The mobile web site used to support the zoom gesture, which I often use to be able to see images and interact with comments. In the last few days this has stopped working for me. I'm using Chrome (51.0.2704.81) on Android (4.4.4).

I'm not talking about automatic zooming that I'm told used to be built into on iOS. I'm talking about user-initiated zoom, which used to work and now does not.

I'm aware of this similar question, which is tagged . That seems to be about the app. My issue is with the mobile web site.

  • Can confirm same on Chrome (51.0.2704.104) on iOS 9.3.4
    – Cai
    Aug 12, 2016 at 7:02
  • Isn't that a feature? The constant zooming to add a comment was very annoying. What is your case you want to be able to zoom? Aug 12, 2016 at 9:08
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    @PatrickHofman it's not a feature if I can't see stuff (or get the comment controls far-enough apart to be able to upvote or delete) and the site defeats the zoom that is otherwise built into the browser. The immediate prompt for this question was a post with an image I couldn't read. I really wanted to be able to zoom that, and I couldn't. (And the image was a link, not just an imgur image, so clicking through didn't help. But I shouldn't have to click through anyway.) I don't remember having to zoom to add a comment, so I'm not sure what you mean there. Aug 12, 2016 at 13:10
  • Maybe that zooming was an iOS thing then. When you clicked Add Comment and put the cursor in the box the browser would zoom automatically. That has been fixed now with the fixed view port. Maybe that is the 'solution' that caused your problems. Aug 12, 2016 at 13:25
  • @PatrickHofman oh. That sounds frustrating. I've never seen that behavior, nor used SE on iOS (neither browser nor app). I'm seeing this in the mobile browser on Android, where I can no longer use the zoom gesture to make pages bigger. Aug 12, 2016 at 13:54
  • this is actually status-bydesign - we've updated mobile code recently a little bit. not being able to zoom is actually kinda standard behaviour on many mobile websites (including even facebook, twitter or google). being able to zoom wasn't a bug but it was a cause for many unexpected issues and behaviors we didn't want.
    – Paweł
    Aug 16, 2016 at 11:12
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    @PatrickHofman true, adding it as answer.
    – Paweł
    Aug 16, 2016 at 11:15
  • @ShadowWizard i think you posted that comment almost the same time when i did so i assume you haven't read it, right?
    – Paweł
    Aug 16, 2016 at 11:16
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    i see there's a lot of complaints about disabled zooming. we will reconsider all the issues and possible solutions for that one more time and decide if we should enable scaling again... thank you all for your feedback and sory if that change made your experience of using SO worse - that definitely wasn't goal for us.
    – Paweł
    Aug 16, 2016 at 15:29
  • Thanks @Paweł for your responsiveness! The reaction probably surprised you too (you probably thought it was a minor change), and creating a bad "designer experience of meta" wasn't my intention, either. Aug 16, 2016 at 16:07
  • @MonicaCellio it's all good. SO is built by community. i just move pixels around and type some code behind :) all the changes are community-driven.
    – Paweł
    Aug 16, 2016 at 16:09
  • @Paweł our discussion here made me curious about how your small design team approaches testing designs in all their myriad environments, so I asked this question in hopes that you or one of your teammates will enlighten interested folks. Thanks. Aug 16, 2016 at 18:57
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    @Paweł on a side note, it makes me happy to see the huge change SE team went through. Few years ago, when it was Jeff kingdom, nobody even dreamed about such change of mind. His decisions were... final and even 1000 downvotes wouldn't bother him. :-) Aug 16, 2016 at 18:59
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    Not only the vision-impaired but also the fat-fingered (or hand-eye-coordination-impaired) lose out by this: compare meta.stackexchange.com/q/278174
    – msh210
    Aug 17, 2016 at 13:22

2 Answers 2


Thank you for your feedback guys.

We're temporarily enabling zooming back. You should see it working in up to couple hours until we deploy it.

One of main reasons why it was turned off was unexpected zooming on form fields on focus state - iOS browsers do that when font-size in form fields is smaller than 16px. We currently use 12px. 16px is way too big for our design, so this will not change.

There are some workarounds, but some of them don't work perfectly and some of them are too "hacky".

So zoom should be on again very soon.

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    Maybe delete this then, at least for the time being? It's confusing to have two conflicting answers. :) Aug 18, 2016 at 12:10
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    See also meta.stackexchange.com/q/278174 ... any chance zoom can be instated there, too?
    – msh210
    Aug 18, 2016 at 17:00
  • I have always been fine with the zoom-on-form-fields, preferring being able to zoom. Thanks for re-enabling! Aug 18, 2016 at 21:21
  • @msh210 chat is different codebase and has way more complicated UI structure. as for now, zooming is not an option for chat. but we will look into that specific issue with reply arrow (not sure when though).
    – Paweł
    Aug 19, 2016 at 9:43

It is interesting to note that some issue about adding a comment is a higher priority for SE than making the site accessible to people with a less gifted visual prowess. Nonetheless, as a workaround, enable the "Force override zoom" in the browser and be done with. :)

Example: settings in Firefox

Firefox settings

Result: Result

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    Ah, that will help Monica seeing the page again. Fortunately for her, she is using Android, since this feature isn't available on iOS :( Aug 16, 2016 at 13:46
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    Thank you! I did not know about that browser setting. (Weird. I generally explore all the settings on a newly-installed app, but it's been a while since Chrome was new for me. I wonder if it's been there all along, or if I just never had to go in there before now because the web sites I use worked as expected.) Aug 16, 2016 at 13:47

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