Changing the Size of Icons Used by Windows

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 20, 2019)

1

Most people have at least a few icons on their Desktop. Indeed, many people have so many Desktop icons that it may be hard to find room for anymore. Regardless of whether you have a few or a lot, there may come a time when you want to change the size of your icons. Windows is very customizable and includes the ability to change the size of your icons. As it is with many things in Windows, there is more than one way to affect such customization.

To change the size of your icons if you are using Windows 7, click the Start button and then click Control Panel. In the Control Panel window, click the Display item. You can now change the size of your icons (and other items on your screen) by clicking one of the radio buttons. Clicking the Medium radio button will make things a little larger; clicking the Larger radio button will increase the size of your items by 50%. After you select which size you want, click Log Off Now and then login again to see the new size. If you want to revert back to the original size, go through the same process and click the Smaller radio button.

If you are using Windows 8 the steps adjustment interface is a bit different. Start by displaying the Control Panel, then click the Appearance and Personalization link and, finally, the Display link. Windows displays the Display settings window. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Display settings in the Control Panel.

You can now change the size of your icons (and other items on your screen) by using the slider control. When you have the setting the way you want, click the Apply button (you may need to scroll down a bit to see it) and then close the window.

If you are using Windows 10 the steps adjustment interface is, again, a bit different. Type "Display Settings" (without the quotes) in the Search box to the left of the task bar and press Enter. Windows displays the Display section of the Settings dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Display section of the Settings dialog box.

Open the Change the Size of Text, Apps, and Other Items link (if it isn't already open under the Scale and Layout heading). Choose a desired setting from the drop-down list. Windows immediately applies the chosen scaling setting to the items on your Desktop. You can further customize the scaling settings by clicking on the Advanced Scaling Settings link. Enter a custom scaling size in the box under the Custom Scaling heading, click the Apply button, and then close the window.

The methods described above change the size of all items on your Desktop including text, apps, and icons. You can easily change the size of only your Desktop icons without altering the size of other items displayed on your Desktop.

If you need finer control beyond what is offered in the Control Panel (Windows 7 or 8) or the Settings dialog box (Windows 10), first minimize all of your open windows. This is easily done by clicking the Show Desktop button on the Taskbar. Once all your windows are minimized, you can reduce the size of your Desktop icons by first clicking on an open area of the Desktop and then holding down the Ctrl key while you scroll down using your mouse wheel. To increase the size of your icons, hold down the Ctrl key while you scroll up the mouse wheel.

If you are using Windows 10, there is no need to minimize all of your open windows on your Desktop before clicking on an open area of the Desktop and using the Ctrl key and the mouse wheel to adjust the size of the Desktop icons.

 This tip (11253) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Using File History

Backing up your data is an important part of computer management. Enabling File History is a painless way to be able to ...

Discover More

Understanding Event Logs

Windows event logs are great resources to see what is "invisibly" going on with your system. By understanding the various ...

Discover More

Adding and Deleting Fonts

Sometimes a document you're working on needs a font different from what comes with Windows. In such a case, a simple Web ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding the WinX Menu

Windows provides a special menu that allows you to easily access many common tools in the operating system. Here's the ...

Discover More

Renaming with Emoticons

Looking for new ways to rename your files or folders within Windows 10? Emoticons can be used to provide whimsy or extra ...

Discover More

Using Folder Properties to Count the Number of Files or Folders

Would knowing the number of files inside a folder be helpful? You can use the Folder Properties to count the items within ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

2019-05-20 12:51:22

Allan

An easier way in W7 is to rt clk anywhere on the desktop>View>Select icon size


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.