Enlarge the Desktop's Menus on Your Windows 8 Tablet - dummies

Enlarge the Desktop’s Menus on Your Windows 8 Tablet

By Andy Rathbone

When you fire up the Desktop app from the Start screen on your tablet, Windows 8 seems to assume you’ll be using a mouse and keyboard. Unlike the Start screen’s big buttons and finger-sized controls, the desktop remains rooted in the tiny controls of yesteryear.


You can change that fairly easily, though, by telling Windows to make everything on the desktop larger. Once you flip that switch, everything on your desktop expands to resemble the desktop shown.


Sure, taking these steps will pack less information onto the screen, but you’ll at least be able to take advantage of the information displayed there. In addition, they’re reversible, so you can always return to the mouse-sized controls.

Before following these steps, save all your open work and close all of your open programs. One of the steps requires you to sign out of your account and then sign back in.

To enlarge everything on the desktop so that it’s easier to touch, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Desktop app from the Start menu.

    The traditional Windows desktop fills the screen.

  2. Summon the Charms bar by sliding your finger inward from the screen’s right edge. Tap the Charms bar’s Settings icon to fetch the Settings pane. Then tap Control Panel at the top of the Settings pane.

    The desktop’s Control Panel appears.

  3. On the Control Panel window, tap the Hardware and Sound category; then tap the Display link.

    The Display window appears.


  4. In the Change the Size of All Items area, tap the setting Medium — 125%; then tap the Apply button.

  5. When Windows asks you to sign out of your computer and apply your changes, tap the Sign Out Now button.

    If you haven’t saved your work, save it before clicking the Sign Out Now button.

When Windows restarts, your desktop will be larger and easier to control by touch.

  • The increased size affects only the desktop. Your Start screen and apps will remain unaffected. That’s a good thing, actually, because the Start screen is already built for touch controls.

  • If your desktop is still too small, make everything even larger. In Step 4, tap Custom Sizing Options instead of tapping Medium — 125%. The Custom Sizing Windows opens, with a drop-down menu letting you change the sizing percentage up to 200%.

  • If a crucial portion of an enlarged window drops off the bottom of your screen, turn your tablet sideways; the desktop automatically rotates, giving you more space along the desktop’s bottom edge. That usually lets you access the entire window.

  • If the settings in the Custom Sizing Options window make the screen look slightly blurry, check the Use Windows XP Style Scaling box.