macOS High Sierra

Make it easier to see what’s on the screen

If you’re having trouble seeing items on the screen, try these suggestions.

Change the appearance of the desktop

  • Make the desktop less transparent: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then select “Reduce transparency.” The transparent areas of the desktop and app windows become gray.

  • Choose a desktop picture with fewer colors or shapes: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Desktop & Screen Saver, click Desktop, browse through the picture folders on the left, then select a less busy picture or a solid color on the right.

  • Make borders darker: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then select “Increase contrast.” macOS automatically reduces transparency and makes the borders of buttons, boxes, and other items on the screen more visible.

  • Make colors easier on your eyes at night: You may be able to use Night Shift to make the colors on the screen warmer.

  • Make the pointer bigger: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then move the Cursor Size slider to the right as far as you need.

    Tip: If you lose track of the pointer on the screen, quickly move your finger on the trackpad or quickly move the mouse—the pointer briefly gets bigger so you can see it. To turn this feature off, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then deselect “Shake mouse pointer to locate.”

    Open the Display pane for me

Make text bigger

  • Increase the text size of emails in Mail: In Mail, choose Mail > Preferences, click Fonts & Colors, click Select next to “Message font,” then select a font size in the Fonts window.

  • Increase the text size of messages in Messages: In Messages, choose Messages > Preferences, click General, then move the “Text size” slider to the right.

  • Increase the text size in other apps: In many apps, you can press Command-Plus (+) or Command-Minus (–) to adjust text size. If that doesn’t work, check the app’s preferences. For example, in iTunes General preferences, you can increase the text size for list views.

Make icons and other items bigger

  • Increase the size of icons and icon text on the desktop: Control-click the desktop, choose Show View Options, then move the “Icon size” slider to the right. Click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size.

  • Increase the size of icons and icon text in a Finder folder: Select the folder in the Finder, then choose View > Show View Options. The view you’re using determines how you increase the size.

    • For Icon view, move the “Icon size” slider to the right. Click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size.

    • For List or Cover Flow view, select the larger icon size to the right of “Icon size.” Click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size.

    • For Column view, click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size. You can’t choose an icon size.

  • Increase the size of items in the Finder and Mail sidebars: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click General, click the “Sidebar icon size” pop-up menu, then choose Large.

Use zoom

  • Zoom in on the screen: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Zoom. You can zoom the entire screen or a portion of the screen.

    • When “Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” is selected, you can zoom in (press Option-Command-Equal sign), zoom out (press Option-Command-Minus sign), or quickly switch between the two settings (press Option-Command-8).

    • When “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom” is selected, you can zoom in by pressing and holding the Control key (or another modifier key) and swiping up with two fingers on your trackpad.

    For more information, see Zoom preferences.

  • Zoom in on webpages in Safari: In Safari, choose View > Zoom In, or press Command-Plus (+). You can choose Zoom In or press Command-Plus multiple times to continue zooming in. If you want to zoom just the text and not images, choose Zoom Text Only.