How can I stop Chrome from randomly zooming in web pages?

If you use Chrome on your laptop then you may have accidentally zoomed into a page as your palm or thumb brushed the touchpad.

It’s easy to unwittingly press the zoom function especially when you’re managing multiple tabs or holding Ctrl while clicking links.  The zoom blunder can be pretty vexing when you’re viewing a webpage and then have to wait for the browser to render the page as the layout is redrawn.

Yes, pressing Ctrl + 0 (that’s a zero) will reset the view to a normal view at 100% ; however, this is still annoying.

Nicholas Wong attempted to address this concern and created a Chrome extension called Zoom Lock that lets you zoom to a certain percentage and then lock it in place.  You basically install the extension and then refresh your browser to make it work.

This might work for some people but it doesn’t fix every issue.

I’ve discovered the best fix is to install a free, open-source, spyware-free, automation tool which you can program to disable the zoom function in Chrome.

Known as AutoHotKey, this little application lets you automate almost any keystroke or mouse click.  You can create a hotkey for almost any action you can throw at it. You can read more about all the great features on the website; however, for the purposes of this guide I just want to show you how to disable the zoom function in Chrome.

Here’s how it works: first download and install AutoHotKey.

AutoHotkey Setup Windows 7

Go with the Express Installation then run the software

AutoHotkey Run Windows 7

AutoHotkey will ask you if it’s okay to create a sample script file in My Documents.

Click Yes.  We’re going to edit that file so we can disable the Chrome zooming feature.

AutoHotkey dot ahk

Now press the Windows logo key on your keyboard and the e button to whip open Explorer and type this in the search bar in the upper right corner:

autohotkey.ahk

In the result list we’ll right click the file and choose Edit Script.

Your default text editor will fly open ready to be modified.

Edit autohotkey script

We need to change the behavior of Ctrl and the Mouse Wheel in Chrome.  Paste in the following text like so:

#IfWinActive ahk_class Chrome_WidgetWin_1
{
 ^WheelDown::return 
 ^WheelUp::return
 #MaxHotkeysPerInterval 1000
}

Change Control and Mouse Wheel Scrolling

Notice that I replaced the sample script with a new script that applies to the Chrome application: Chrome_WidgetWin_1.  Save the file and pop-open Chrome all should be well.

No more accidental zooms.

Alternatively, as a blunt approach, you could open your Control Panel and edit the settings for your Touchpad.

Click Start and type:

mouse

I have a Lenovo touchpad called UltraNav so I clicked settings for that tab.  Yours might be called Synaptics or something similar.

Touchpad Settings

Now in Settings, I can tweak stuff like Palm Check which attempts to thwart scroll accidents.  Of course this will apply across all applications and not just Chrome; however, until Google releases an update these fixes will have to suffice.

Lenovo Touchpad Palmcheck

If anything here helped you please let me know in the comments.  Thanks!

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