Change the Icon Size on Your PC

Windows operating system introduced the world of icons and they are everywhere now — on the desktop and taskbars, in the folders and start menu. You can resize these icons to make them easier to see. Conversely, if you find them larger than necessary, you can make them smaller. In other words, you can adjust them until they are just right for you.

Make desktop icons larger

To resize desktop icons in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, right-click the Desktop and choose View→Large Icons from the pop-up menu.

In Windows XP, take these steps to show larger icons on the desktop:

  1. Right-click the desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.

  2. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Appearance tab.

  3. Click the Effects button.

  4. Place a check mark by Use Large Icons.

  5. Click OK and then click OK again to close the Display Properties dialog box.

Change the size of folder icons

You can change the size of icons in the folder windows in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, but not in XP.

In Windows 7, use the Change Your View toolbar button to set the icon size. The button is the third button from the right on the toolbar.

In Windows Vista, use the Views toolbar button to choose either the Large Icons or Extra Large Icons command.

Taskbar icons get smaller

Icons pinned to the taskbar in Windows 7 have two sizes: large and small. To set the size, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose the Properties command.

  2. Click the Taskbar tab in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.

  3. To use smaller icons, place a check mark by the item Use Small Icons.

    Or, conversely, by removing the checkmark, you set the taskbar to use larger icons.

  4. Click OK.

In Windows Vista and Windows XP, the Quick Launch toolbar is used to store frequently accessed programs. To change the icon size for the Quick Launch toolbar (or any toolbar on the taskbar), follow these steps:

  1. If necessary, unlock the taskbar: Right-click in a blank part of the taskbar and choose Lock the Taskbar from the pop-up menu.

    Remove the check mark by Lock the Taskbar to unlock the taskbar.

  2. Right-click the toolbar’s handle.

    The handle is located on the left end of the toolbar. (It shows up only when the taskbar is unlocked.)

  3. From the menu, choose View→Large Icons.

  4. Adjust the taskbar’s height to properly show the larger icons.

    Point the mouse at the edge of the taskbar, between the taskbar and the screen. Drag the mouse toward the center of the screen to set the taskbar’s height.

  5. Relock the taskbar if necessary: Right-click the taskbar and choose Lock the Taskbar.

Start menu icons get resized

To change the size of the icons on the Start menu, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.

  2. Click the Customize button.

    • In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, scroll the list to find the item Use Large Icons; place a check mark by that item.

    • In Windows XP, choose the option Large Icons.

  3. Click OK and then click OK again to close the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.

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