tips: If you want to always see available resolutions as a list, click the Advanced button, then turn on "Show resolutions as list", back to the resolution list, you can toggle on Show all resolutions to see all available options.

Adjust text and icon size across apps and system features

Within the Accessibility settings, you can also use the slider to change the desired text reading size for various apps, the desktop, and sidebars, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Apple menu  > System Settings, then select Accessibility in the sidebar.
  2. Click Display on the right, head to Text, then click Text size. 
  3. Drag the slider to the right to increase the text size on the desktop, in sidebars, and the listed apps set to Use Preferred Reading Size, you can also expand the drop-down menu next to the app and make changes there.

change text size

 Note: A distinct text size has been defined in the settings of an app if it is set to Customized in App. Customized text size settings within the program are overwritten if you make changes to the text size in System Settings.

Change text and icon size via Finder's View menu

If you want the increase/decrease the text and icon size without changing the display's resolution, using the Finder's View menu can also make text and icons bigger or smaller on the screen:

  • Open Finder windows, click View, and choose Show View Options. Locate the Icon Size to select the smaller or bigger one, then tap the Text Size box to select a wanted text size. This will only apply the settings to the current folder on Finder.change finder text icon size
  • On the Desktop, click the View from the menu bar/right-click the desktop and choose Show View Options, then find Icon Size and Text Size, then adjust it to suit your eyes.change desktop text icon size

Increase/decrease text and icon size for individual apps, webpages, and sidebar

Within some preinstalled apps or third-party apps on Mac, you can adjust the reading size for text in just that app. In addition, you can also change the text/icon size in the sidebar.

  • Use keyboard shortcuts to adjust text size in apps: In some apps, such as Mail, Messages, etc., you can press Command-Plus (+) to make the text bigger or Command-Minus (–) to make the text smaller while reading.
  • Change the text size in common web browsers: In Safari, head to Preferences > Advanced, you can tick Never use font sizes smaller than in the Accessibility section. In Google Chrome, click the main menu(three dots), choose Settings, click Appearance in the side menu, and choose the desired size in the Font size section.
  • Adjust the sidebar icon size in System Settings: Go to the Apple menu  > System Settings, click Appearance in the sidebar, and expand the pop-up menu next to “Sidebar icon size” on the right, then choose Large.change sidebar icon size

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