In OS X, you just assign Cmd or ctrl + mouse scroll for zooming in. This works anywhere, in any app.

Windows 7 also has a nice magnifier, and has some hotkeys:

Magnifier keyboard shortcuts

The following table contains keyboard shortcuts for working with Magnifier.

Windows logo key + Plus Sign or Minus Sign    Zoom in or out
Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar Preview the desktop in full-screen mode
Ctrl+Alt+F    Switch to full-screen mode
Ctrl+Alt+L    Switch to lens mode
Ctrl+Alt+D    Switch to docked mode
Ctrl+Alt+I    Invert colors
Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys   Pan in the direction of the arrow keys
Ctrl+Alt+R    Resize the lens
Windows logo key + Esc    Exit Magnifier

... but I want to use the mouse for zooming in and out like in OS X. Is that possible?

  • You cannot use ctrl+scroll for zooming because it's already assigned to desktop/explorer icon zooming
    – phuclv
    Sep 17, 2013 at 6:33

3 Answers 3


Try ZoomIt for the zooming (free from SysInternals). I prefer ZoomIt more than Windows Magnifier. It even allows me to draw on the screen -- perfect for presentations. The thing is, you'll still have to use the keyboard to activate ZoomIt; zooming in and out can be done using the mouse wheel.

The only way to get exactly -- at least based on my knowledge -- what you want is to use AutoHotKey script that traps the Ctrl+Wheel events and emulate WinKey+Plus Sign or WinKey+Minus Sign key press.


AeroZoom does exactly what you want.

It uses the Windows Magnifier as a back-end, but allows you to set up Ctrl or some other key in combination with the scroll wheel to zoom in and zoom out.

It also has many other settings not accessible from the Magnifier, like hiding the magnifying lens from the screen.

  • 1
    Based on the demo view I wouldn't say exactly. That doesn't seem like OS X zoom. The zoom in OS X is hardware accelerated, smooth and precise. This instead seems very imprecise and stuttering. On OS X, scrolling doesn't increment set zoom levels, it is similar to smooth pinch and zoom on mobile phones.
    – Bjorn
    Oct 16, 2019 at 1:03
  • While this isn't as smooths as on Mac, it fill the void when using a Windows PC and wanting to see a closeup, Mac style, because your home computer is a Mac.
    – Jacob
    Dec 25, 2019 at 20:40
  • 1
    Thanks, this is 100% exactly what I was looking for after switching from Mac to Windows.
    – LKM
    Dec 26, 2019 at 17:46
  • 1
    Thank you! I've been looking for exactly this forever. This should be bought by MS and made part of the OS. You've saved a blind man much trouble, thank you again. Feb 10, 2021 at 9:30
  1. Press Windows Key + "+" key to activate. The Magnifier Window appears.

  2. In the magnifier window that appears, click on the gear icon to select the settings.

  3. Sroll down in the settings till you find the "Have Magnifier follow:" settings. Here uncheck all the settings except for "Mouse cursor" as shown in the attached image.

  4. Close the settings.

Now, when ever you want to zoom in, move the mouse to the center of your zoom and press the Windows Key + "+" key combination to zoom in and the Windows Key + "-" key combination to zoom out. Having the other settings checked makes the magnifier jump about unpredictably.

  • (1) What version(s) of Windows support this?  (2) Can you provide a reference? … … … … … Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. Mar 29, 2020 at 3:01
  • This is not zooming with the mouse at all, this is zooming with the keyboard.
    – JVC
    Apr 26, 2021 at 13:54

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