My eyes aren’t what they used to be, and they weren’t that great to start with. Is there some way to make the font on my Android phone bigger so I can read it more easily?
The first generation of all technology seems to be designed by young engineers for, well, other young engineers. Tiny buttons, seemingly incomprehensible gestures (though presumably not to them), and little type because they’d rather have more on screen than have to swipe and scroll. Name your gadget, this seems to be the evolutionary cycle. Then eventually the user base expands and the manufacturers realize that they need to actually support all sorts of users, not just their buddy one desk away in the office. 🙂
Fortunately by this point both Android and iOS have excellent assistive technology support and there’s quite a bit you can do to make your phone interface match your own abilities, whether it’s vision, hearing, or even tactile. Have some challenges with color deficiencies? They’ve got that covered. Need everything read out to you? Your phone can do that now too. Heck, coming soon to Android is the ability to get subtitles for quite literally any audio stream, from a live phone call to that funny cat video your grandkids shared!
One of the most basic, though, is font. By default type is pretty darn small on an Android phone, particularly if you have a high resolution screen that offers a lot of so-called screen real estate. This makes everything look better, crisper, bright and more colorful, but the words can end up being a miniscule blurry mess. Let’s see how to fix it!
First, as with anything to do with your phone settings, you’ll want to find and go to Settings. Can you find it on my Samsung Galaxy S8 screen below?
Fourth row, fourth column over, the gear icon. Tap on “Settings” on your own Android phone and here’s what you’ll see:
Let’s do what the cool kids do when faced with this screen, however. Instead of swiping and searching, tap on the magnifying lens and type in a word or two that describes the setting you seek. In this case “font“:
Mighty handy shortcut, isn’t it?
There are two areas you can tweak your font size, but it’s the first – under “Display” – that you want to choose. The Accessibility option is a bit more powerful and probably more than you’ll need.
Tap on “Font size and style” and it’ll jump you straight to the exact setting you need:
Oops. When I got here I turned “Blue light filter” back on, along with Night mode because it’s better for your eyes and probably should be the default setting. You can opt to turn this on or leave it off as desired.
Now tap on “Font size and style” one more time and you’ll finally be at the point where you can adjust font size:
One simple change to make things more readable is to enable “Bold font” if you want to try it, but you can also adjust that slider to make the text even smaller than it already is! or, well, bigger. 🙂
I’ll enable bold and make the text bigger, and you can see in the demo window what then happens:
Definitely easier to read. But… but here’s what’s weird: It doesn’t necessarily affect all text on the phone:
You can see that the icon labels are definitely bigger and if you go to Settings all of that has changed, but individual apps? They might or might not change their text. A bit of experimentation will reveal which are utilizing the font setting. Still, better than nothing, and you can also try screen zoom and those accessibility options too. Hope it helps!
Pro Tip: I have hundreds of useful, hands-on Android tutorials here on my site. Please check ’em out while you’re visiting!