Windows uses a “medium” size for its desktop icons by default, but you can make them smaller with just a few clicks. You can even unlock a hidden “extra small” option that makes desktop icons much smaller. Here’s how to do it on Windows 10 or Windows 11.
How to make desktop icons smaller with two clicks
You can use the desktop context menu to reduce the size of the desktop icons. To change the desktop icon size to small, right-click on your desktop, point to “View” and select “Small Icons.”
This works on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, as well as earlier versions of Windows like Windows 7. In Windows 11, you can also press Ctrl+Shift+4 instead.
You can also use this context menu to completely hide all desktop icons.
How to make even smaller icons on the desktop
Windows has other hidden sizes for desktop icons that don’t appear in the context menu. To further reduce desktop icons, hover your mouse cursor over the desktop, hold down Ctrl, and scroll down with the mouse wheel. Keep scrolling to make desktop icons even smaller than the “Small Icon” size in the context menu.
Scroll up and down with the mouse wheel while holding down the Ctrl key to adjust the size of your icon on the desktop.
You can also scroll up with the mouse wheel to make the desktop icons even larger than the “Large Icons” size.
If you’re storing files on your desktop, this will allow you to quickly access more of them. You may also want to organize your cluttered desktop and choose which built-in Windows system icons appear on the desktop.
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