In a perfect world, all the videos and content you see on your TV or monitor will be displayed in the right size and in complete detail. However, if you’re using a streaming stick or device such as a Chromecast for your TV then there’s a chance that you might encounter a zoomed-in TV picture.
Seeing a Chromecast video or photo zoomed in can be a source of frustration, but if you know your way around a smart TV or the casting device then this could be a relatively easy and quick fix.
The most probable reasons for a zoomed in Chromecast include an incorrect TV aspect ratio or an overscan issue, an accidental button press on the remote, or that the casting device has the video or photo zoomed in.
Thankfully, none of our solutions will take you more than five minutes, which means you can get back to what you were doing quickly and without losing precious time. That said, let’s troubleshoot the reasons why a Chromecast zoom happens and the things you can do to get the picture back to normal.
Your Chromecast and TV May Need a Restart
The easiest fix to a zoomed-in Chromecast is to simply restart the Chromecast and the display it’s connected to.
Like us humans, devices will need a break every now and then. If you’ve been streaming content on your TV via Chromecast for more than a couple of hours, then it may have started getting ‘fatigued’ with all the work it had to do. A zoomed in Chromecast picture is one of the few ways your streaming stick is telling you that it needs a quick reset.
From here, you’ll have two options- do a restart or allow your TV and Chromecast to rest a bit. You can unplug the TV from the wall socket or extension as well as the USB power cable your Chromecast is connected to, wait 1-2 minutes, then plug both devices back in. Use the TV remote or the manual power button on the TV to bring it around, and your Chromecast should do the same once it’s connected to a power source.
You can also reset your Chromecast device using your smartphone or tablet through the Google Home app. Open Google Home, then locate the Chromecast device, and at the top right part of the screen you’ll see ‘Settings’. Go to ‘More’ and you’ll find the option to ‘Reboot’. Follow the prompts until the streaming device comes back on.
A factory reset of the TV or Chromecast isn’t usually needed to fix a zoomed in issue, unless you want to start fresh and possibly fix other issues you may be experiencing. To factory reset a TV, navigate through the Settings page and find ‘Factory Reset’.
To factory reset a Chromecast, it’s recommended that you press and hold the button at the back of the device until the LED turns white. From there, set it up via the Google Home app as needed.
The TV’s Aspect Ratio or Picture Settings are Incorrect
If the video or content you’re trying to watch on your TV looks cropped at the edges, or obviously zoomed too far in, then this could mean that one or more of the TV’s output settings is incorrect.
Most modern videos are now full HD and have an aspect ratio of 16:9. There are some that have a higher resolution, such as 2K or 4K, but these formats will still look fine on a 16:9 scale. Older formats have that boxed video look at a 4:3 aspect ratio. If you view a video that has a 4:3 format in an HD display, then you’ll likely see black bars at the sides.
Now let’s say that you have a full HD or 4K TV with a Chromecast connected, and you’re playing a video that’s painfully zoomed in. If it’s an old video that’s stretched too wide, then you may need to force your TV to display it in its native format. In this case, you will need to go to the TV’s settings, then Picture or Picture Settings, and finally you’ll see several options you can tweak, e.g., picture size, aspect ratio, and more.
If it’s an old monitor or TV that’s square and puts out a 4:3 aspect ratio, then you will need to adjust the video on the player or the app where the content is coming from. However, you’ll be limited to viewing in 4:3 format since converting it into full HD or higher won’t be possible.
Try to tinker through your TV’s remote for a shortcut to changing the picture size or mode. The button may have ‘P. Size’ or P. Mode’ on it, or even sometimes a ‘Zoom’ button. If not, then you can press the home button and choose the gear icon or just press the shortcut ‘menu’ button.
If the Chromecast is connected to an external display or monitor, you can access the aspect ratio settings and more through the physical buttons on the device. Navigate through the monitor’s menu and you can usually find it in the ‘Video Settings’ section.
Overscan is Turned On
Most smart TVs are made to be intuitive and adapt to the video or content that’s being played on streaming sticks and devices. The default option will work fine in most cases, until a higher resolution video or photo comes along. When this happens, the Chromecast will match the content for every pixel, even if it means creating a zoom effect on the display.
Overscan is the general term for a TV setting that attempts to make the whole video or picture fit into its display. In popular smart TV models such as Sony or Samsung, you should be able to view and fix overscan and underscan settings by going to the Settings section, then Picture or Picture Size.
From here, you’ll be able to choose a 4:3 format, 16:9 format, wider zoom, zoom, or a custom option. Some will have a ‘just scan’ option that will automatically adjust the content being played to the TV’s default resolution.
For a quick fix, you can enable ‘just scan’ every time the video seems too zoomed in. However, if you’re casting your computer’s screen to the Chromecast, then it may be better to set the TV’s resolution to the exact same one in your computer. This way, the picture will be clear and you can even use it as a second monitor.
Overscan is rarely an option on external displays and monitors, although there might be a zoom option or a ‘move picture’ that you may have pressed by accident. To correct this, navigate through your monitor’s menu until you see the corresponding action.
Screen Magnifier is Turned On
Screen Magnifier is an accessibility feature that’s built into smartphones, computers, monitors, and yes, TVs.
It can help those with impaired vision get a better look at important details whenever it’s needed. However, for those who can read through a TV screen just fine, a zoomed in Chromecast via screen magnifier can be a nuisance.
Verify if you’re in screen magnifier mode by looking around for a magnifying glass icon. Somewhere on the screen is a close or exit option — if you have a remote that has a trackpad, or a connected mouse, then you can click or tap to exit the accessibility feature.
In some smart TVs, pressing the up or down button on the remote can increase or decrease the size of the video or content being played. You may have accidentally sat down on the remote and pressed buttons inadvertently, thus resulting in a zoomed in video.
Pressing the up button will only make it more zoomed in; if this is the case, then you can just press the down button on the remote to restore the video to its default size.
The Photo or Video is Zoomed In
The Chromecast is a convenient tool for when you need to cast content, such as photos or videos, or even a webpage to a bigger screen, like a TV. While sometimes filling up the screen with the video is as easy as tapping the full screen button on your smartphone or computer, in other cases the content you’re viewing is blown out of proportion.
For a zoomed in picture or video when casting to Chromecast, you should first check the content you’re viewing on the original device.
On smartphones, videos and photos can be easily zoomed using a pinching motion or a double tap anywhere on the screen. To go back to the original picture size, zoom out with a reverse pinch or double tap again.
To prevent an accidental zoom from happening, some apps will have a lock screen option. When playing from a computer, you may need to find out how to revert the video size to 100% (or normal) using keyboard shortcuts or through the menu.
Incorrect Resolution From the Casting Device
This Chromecast zoom issue stems mostly from laptops and desktop computers casting content into a TV that has a lower resolution. Assuming both computer and TV have the same resolution at full HD, the content you cast should fill up nicely on the screen.
However, there are times when the computer resolution is lower or higher than the recommended size, which makes the video seem zoomed in.
Adjusting the resolution for the Chromecast display is easy. All you need to do is go to the Settings app in your computer, then Display. Under this section will be a choice to change or adjust Display resolution.
For higher-end computers or monitors the display can be up to 2K or even 4K, but mostly the default will be Full HD, or a 1920 x 1080 resolution. If you’re not sure, click the option that says ‘recommended’ and click the ‘Apply’ button.
When casting videos that are the wrong orientation, such as a video in portrait from a smartphone, you may need to check the app’s settings or your smartphone or tablet’s picture orientation. In video players like VLC or MX Player the option should be right in the settings section.
However, you will want to check your smartphone or tablet’s orientation first by going through the drop-down menu. Set the orientation to adjust automatically or lock it to landscape mode.
Bottom Line – Chromecast Zoomed In is a Relatively Easy Fix
As a tip, once you notice that the video or picture you’re seeing is zoomed in, immediately hit pause and don’t exit the video, picture or app.
Reach for the remote, head to the Settings and try to fix it there.
Adjust the screen ratio, disable overscan, or just pick the correct resolution and the picture should go back to normal.