How to change the size of your icons

When I installed and logged into Windows Vista, the first thing that I noticed were the big icons from my desktop. Immediately I searched for a way to make them smaller. So far, this is the easiest method I found:

Desktop Icons

Minimize all the windows you have open (if any), then press and hold the “Ctrl” key and scroll up or down with your mouse wheel. This will allow you to increase or decrease the size of the icons from your desktop.

Desktop Icons

In Windows Explorer you can do the same thing to change the size of the icons shown. Press and hold the “Ctrl” key and scroll up/down with your mouse wheel.

Views

Alternatively, click on the small arrow near the “Views” button from the upper menu. A drop down menu will appear and you can select the size you want for the icons shown in Windows Explorer.

Views


Related articles:
How to change the font size in Windows Vista
Want larger Quick Launch icons in the Taskbar?
How to change Window Color and Appearance
Remove the arrow and the “shortcut” text from your Windows Vista shortcuts
Customize your desktop icons
How to configure the Screen Saver

45 Replies to “How to change the size of your icons

    1. Haha my 3 yr old played with
      Haha my 3 yr old played with my icons (i liked big icons cause i have a big screen) and made all my icons as small as they can get! lol thanks anyway!

  1. How to change the size of your icons
    Excellent post, I just install vista over the weekend and had the same problem. Great site you have here, I think I’m going to be visiting alot.
    Kevin.

  2. Thanks a lot.
    I too was

    Thanks a lot.

    I too was actually annoyed enough by the size of icons that I started a search for it, and found an easy fix here thanks to you George.

  3. THiS iS THE BEST SOLUTiON
    THiS iS THE BEST SOLUTiON i`VE SEEN YET!

    OTHER SOLUTiONS MAKE U RiGHT CLiCK ON THE
    DESKTOP && THEN GO TO ViEW WHiCH ONLY GiVES
    YOU THREE OPTiONS: LARGE iCONS, MEDiUM iCONS, OR
    CLASSiC iCONS.

    YOUR SOLUTiON ACTUALLY LETS YOU SET THE iCONS
    TO YOUR CHOiCE.. NOT ONE OF THREE. THANKS =]

  4. Other method
    It works thanks!
    you can also right click on desktop and click to View->Classic icons,
    but if you wish your icons to be more smaller then follow the above steps!

  5. Text
    My icons were normal (average size) but this morning when I activated the computer all of a sudden the icons were so small you could hardly read them. That problem has now been resolved thanks to the suggestions listed above. However, the text is also so small that it hurts your eyes to reading it. I can’t get this back to normal. Any suggestions?

  6. Desktop in Windows Vista…
    Please someone help me….

    First I am not interested in DPI for size changing.

    What I need are directions for changing the icon size and font size just on the desktop. In Windows XP it was r click on the desktop and l click on properties and left click on appearance and advanced and then you can make the changes you need. e.g. active title box, message box, scroll buttons, icon, font and size, etc. etc.

    I’ve tried to search for the answer but to no avail.. I have two books and still can find the answer.

    But in Windows Vista, I can’t find the directions anyway.. Again, I don’t want to change the DPI.

    1. Did you read this article?
      Did you read this article? It says exactly how to change the icon size on the desktop. Just follow the instructions….
      We have a separate article about changing the DPI.

  7. Thank you!
    Just got a new PC with Vista on it, and the big icons were driving me nuts. You were the first site to pop up on Google, and now I have happy little icons. Thanks! 🙂

  8. thanks
    o thanks loads of ppl still dont know how to change these settings after searching forums everone is clueless so well done and thank u very much.

  9. How to make Vista icons small
    You can also make the Vista desktop icons small by clicking right mouse button => View => Classical Icons. Also try Auto Arrange.

    – Tarun

  10. Desktop icons were way too large
    I tried everything I could think of. I even talked to our computer troubleshooter at work, but he doesn’t know windows vista. This information on this page helped tremendously, my icons are now back to normal size……. thanks so very much…………..

  11. Thank you!
    I’ve hated those massive icons since the day I got this computer! I’ve seriously considered just going back to my old PC. I don’t like icons anyway (is there a way to get rid of them altogether??) so these monster-sized things on my desktop were driving me nuts!

  12. thanks
    you guys are the best mi little girl touched something and the desktop icons where huge i spent 2 hours checking control panel ,personalization etc etc and nothing I called technical support nothing then i decide to google “how to change icon size on a desktop” i search and found this . I resolved in two seconds hahahaha this is the best…….

  13. THANKS SO MUCH
    Thank you so much. I have had my friends children around at my house, and they fiddled with all of my settings, and i spent 3 days trying to put all of it back to normal 😀

    THANKS 😛

  14. Thanks for the help, a mate
    Thanks for the help, a mate who thought I knew everything asked me how to reduce the size and I was stumped, I didn’t like the large icons either. Much appreciated.

  15. trouble with laptop vs desktop
    I agree with Leo above — I have a laptop with touchpad, so no mouse or trackball. Unfortunately, can’t get CTRL button to make a difference. My icons (and even the size of my wallpaper!) change spontaneously, then resume their normal (smaller) size after a few weeks. Any suggestions for how to fix this (rather than just waiting it out and praying for the best) would be appreciated! It is more than a simple annoyance — the size issue impacts databases and data registries I need for work!

  16. Thank you!
    My 23 month old baby somehow changed the icon size to the largest possible size. What was normally three columns of icons took over my entire desktop. I appreciate your article. Thank you!

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