How to change the default zoom in Firefox?

May 27, 2020 |

greater than 5 minutes

Reading a poorly formatted website can be a frustrating experience. Some pages on the Internet use fonts or font sizes so small that they may as well be subscripts. One would have to strain every eye nerve and sinew to read their content.

On Firefox, the issue can be compounded if there is no easy way to quickly increase the font. The user might just give up and look for the same information on another website.

To cut out all the frustration and pain for users, Firefox has added an option to change the default zoom in the browser. With this setting, you can change how the browser presents you with text for a more comfortable reading experience.

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So, if you are wondering how to permanently set the browser default zoom in Mozilla Firefox, you have come to the right place. Not only that – we will also teach you a trick to manually adjust the size of any page in Firefox on the fly.

Before you go ahead, make sure you are using the latest version of Firefox. If not, update it through official channels. The latest version will have the newest features that will aid your browsing experience, including increased readability and accessibility features.

It is also a good idea to make sure your browser isn’t slow. If it is, there might be noticeable delays when adjusting the zoom level and with site loading in general. We recommend using Auslogics BoostSpeed to clean up your computer, remove speed-reducing issues, and boost performance.

How to Set the Default Zoom Level in Firefox

The default zoom level applies to the size of every element within the Firefox browser. This includes text, images, toolbars, links, settings menu and options, context selection menu, and everything else. Changing the default zoom level in Firefox will apply the new settings globally.

While this option might be useful for those who have a problem with smaller fonts, it can make some websites appear worse than they would look with the normal zoom level. For example, if you set the default zoom value too high, you might not be able to take in everything on a browser window at once. You might have to constantly use the content bar (or left and right arrow keys) to scroll left-right-left in order to read the hidden text.

If you have made up your mind to apply the default zoom level globally in Firefox, this is how to do so:

  1. Open the Firefox browser.
  2. Click the Hamburger icon on the top right of the browser. Doing so will reveal the main Firefox menu options.
  3. In the dropdown menu bar, choose Options.
  4. Scroll down the options window until you arrive at the Language and Appearance section.
  5. In the Zoom section of the Language and Appearance window, click the downward arrow to select the desired zoom level. You can set your zoom level to any value between 30% and 100%. In other words, Firefox allows you to set the global zoom level to up to twice the original size of UI elements.

If you only want to change the zoom level of texts and apply the change globally, tick the “Zoom text only” checkbox under Default Zoom before or after you set your preferred zoom level. If you tick this box, the text of the settings window will be enlarged (or diminished) by your chosen zoom percentage. When you get back to browsing, you will find that text on web pages has been enlarged while the dimension of images and other UI elements stays the same.

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The latter option is recommended for those with visual issues or using devices with smaller dimensions. The text will become big enough to read easily. However, changing the default zoom level for every element will permanently zoom all websites, and this can lead to weird, or even grotesque, appearances due to how some websites are formatted by default.

Tip: Some fonts might reduce readability for some people, especially those with visual difficulties. In that case, changing the font to something bigger or bolder can have a positive effect. The same goes for increasing the font size. You can do this in the Language and Appearance window of Firefox. Under Fonts and Colors, click the Default Font arrow and choose a font you like. You can also click the Size arrow and select a bigger font size.

How to Resize a Browser Window in Firefox

The default zoom level that Firefox is installed with is generally good enough for most users. Websites load normally and can be read fairly comfortably, even by people with visual difficulties.

However, there are times when zooming on a page on a particular website is desirable. Perhaps, the page has different contents and you wish to zoom a certain section and restore the normal zoom level when you’re done.

Manual zooming in Firefox is what you need for this. With this zooming mode, you can resize a browser window, irrespective of its contents. You can even make the Firefox homepage bigger if you so wish.

The main advantage of this method is that it gives you more control to zoom in and out as you desire. It is like the granular counterpart of the default zoom option explained above. By pressing the correct key combinations, you can zoom in and out till you achieve the perfect size to view the web page.

To manually increase or decrease the size of any web page in Firefox, do the following:

  • Press and hold the Ctrl key. Then, successively press the + key to increase the zoom level.
  • Press and hold the Ctrl key. Then, successively press the – button key to decrease the zoom level.

This is how to zoom in Firefox on Windows 10 manually without going into the Settings menu. The interesting thing is that Firefox keeps track of your manual zooming preference for each website. So, for example, if you zoom manually on Facebook and close the window, the next time you use Facebook in your Firefox browser, the page will be presented in the size you last used.

This behavior holds even if you log into Facebook again after a month. However, websites on which you haven’t changed the zoom level manually won’t be affected by this. Therefore, you can have two open tabs in Firefox, one zoomed and the other using the default Firefox size setting.

So, in case you launch the browser and visit a website, only for it to load with bigger text, you might have previously zoomed manually there. You can verify this by looking for a magnifying glass icon in the address bar. If this icon is present, it will display the zoom percentage for that page.

You can quickly increase or decrease the size of the website. Click the Hamburger menu icon in Firefox and click the Plus (+) or Minus (-) signs to increase or decrease the zoom level respectively. Each time you click either icon, you will notice that the zoom percentage in the address bar changes accordingly.

After you have achieved the desired zoom level, you can either continue browsing or close the window/tab. Rest assured that Firefox will remember your zoom preferences for that site. The next time you visit the website, the browser will present it to you with the selected zoom settings. No need to manually adjust anything again.

Manually increasing or decreasing a website’s zoom level this way adjusts everything on the page. This can be inconvenient if you’re after text adjustment but want everything else, including images, to stay the same. Not to worry, you can also set Firefox to only adjust the text anytime the manual zooming feature is triggered:

  1. Launch the Firefox browser.
  2. Press the Alt key. The Firefox tab row will appear at the top.
  3. Select View > Zoom > Zoom text only.

That’s all. After this, further manual adjustments to the zoom level will only affect the text.

If you experience any stability issues in Firefox or the browser becomes too slow, don’t forget to speed things up with Auslogics BoostSpeed.

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