Desktop Icon size

How to Change the Size of Desktop Icons in Vista
This will show you how to increase or decrease the size of all the icons on the Desktop in Vista.
How to Change the Size of Desktop Icons in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to increase or decrease the size of all the icons on the Desktop in Vista. The icons size is set to Medium Icons by default.
Note   Note
To see the icons for internet URL shortcuts on the Desktop instead of the default e icon, you must have the View set to Classic Icons. For more on this, see: How to Add a Fully Functional IE7 Shortcut Icon to the Desktop in Vista

To Change Size with the Context Menu

1. Right click on a empty space on the desktop.​
2. Click on View. (See screenshot below)​
3. Select the size you want. (Classic, Medium, or Large Icons)​

To Change Size with the Mouse Scroll Wheel

NOTE: This will also work on all icons in Windows Explorer.
1. Highlight the Icon.​
2. Press and hold down the CTRL key (Control).​
NOTE: You may need to also press and hold the right mouse button with some older mouse models.​
3. Roll your mouse scroll wheel up or down to adjust the icon size​
NOTE: The trick is not moving the mouse while rolling the scroll wheel. (up=larger, down=smaller)
4. Release the CTRL key when done.​
That's it,



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Vista Guru
Gold Member
Hi Shawn,

I only need to hold down ctrl and scroll the mouse button - don't need to right click as well.

Think you only need to use right click as well if it doesn't work with just the ctrl key and scroll wheel.

I think this is true of most modern mice. ( The ones with clickable scroll wheels - in fact right clicking might stop you being able to do it if you have one of these). Seems it's the older ones where you also need to right click.

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New Member
How do you make this permanent ? When I boot, this setting is lost and I have to reset it again ?


Staff member
Hello Elito, and welcome to Vista Forums.

It should stay set the way you set it by default unless you change it.

I'm not sure what may be causing this (bad video drivers?), but you can use the free program Iconoid to help maintain your desktop icon positions. You might also run a sfc/ scannow command to see if it can find and fix any bad system files that may be responsible.

Hope this helps,


New Member
I am having trouble maintaining my icon size. When I try to get them to classic size, my icons immediately swell back to the large size. Neither method below makes my icons stay small.

What is happening?



Staff member
Hello Grams21, and welcome to Vista Forums.

At what point do they revert back to the large size? (ex: after playing a game, etc....)


New Member
It has happened most often after I have used the Skype video conferencing program. This never happened until I began to use Skype.

Additionally I am using my laptop with an external monitor attached.

Now everything is ok, but it has happened too many times. Everything is very very large!! It corrects by itself after I continuously click on the classic size. Sometimes it takes several hours to get my icons and all other programs back to a normal view.


New Member
Thank you.

The DPI settings and the resolution are at the settings as recommended. They did not change.

From reading other posts, this seems like a problem that others have had also. There must be some setting, somewhere that causes this. When I try to change the view settings after right clicking on the desktop, the radio button never moves from "large".

I have download the program you suggested. I will let you know what happened.