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How Can I Get Rid of the Magnifier on My Computer Screen?

Updated March 23, 2017

Windows XP includes a magnifier tool to help those with visual impairments to use their computers. This magnifier, under its default settings, follows the mouse cursor around the screen. It can also be set to follow keyboard focus and text-editing events in applications which support this feature. The magnified view area resides at the top of the screen. If the Windows XP magnifier has been enabled on your computer by mistake, turning it off is fairly simple.

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  1. Look for the "Magnifier Settings" tab on the taskbar. The Windows taskbar is located, by default, at the bottom of the screen. If you cannot find the "Magnifier Settings" tab, then go to the Start menu. Click on "All Programs." Click on "Accessories" and then "Accessibility." Select the magnifier from the list given. If you cannot find "Magnifier Settings" on the taskbar or in the Start menu under the Accessibility folder, click "Start" and "Run." Type into the window that pops up: "magnify.exe" and click "OK."

  2. Ensure that the checkbox labelled "Show Magnifier" in the Magnifier Settings window is unchecked. This should cause the magnifier at the top of the screen to disappear. Click "Exit."

  3. Remove the magnifier from the autostart queue. If the magnifier begins each time the computer is turned on, chances are it is set to start automatically. There are a number of places where removal can be done throughout the operating system. The most obvious is the "Startup" folder. Click on the Start menu, click "All Programs", and finally "Start-up". If the magnifier is found within the "Startup" folder, then right-click the name of the tool and choose delete. Don't worry: this will not delete the program, just the shortcut to the program. The magnifier tool itself will remain within the Accessibility folder in case it's needed in the future.

  4. Remove the magnifier from the autostart queue in the registry. If the magnifier still appears to be starting when the computer is turned on, then chances are it is being loaded by the system registry, a database that holds settings for Windows. It is possible to edit the Windows registry by hand and remove this command. Here is the procedure. Click the Start menu. Click "Run. Type "regedit." Inside the registry window, open the folder "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE". Within that folder, open the subfolder "SOFTWARE". Open "Microsoft" and then "Windows". Find the "Run" folder. If this folder contains an entry that refers to "magnify.exe," then right-click on the key name and choose delete. Be very careful that you delete only this entry. An important rule for dealing with the Windows registry: Don't change anything unless you know exactly what you are changing.

  5. Warning

    Step 4 involves an advanced and potentially dangerous procedure. Mistakes in the registry can cause serious problems for Windows, and may even make it impossible for your computer to start up. If steps 1-3 do not help and if you are not 100% confident of your ability to edit the registry yourself, you may have to go to professional technical support service.

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Things You'll Need

  • Computer


About the Author

Amber D. Walker has been writing professionally since 1989. She has had essays published in "Fort Worth Weekly," "Starsong," "Paper Bag," "Living Buddhism" and more. Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas and worked as an English teacher abroad for six years.

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