How to Change Desktop Icon Size in Windows 11

Xiaobai Software  2022-04-22 18: 06  read 675 views

Desktop icons provide convenient shortcuts to software, folders, and files, and these icons are medium-sized by default in Windows 11.However, there are various ways to make desktop icons smaller or larger, depending on your own preference.

Here are five ways to adjust the size of desktop icons in Windows 11, let's take a look:

1. How to change the size of the icon through the context menu

The desktop context menu includes three options for resizing desktop icons.Granted, the three options don't provide a lot of room for resizing icons.However, you can change the icon size via the desktop context menu, as follows.

1. Use your right mouse button to click anywhere on the desktop to bring up a context menu.

2. Select the "View" submenu in the context menu.


3. Then select the Large icon or Small icon option to change the medium size icon.

You can also view some other viewing options on this context menu submenu.Choose the Auto Arrange option to better organize them.The "Snap to Grid" option there aligns the icons on the desktop to an invisible grid.

In addition to that, Windows 11's context menu has a sorting submenu, including additional icon options.There you can choose to sort the icons on the desktop based on name, date, size and item type.

2. How to change the size of an icon with a hotkey

When resizing icons with context menu options, you may notice that these settings also have hotkeys.You can resize desktop icons by pressing these keyboard shortcuts, these are three hotkeys for resizing icons:

Ctrl + Shift + 2: Change to small icon

Ctrl + Shift + 3: Change to medium icon

Ctrl + Shift + 4: Change to large icon

Continue to press any of these key combinations to expand or shrink your desktop icons.You need to press the row number keys (not the number pad) for these hotkeys to work.There's also a Ctrl+Shift+1 hotkey for oversized icon options that the context menu doesn't include.

3. How to use the mouse wheel to change the size of the icon

Using the methods above to resize desktop icons limits you to three or four size options.If you want more flexibility in resizing, try changing the icon size with the mouse wheel (assuming you have one).You can expand or shrink the icons on the desktop by scrolling the scroll wheel up and down.

To resize icons using the scroll wheel, use the mouse to select all icons on the desktop.Hold down the Ctrl key.Then scroll the wheel up to increase the icon size.Scroll the wheel down to make the icons smaller.

4. How to change the size of icons by choosing different display resolutions

Resolution refers to the number of pixels your computer monitor is configured to display.At higher resolutions, the icons will be smaller.Therefore, lowering the resolution setting will increase the size of the icons on the desktop.If you want to try this out, here's how:

1. Click Start on the Windows 11 taskbar.Then select the Pin Settings app from the Start menu.

2. Next, select Display on the System tab of Settings.

3. Click the Display Resolution drop-down menu to select a lower or higher resolution setting.


4. Select the Keep changes option in the prompt that appears.

Note that lowering the display resolution will reduce the picture quality.Your monitor may default to its highest resolution.However, if not, you can choose a higher resolution option there to make the icons smaller.

5. How to change the size of the icon by editing the registry

Windows 11's registry includes an IconSize DWORD whose value you can edit to adjust the size of desktop icons.You can change the size of the icon by editing the registry, like this:

1. First, open the "Enter search here" text box by clicking the button on the magnifying glass taskbar.

2. Enter Registry Editor in the search tool's text box to find the application.

3. Double-click Registry Editor to open its window.

4. Next, open the key by entering the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop key in the address bar at the top of the Registry Editor.Or you can click the key for that registry location in the navigation bar.

5. Double-click the IconSize DWORD to open a value window for it.


6. Select the Decimal radio button.


7. Enter a number above or below the current value in the text box.A value of 256 would be oversized, so you don't need to enter a number much higher than that.

8. Press the OK button, and then close the Registry Editor window.

For these changes to take effect, you need to restart Windows or file manager.To restart the latter, right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.Scroll down the "Processes" tab until you see Windows Explorer.Right-click Windows Explorer and select Restart.


The icons on your desktop will then be larger or smaller than before, depending on the value you entered.You can restore them to their default medium size using the context menu method outlined in the first method.Alternatively, you can go back to the desktop registry key and adjust its IconSize DWORD value again.

This registry approach is more flexible than changing the icon size with context menu options or keyboard shortcuts.You can resize the icon by entering any specific value through the registry.So you're not limited to choosing one of three or four size options.

Customize the desktop by changing the icon size

Changing the size of icons is another way you can customize your Windows 11 desktop.You can use any of the methods above to resize the icon.However, the third and fifth methods are the most flexible ways to resize icons on the desktop.

So, do you want the icons on the desktop to be bigger or smaller?Smaller icons take up less space on the desktop, which is better if you have a large number of icons.However, larger desktop icons are sharper and may be more welcome for users of Windows 11 touchscreen laptops.So, the choice is yours.


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