How to Zoom Out on MacBook with Trackpad & Keys

Zooming out on a MacBook is an essential function that allows you to see the entire screen and everything that’s on your display. Here’s how to zoom out on a Macbook.

What does zoom out mean for Mac?

Zooming out on a MacBook means decreasing the size of content on the screen, allowing you to see the full screen and not just a section of it.

This action makes more content visible on the screen, though it will appear smaller – of course, you can zoom back in if necessary later on.

This feature is particularly useful when you’re browsing documents, using Google Sheets or Excel.

There are several methods to zoom out on a MacBook.

Zoom Out Using Keyboard Shortcuts

The quickest way to zoom out is by using keyboard shortcuts. To zoom out, press and hold the ‘Command’ key (⌘), then press the ‘-‘ (minus) key.

Each time you press the minus key while holding down the Command key, the content on your screen will decrease in size.

This method is ideal for users who prefer keyboard navigation over trackpad or mouse use.

Zoom Out with the Trackpad

For those who favor the trackpad, the pinch-to-zoom gesture is a better opttion. Place two fingers on the trackpad and move them together (pinching motion).

As you pinch your fingers, the screen content will zoom out. This method offers a more tactile and interactive way of zooming, allowing for precise control over the level of zoom.

Sometimes, you might want to adjust your Macbook’s zoom settings for a more customized experience. To do this, navigate to ‘System Settings’ and click on ‘Accessibility’.


Here, you can change the keyboard shortcuts that you use to zoom on your Macbook, as well as enable a three-finger trackpad gesture to toggle zoom too.

You can also click into Trackpad if you want to make changes to the zoom function when using it. Here, you can enable the Smart Zoom function, which zooms when you double tap with two fingers.


Finally, if you’re an Apple Magic mouse user, you can go into System Settings and then Mouse to make changes here.


You can enable a double-tap smart zoom feature for your Magic mouse. When you get used to this one, it can really speed up your scrolling. Check out more ways to zoom out with Magic mouse here.

Zooming Out in Specific Applications

Some applications, like Safari, have their own zoom controls. In Safari, you can easily zoom out by going to the ‘View’ menu and selecting ‘Zoom Out’.

Similarly, word processors and image editing software typically have zoom controls located in their toolbars or under the ‘View’ menu.

Zooming out on a MacBook is a fundamental skill that enhances your user experience.

By mastering these simple methods, you can navigate your MacBook more efficiently and tailor your viewing experience to suit your needs.



Full-time writer, Apple fanboy and macOS supremacist. Currently running: 16" Macbook Pro w/ 64GB RAM & M1 Max. Already wants to upgrade to the M3 😫😭

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