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How to Change the Icon Size on Windows 7 Desktop

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"How to Change the Icon Size on Windows 7 Desktop" discusses the default size of desktop icons, and describes two different methods of changing the size of your displayed icons. Also of note is the procedure for changing the icon label text size as well.

How to Change the Icon Size on Windows 7 Desktop

Windows 7 uses a new desktop icon size for its desktop default. The size is larger than the default icon size on previous versions of Windows, such as XP. This is fine for some LCDs, but depending on the size of your screen real estate, it can be tough on the eyes, or can consume way too much of your viewable area. Fortunately, it is a simple matter to change the icon size.

To change your icon size, right click the desktop, and select View. Next select the size you want as shown in Fig. 1 below.

Icon Size.png

Fig. 1

Windows 7 provides Small, Medium, and Large icons, as shown in the above graphic. However, there is another way to change your icon size that provides you with a dynamic range of sizes. If you are using a mouse equipped with a scroll wheel, click any free space on your desktop, and while pressing/holding the CTRL key, scroll you mouse wheel forward and backward to change the size of your icons. When you are satisfied with the results, release the CTRL key. Resizing your icons in this manner provides more options than the three available in the View context menu.

Check out Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 for some size comparisons.

Small Icons.png

Fig. 2

Large Icons.png

Fig. 3

Once you have your icon size set to your liking, you can tweak your icon label font size by clicking Control Panel > Personalization (if you have your View by: set to small or large icons) > Window Color > Advanced appearance settings, and on the Window Color and Appearance Page, select the Item: drop down box and choose Icon from the list. You can then change the font as well as the font size just below the drop down box. This Window Color and Appearance selection page is basically the same as we used in Windows XP.

Alternatively, you can right click the desktop and select Personalize. Next click Window Color at the bottom. Then click the Advanced appearance settings, and the Windows Color and Appearance window should pop open. Please note, however, that you must have chosen a Windows 7 Basic theme or an Ease of Access theme in order to make changes using this method. When Windows Aero is operating, it overrides any changes attempted in the Windows Color and Appearance window.

What are your thoughts? Is it helpful to know how to change the icon size using your mouse and keyboard?

Any comments you care to share are most welcome and appreciated.


CaptainPC has been hanging around computers since 1982, when audio cassette tapes were common storage media in home computing. He is a church administrator, oversees the church computer network, and holds Comptia's A+ Certification for PC Hardware Maintenance & Repair, as well as Comptia's Network+ certification in general networking. The Captain spends his time maintaining computers, testing software products and cleaning malware infections.

1 Like, article_pluralized, 15,194 Visitors, and 326 Posts.

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