How to change icon size

Quite a few times we feel that there is something wrong about the appearance of the icons on the screen of our computer. May be it is too large or too small. Sometimes it feels like the icons are so small that they are hardly visible and you have to focus a great deal on them in order to make it out what they really are, and sometimes it happens that the icons are so large that it seems like that they have occupied all the space on the screen.

Whatsoever may be the reason, you simply can't take your eyes off it nor are you able to ignore it because its human nature, "what we don't like, keeps on coming in front of us". It keeps on irritating you and you just want to change the size of it to a level that is best according to you. But most of us are ignorant of how easy it really is to change the icon size. Irrespective of the operating system, whether Windows XP, Vista or 7, changing icon size is very easy and you can have it done in a matter of seconds.

Complexity level: Moderate

Time required: 5 minutes

Estimated cost: Nil

Resources required:


Microsoft Windows Operating System


For Windows XP

  • Turn on the computer and then right click with the mouse on the desktop.
  • Choose the "Properties" option from the list of option displayed on the screen.
  • Properties window will appear. On the top of it is the "Appearance" tab, click on it.
  • Click the button "Advanced" in the appearance window.
  • The Advanced Appearance Window will appear. You have to choose "Item" from the drop down list and then choose "Icon".
  • Now you can select the icon size as per your requirement.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7

Changing the icon size is really very simple in the case of Windows Vista and Windows 7. You can do this in three ways, either you can use your mouse or if you don't have a mouse then you can do it via the desktop or you can also use the 'color and appearance method' . The first one is the simplest method and you can re-size the icons in just few seconds.

1. Mouse wheel method

This is a very simple method. First of all minimize all the open windows so that you can easily see your desktop. Now press and hold the "ctrl" key on the keyboard and then scroll the mouse wheel up and down. As you scroll the wheel up, the icons will become bigger in size and when you scroll down, the icons will become smaller.

2. Desktop Method

If your mouse doesn't have a scroll wheel then even you don't need to worry. Just right click on the desktop and select the "view" option. You will be provided with three options for the icons size, "Large Icons", "Medium Icons" and "Classic Icons". Choose the one which you like.

3. Color and appearance method

  • Right click on the desktop and then choose the option "Personalize".
  • On the bottom is the "Window Color" option, click on it and you will be guided to the "Windows Color And Appearance" window.
  • Click the "Advanced appearance settings" at the bottom and a dialog box will appear.
  • Click on the "Item" and from the drop down list select "Icon".
  • Now you can change the size of the icon from the range of 6 to 72.

Frequently asked questions :

Can I install custom icons (Non-Windows icons) in my desktop?

You can easily change or upgrade the icons to different styles and design with the help of softwares that are specifically made for this purpose. Stardock has launched a software by the name of "Iconpackager" for this purpose. This is a very popular software and can definitely provide you with all the facilities that you desire so that you can change the style and design of you icons.

Quick tips:

The mouse wheel method is perhaps the best method for the purpose of changing the size of the icons. Not only this method is way fast than the other ones, also you get a large number of icons size using this option.

Things to watch out for:

If you are not able to change the size of icons then there is no harm in seeking the help of others.

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