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How to make icons smaller on the desktop (in short)

In today’s tech-savvy world, personalizing our desktops is a common practice to enhance the user experience.One such customization is adjusting the size of desktop icons. If you’re looking for methods on how to make icons smaller on desktop,

you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will walk you through various techniques to achieve the desired icon

size on your desktop, ensuring a clutter-free and organized workspace.

How to Make Icons Smaller on Desktop

Understanding Icon Sizes

Before diving into the techniques on how to make icons smaller on desktop, it’s essential to understand the various icon sizes available. Desktop icons typically come in standard sizes, such as small, medium, large, and extra-large. However, some operating systems, like macOS and Linux, offer a customizable slider to adjust the icon size to your preference.

Adjusting Icon Sizes on Windows

Windows users can easily modify their desktop icon sizes through multiple methods. Let’s explore each technique to find the one that suits you best.

Using the Right-Click Method

This method is the quickest and easiest way to adjust icon sizes on Windows:

  1. Right-click on an empty area of your desktop.
  2. Hover over the View option in the context menu.
  3. Choose one of the available options – Large icons, Medium icons, or Small icons – to resize the desktop icons.

Using the Control Panel

Another way to resize icons on Windows is through the Control Panel:

  1. Open the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu.
  2. Click on Appearance and Personalization.
  3. Select Personalization.
  4. In the left pane, click on Change desktop icons.
  5. Use the slider under Icon size to adjust the size of your desktop icons.
  6. Click Apply and then OK to save your changes.

Using the Windows Registry

For advanced users, modifying the Windows Registry allows for precise control over desktop icon sizes:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics.
  4. Double-click on the Shell Icon Size value.
  5. Change the value data to your desired icon size (between 16 and 256, with 32 being the default).
  6. Click OK and restart your computer to apply the changes.

Note: Be cautious when editing the registry, as incorrect modifications can cause system instability.

Adjusting Icon Sizes on macOS

Mac users can also customize their desktop icon sizes using the following methods:

Using Finder View Options

  1. Click on the desktop to ensure you’re in Finder.
  2. In the menu bar, click on View and then Show View Options (or press Cmd + J).
  3. Use the Icon size slider to adjust the size of your desktop icons.

Using System Preferences

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner.
  2. Click on Displays.
  3. Under the Display tab, use the Resolution slider to adjust the size of your icons, text, and other items on the desktop.

Adjusting Icon Sizes on Linux

Linux users can modify their desktop icon sizes based on the desktop environment they’re using:

Using the GNOME Desktop

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the desktop.
  2. Click on Desktop Icons Settings.
  3. Use the Icon size slider to adjust the size of your desktop icons.

Using the KDE Plasma Desktop

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the desktop.
  2. Click on Configure Desktop and Wallpaper.
  3. Under the Icons tab, use the Size slider to adjust the size of your desktop icons.

Utilizing Third-Party Software

In some cases, third-party software can provide additional customization options for adjusting desktop icon sizes:

For Windows

For macOS

Creating Custom Icon Sizes

If the default icon sizes don’t meet your requirements, consider creating custom icons to suit your preferences. Various online tools and software, like GIMP, Paint.NET, or IcoFX, can help you create custom-sized icons.

Organizing Your Desktop

After adjusting your icon sizes, consider organizing your desktop to further enhance your workspace. Use folders and categorize your files and shortcuts for a clutter-free environment.

Changing Icon Text Size

In addition to resizing icons, modifying the text size can further improve your desktop aesthetics. Both Windows and macOS offer options to adjust icon text size through their respective settings.

Troubleshooting Icon Size Issues

If you’re experiencing issues with resizing desktop icons, consider the following steps:

  1. Restart your computer to refresh the system.
  2. Update your operating system and graphics drivers.
  3. Ensure your display settings are correctly configured.


Customizing your desktop, including resizing icons, is a great way to improve your workspace and user experience. This comprehensive guide on how to make icons smaller on desktop has provided you with various methods for Windows, macOS, and Linux users. Experiment with these techniques to find the one that suits your needs and enjoy a tailored desktop experience.

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