How to Change the Icon Size in Windows 10

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Wish the desktop icons in Windows 10 were bigger so you could stop squinting at them or they'd be easier to tap on a touchscreen laptop? Or do you wish they were smaller so the shortcuts didn't take up as much space on your screen? Windows 10 luckily makes it very easy to change the desktop icon size.

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How to Change the Size of Desktop Icons in Windows 10

1. Right-click on an empty space on the desktop.

2. Select View from the contextual menu.

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3. Select either Large icons, Medium icons, or Small icons. The default is medium icons.

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On my laptop with a native 1600 by 900 pixels display, the large option looks huge, the small size is too small, and the medium size looks just right (as Goldilocks would say). Your mileage might vary depending on your screen's display resolution. Changing the size of the icons on the desktop doesn't affect the size of the icons elsewhere in Windows 10, but there are ways you can change those too.

How to Change the Size of the Taskbar Icons

If you want to change the size of the icons in your taskbar, there's a different setting for that, which will also change the size of text, apps, and other items across Windows 10.

1. Right-click on an empty space on the desktop.

2. Select Display settings from the contextual menu.

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3. Move the slider under "Change the size of text, apps, and other items" to 100%, 125%, 150%, or 175%. 

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4. Hit Apply at the bottom of the settings window. Windows might ask you to log out and log back in for a more consistent experience.

This will not only make the icons in the taskbar a bit larger, but it will also make text bigger in apps like Microsoft Edge and Calendar, as well as in Windows 10 notification windows.

How to Change the Size of Icons in File Explorer

If you'd like larger or smaller icons or thumbnails in particular folders, you can change those on the fly in File Explorer.

Just head to your folder location and use your mouse's scroll wheel to zoom in or out, effectively switching the view between Windows 10's large icons, medium icons, small icons, list, details, tiles, and content views.

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Although File Explorer will remember your last setting when you open this folder again, this is a folder-specific setting, so you'll have to adjust each folder you'd want different icon and text sizes for.

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35 comments
  • TinaModoti Says:

    Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.. Good tips!!!

  • noemi aguirre Says:

    Thank you so much. I fixed my icons

  • Carol Webb Says:

    I must have done something when typing on my e-mail as the text was so small it was unreadable. It is the same on word and excel. How do fix this?

  • Nipane Says:

    Thank you. It is much appreciated.

  • Richard Says:

    This is BS. The change Icon size on the task bar changes the size of the icons on the desk top ... all of them except the ones on the task bar.

    Swing and a miss ....

  • Fredrick Raasch Says:

    Thank you. Here is another one.
    When you got all your applications closed or minimize. You can just hold the (ctrl) button and then scroll your mouse up or down.

  • Helen Says:

    Thank you. It is much appreciated.

  • Kathy Says:

    This worked great! Thank You!!!

  • cindy Says:

    The screen is very big, want to make back to normal. How do I fix this?

  • Declin Says:

    thank you so much i just hated when they were so big and i did not know how to make them small this helped a lot thank you again

  • Pam Richardson Says:

    Thank you for this hint! Somehow the icons on my laptop got super tiny and I couldn't figure out a way to make the bigger...I can sleep well tonight!

  • Darlene Morris Says:

    My desktop icons are HUGE and driving me nuts! My Outlook is extremely wide including all words. Please send directions to make everything look like windows 7 again. I have research the internet and cannot find a fix. Please help! Darlene

  • Devoe Slisher Says:

    Display setting slider only gives me 100 percent and 125 percent options. Both display larger than desired.

  • DelMarie Says:

    When I opened my email using Windows 10, the entire screen information was reduced to one-quarter inch and in the upper left corner of the page. How do I make it normal again?

  • Lorna Says:

    Thank you!! Worked straight away

  • Chrissy Says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!! Thought that I would go crazy!!!

  • Montu Basak Says:

    Thank you so much. I found the answer that I needed right away!

  • Heather Lloyd-Kemper Says:

    Thank you so much. I found the answer that I needed right away!

  • Harold Beck Says:

    Haven't had time to check it yet, but Melanie Pinola this is probably one of the most well written concise help articles I have run across. GREAT WORK!!

  • Asnath Says:

    Thanks so much for your information. It really helps

  • mary liquori Says:

    need screen icons medium size right now they are to large and take up to much space on the left side where i like them

  • Afungi Says:

    The desktop icons on Windows 10 have all moved to the left and become a list. Have tried to restore to original,including restart, to no avail. Can you help please

  • JANAK Says:

    THANKS for support me. really nice..

  • Peter Says:

    Thank You, it is very helpful learning from someone who has the answers. :-)

  • Kaylor Says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Braindrain Says:

    Or just hold Ctrl and spin the mousewheel. You're welcome.

  • Fred Jones Says:

    You have to be joking. the icons on win 10 are huge. I could be looking at my notebook from a 100 miles away and still see the icons. the google chrome icon can be seen from space.

  • Karen Says:

    on my windows10 my screen suddenly went to a wide stretched out version, how do I get it back to normal? TIA

  • Hugh. Says:

    Thanks. Why is it so impossible for MS to convey this kind of information. 10 minues on MS random linkage hell. 10 seconds here.

  • Jon1992 Says:

    The problem i have is the "APPs" are huge; whenever i press the windows key, no clue how i activated that, nor how to reset it to normal like it was when i first started windows 10. Help.

  • Angel Says:

    THANK YOU! My desktop icons were suddenly HUGE and driving me nuts! Couldn't find anywhere to change. Whew!!

  • DARIO Says:

    Thank you. I was following on microsoft wwww how to change size of icons it was impossible to do it. they complicated the whole explanation that i lost actually 45 min trying to do the way they said. luckily found your page. thank you again

  • fotojunkie Says:

    I love you!
    Somehow my desktop got changed to ENORMOUS icons and I could not figure out how to change them.
    I was getting irritated so I did a google search, landed on your page, and am now forever indebted to you.
    THANK YOU!

  • Dave C Says:

    This was so helpful whereas other advice, notably the Microsoft site, made it incredibly complicated.

  • xssd Says:

    Thanks

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