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When Google Chrome suddenly shrinks or looks loopy, Windows users may have a compatibility issue

Q: I run Windows 10 on a desktop. I use both Chrome and Firefox browsers. I prefer Chrome and it was working without issue. Then suddenly, I minimized a webpage I was on and ever since I have not been able to get Chrome open in regular, normal size. It appears in miniature just above my task bar. I have tried many solutions I read on the web. I have uninstalled and reinstalled four times no luck. From what I have read it sounds like compatibility issue with Microsoft and Chrome. Help! ~ Pat Dolan, Denver

Tech+ Sounds like you’ve attempted to fix the Chrome issue with the obvious solutions, but since I never know how advanced readers are when they ask a question, let me start with the simplest fixes.

You inadvertently shrunk Chrome. Just enlarge the Chrome window or its font. To do so:

  1. When Chrome is open, the top right corner has little icons. Press the one with the square (or squares) to the left of the red X. This expands or shrinks the Chrome window.
  2. Also try enlarging the Chrome window to full size by hitting the F11 button.
  3. OR maybe the text is too small? Hold down the Ctrl button and press the + button multiple times until you get the fonts to the proper reading size.  This also works to decrease the fonts — press Ctrl and hit the minus (-) button to shrink fonts. For Mac users, instead of Ctrl, use the ⌘ button.

Or maybe you inadvertently shrunk the scale in Windows?  To check and change this:

  1. Go to the Windows search bar and type “DPI”
  2. This takes you to Display settings and, in Windows 10, a sliding bar to adjust the size of your display (larger/smaller, etc…) Slide the scale until you get the look you want.
  3. An alternative is to set your own size — found underneath in the “Advanced display settings” Here, you can adjust the resolution (the larger the numbers, the tinier everything will be).
  4. There’s also another place under Related settings that says “Advanced sizing of text and other items.” Use this to specifically adjust Windows features like Title bars, menus, message boxes, etc.
Google's Chrome has a feature to check its compatibility with Windows 10.

Screenshot by Tamara Chuang

Google’s Chrome has a feature to check its compatibility with Windows 10.

But maybe it’s just an incompatibility problem. There is a way to troubleshoot this, courtesy of Chrome.

  1. Go back to the Windows search bar and type “Chrome” until Google Chrome appears.
  2. But don’t click it. Instead, right click “Chrome” and select “Open file location.” This takes you to the Windows folder Chrome is stored in.
  3. Once you get to that folder, right click the Chrome icon again and select “Properties.”
  4. In the window that opens, select the tab for “Compatibility”
  5. Here you can do a few things, like “Run Compatibility Troubleshooter.” I recommend running the troubleshooter and hopefully that will find the problem.
  6. You can also program to be compatible with your current Windows OS (which is Windows 10 in your case).

One other suggestion from the experts is that in the same “Compatibility” window, check the box that says “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.” How To Geek offers step-by-step instructions on tweaking this at howtogeek.com/278699/how-do-you-adjust-google-chromes-ui-scaling

If other readers have a fix, let me know and I’ll post suggestions below as they come in.

More answers and tips from myself and readers are always in the weekly Tech+ newsletter. Sign up, see past Tech+ answers or ask your own tech question at dpo.st/mailbag. If you’re emailing your question, please add “Mailbag” to the subject line.

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