The pinch-to-zoom gesture is as old as Android itself. Not only that it’s convenient but, often, that’s the only way to zoom into content on your phone. Some users report that pinch to zoom is not working on their Android devices. If the problem is solely in Chrome, we have a quick way to solve it. On the other hand, if we’re talking about a system-wide issue, an issue that affects all apps and general multi-touch performance, that’s a completely different matter.
Either way, we have some solutions to offer. Check them out below.
Table of contents:
- Check Accessibility settings in Chrome
- Update the firmware
- Increase touch sensitivity
- Remove the screen protector
Pinch to zoom stopped working on my Android
If pinch to zoom is not working on Chrome’s web content, check the Accessibility settings. On the other hand, if pinch to zoom is not working at all you can always increase touch sensitivity or remove the screen protector. Also, keep your device up to date because there was a bug on some devices that’s, based on reports, fixed.
1. Check Accessibility settings in Chrome
When talking about this problem, some users report the problem in various third-party apps, predominantly on Pixel devices while others just have a hard time using pinch-to-zoom in Chrome. For the latter, the solution is rather simple.
Some websites will prevent zooming in on content, especially images. You can overcome this limitation by enabling the “Force to enable zoom” option in Chrome’s Accessibility settings. There’s the same option in other various browsers so, even if you don’t use Chrome as your go-to browser, you’ll know where to look.
Here’s how to force zoom on every website in Chrome for Android:
- Open Chrome.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu and open Settings.
- Open Accessibility.
- Check the “Force to enable zoom” box.
- Close Chrome and open it again.
After this, you should be able to zoom in on any web content. Again, if you don’t use Chrome, you can look for the option in Firefox, Opera, or any other third-party browser of your choice.
2. Update the firmware
Now, let’s move to the global issue that seems to plague some Android users. There are reports that pinch-to-zoom doesn’t work at all in a variety of apps. Some apps lose a lot due to these issues, rendering apps like Google Maps barely usable.
The problem affected a lot of Pixel users last year (started in June 2021.) and it seems that updates fixed the problem for some. Others managed to resolve it by removing the screen protector they were using.
So, firstly, make sure that your device is running the latest firmware. The Android 12 release on Pixel devices has its share of issues, especially on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro but it seems that the issues are gradually being fixed. And, based on reports, pinch-to-zoom is not one of the issues that came with the latest Android release.
To update your device, open Settings > System > Software update. Check for available updates and install them.
3. Increase touch sensitivity
Most Android phones running Android 11 (some OEMs incorporated this before) have the option to increase the touch sensitivity if you use screen protectors. For some reason, certain phone models have a hard time with certain touch gestures and are not as responsive. To mitigate that, turn on this option and check if the pinch-to-zoom is still not working on your Android.
Here’s how to increase touch sensitivity on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Display.
- Expand Advanced.
- Toggle on the Increase touch sensitivity option. The procedure might differ based on your Android skin.
Some users also suggest using the double-tap (hold on the second tap) and swiping up and down to zoom in on mapping apps, like Google Maps. Have in mind that this functionality might not be available on all Android devices.
4. Remove the screen protector
Finally, you can try removing the screen protector. The display calibration seems to be a bit off on some devices with screen protectors. Of course, OEMs will say that the screen protector is not compatible but, truth be told, this is a software problem and doesn’t have much to do with screen protector branding or specifications. In most cases.
So, try removing the screen protector and give pinch-to-zoom another try. If that fails, report the problem to your OEM. Also, check some Accessibility settings on your device. There might be something you can use (Magnifier comes to mind) until the issue is addressed.
If none of the instructions worked for you, consider resetting your device to factory settings.
That should do it. Thank you for reading and do tell us if any of the aforementioned steps helped you address the pinch-to-zoom problem. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or reach us on Twitter and Facebook.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in January 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.