Why is Internet Explorer 8 opening my web page at 125% zoom?

Hi Everyone,

This is Bac Hoang with the IE Support Team.  Today I want to discuss one of changes in IE8:  Page Zoom.

Traditionally, many existing web sites are coded to be displayed on a 96-DPI (dots per inch) display device.  With fast growing technology, many computer monitors today are able to handle higher screen resolutions.  In other words, they can pack more pixels per inch for the same screen size.  At the optimal display level (highest screen resolution), browsing the internet can become difficult, if not challenging, for someone who has vision impairment. Text may appear very small and be difficult to read.  The recommended solution for making the web page bigger is to change the system display to a higher DPI level, instead of lowering the screen resolution.  Lowering the screen resolution can make things look bigger, but the image quality is often very poor.  Unlike IE7, IE8 is high-DPI aware and will automatically display the web page at an appropriate zoom level above 100% when the system scaling is set above 96 DPI.  Below is the default setting in IE8 at different DPI level.


DPI scaling is done relative to how content would display at 96 DPI, so a system setting of 120 DPI would scale to (120 DPI / 96 DPI * 100%) 125% zoom.  IE8 will also persist the zoom state when the users change to a different zoom level.  Of course there are times when you only want to change the zoom setting for a particular page you are viewing, and still want to keep the system defaults.  This can be done by checking ‘Reset zoom level for new windows and tabs’ option in the Advanced tab of the Internet Options dialog


IE7 uses the Optical Zoom technique to enlarge/shrink the page.  While this magnifying glass technique certainly achieves the goal, it introduces the undesirable scrollbars at various places and sometimes unexpected poor page layout.  IE8 improves the user experience by using the Adaptive Zoom technique.  When a web page containing images is zoomed, IE8 will scale the images using a bicubic interpolation algorithm.  If for whatever reason, images do not display well with this technique, web site developers can opt out of this behavior by using the CSS vendor property –ms-interpolation-mode and set its value to ’nearest-neighbor’.  Keep in mind that images when zoomed will not look as crisp as the original regardless of what technique is used.  Web site developers can improve their web site display by using a higher resolution image.  Using javascript, web developers can detect the browser’s zoom state with screen.deviceXDPI and/or screen.deviceYDPI properties.  For more information on how IE8 zoom affects other DHTML Elements, review the white paper:  Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Whitepapers - Release: Zoom v2.

Hopefully this blog post helps clear up any confusion you may have about IE8 zoom feature.


The IE Support Team

Comments (22)

  1. Don Jones says:

    I was thrilled at the new screen size. So much easier on the eyes. I fiddled with the resolution and now do not remember where it was set.

    Is there a recommended resolution for this new browser?


  2. Don Jones says:

    I was thrilled at the new screen size. So much easier on the eyes. I fiddled with the resolution and now do not remember where it was set.

    Is there a recommended resolution for this new browser?


  3. Josh says:

    My wife and I both absolutely hate that IE 8 does this.  Please let us drive the software ourselves and quit micromanaging everything.  You guys should be fixing security weaknesses instead of developing this irritating functionality.

  4. Ell says:

    IE8 ms-interpolation

    in IE8 the css ms-interpolation-mode is not working

    in IE7  it works ok !!

    how I implement the ms-interpolation in IE8 ?

    the compatibale… didn’t help



  5. Ilias K says:

    Had no problem so far with my IE8 . I must have done something because I have the following problem.

    IE starts OK, but then when I choose something else either than the home page, the screen shrinks.

    I have to click the MAXIMIZE on top right corner of Title bar, to bring the screen back to full size …but again after some seconds it shrinks back to about half size….sometimes to one third size.

    My system is running on VISTA and my computer is Full HD.

    Your help and advise would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you


  6. Jim Spinuzzi says:

    Where is my zoom level window(lower righthand corner)?  It’s gone and I can’t find it.

  7. Craig W says:

    With some applications, IE8 seems to hang when pages are displayed at other than 100%.  When that happens, a CPU core is consumed and memory allocated to IE grows at about 1MB per second.  I’m running IE8 on XP SP3.  I end up having to kill IE via Task Manager and start again, first setting zoom to 100%.

  8. Personal Checks says:

    I’m having the same problem as Craig with pages hanging & being slow, especially on one of my sites, I hope it’s not affecting other visitors.

  9. Dave says:

    I am trying to figure out JScript or whatever that will allow me to have a browser zoom set for my web site.

    In other words, when people arrive on my site it zooms to say 150%.  The entire site, not just images nor just text. Everything.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you,


  10. Shadowjewel6 says:

    I can’t find the magnifying glass in internet explorer!

  11. John Smith says:

    The zoom of the web pages at high DPI is OK, as it is easy for people to change. Howeverm the zoom applied to the toolbars is extremely annoying, as it reduces the space available for web content, and it looks terrible at 120 dpi.

    It would have been very simple for Microsoft to include a setting of "96 dpi tollbars" or "96 dpi icons". It is beyond me why Microsoft would omit this. As a consequence I use Firefox, and I get no benefit of the fact that IE8 has now fixed most of the IE7 standards non-compliance issues. I only use IE8 when testing my web page designs.

    Why cannot you give us narrow toolbars and icons, Microsoft? It should not be that difficult.

  12. Alexander says:

    In IE8 you cannot disable zoom (to obtain default quality @ 100% [without resampling])!


  13. Aaron says:

    This works great.  I have a 15" 1920X1200 screen and can not use it with 120 DPI and IE8 zooming to 125%.


  14. Steve says:

    This is not a good feature.  It modifies the designer's intentions and that is not good.  For example, if I design my webpage to fit a 1280×1024 screen, it will look fine on every browser but IE8.  On IE8, I end up with scroll bars and text that is out of proportion to the overall web site. This might be a good feature if it could be turned off, but forcing it on us is BAAADDDDD.  I am a Microsoft fan, so I am really disappointed.

  15. cant see anything its so small says:

    the scrren print is so small i can't read the help blogs, is it the exploer 8 that i should dump

  16. Peter says:

    The adaptive zoom is horrible.  The zoom level jumps  all over the place when I'm trying to read a page.  How do I turn it off?

  17. Andy says:

    This is why people switch to Firefox, Opera, Chrome etc!

    Is there a way to override the adaptive zoom using css or javascript? As a web designer I have to say this sucks!

  18. PETE says:

    I have windows 7 and when I open a web page or a sub-web page within a web page, my screen does not open to its maximum size. I always have to maximize it. Is there a setting that anyone knows of that can eliminate this problem?

    Thank You

  19. Ross says:

    Its the mouse setting. I just bought a HP255 and found it. Went to control panel, then type in mouse settings in the search bar..click on mouse settings…then device settings…then settings..theres a setting for pinch zoom..disable it! Apply then ok.

  20. jeff says:

    I was getting zoom change in IE11 when doing a two finger drag to scroll the window. It seems to be better now I've changedthe following

    • de-selected > control panel > pen & touch > touch > enable multi-touch gestures.
    • de-selected > control pane > pen & touch > flicks > use flicks

    • de-selected > control pane > pen & touch > flicks > display flicks in notification area

    My windows machine is a VM running in VirtualBox on a MacBook, so scrolling with 2 finger drag still works because the mac recognizes the gesture & VirtualBox sends that as a scroll instruction to the VM.

  21. AxelRMSFT says:


    Thanks for sharing your findings. Windows 8.1 + IE11 should provide you with a true touch experience. Interesting and happy to see all working for you in your VM environment!

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