How to Make Desktop Icons Smaller in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to make desktop icons smaller windows 11

If you’re looking to make your desktop icons smaller in Windows 11, it’s a pretty straightforward process. You can change the icon size with just a few clicks. Simply right-click on your desktop, go to the "View" option, and then select "Small icons". There are also other methods using settings and shortcuts, which we’ll cover in more detail.

How to Make Desktop Icons Smaller in Windows 11

In this section, we’ll go through the steps you’ll need to follow to make your desktop icons smaller on a Windows 11 system. By the end, your desktop will look neat and organized, just the way you want it.

Step 1: Right-click on the Desktop

Right-click on any empty space on your desktop.

When you right-click, a context menu will appear, displaying a variety of options that you can choose from. This menu is your gateway to customizing your desktop settings.

Step 2: Hover Over the "View" Option

Hover your mouse over the "View" option in the context menu.

The "View" option is located near the top of the context menu. When you hover over it, a sub-menu will pop out, showing different icon sizes you can choose from.

Step 3: Select "Small Icons"

Click on the "Small icons" option from the sub-menu.

Selecting "Small icons" will instantly shrink the size of your desktop icons. This change happens in real-time, so you’ll immediately see the difference on your desktop.

Step 4: Use the Settings App (Alternative Method)

Open the Settings app by pressing Windows + I. Navigate to "Personalization" and then to "Themes".

In the "Themes" section, you can find more detailed settings for icon sizes under "Desktop icon settings". This is especially useful if you want more control over specific icon sizes.

Step 5: Use Keyboard Shortcuts (Alternative Method)

Hold down the Ctrl key and scroll down with your mouse wheel.

This method allows you to quickly adjust the icon size without going through menus. Simply scroll up or down while holding the Ctrl key to find the perfect size.

After you complete these actions, you will notice that your desktop icons are now smaller. This change helps to create a more organized and visually appealing desktop layout, giving you more space to work with.

Tips for How to Make Desktop Icons Smaller in Windows 11

  • If you frequently adjust your icon sizes, try using the Ctrl + Mouse Wheel shortcut for quick changes.
  • For more customization, explore the "Desktop icon settings" in the "Themes" section of the Settings app.
  • Consider also adjusting the text size for icons if you find them too hard to read after making them smaller.
  • Use "Medium icons" as a compromise if "Small icons" make your desktop too cluttered.
  • Regularly clean up your desktop by removing unused icons to keep it neat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I want to make my desktop icons smaller?

Smaller icons can help declutter your desktop and make it look more organized. It also allows for more icons to fit on the screen without overlapping.

Can I revert the icon size back to the original setting?

Yes, you can easily go back to the previous size by following the same steps and selecting "Medium icons" or "Large icons".

Is there a way to set a custom icon size?

While default settings offer only three sizes, you can use the Ctrl + Mouse Wheel method to find a more customized size that suits your needs.

Do these changes affect all user accounts?

No, these changes are specific to the user account you are currently using. Other accounts on the same computer will not be affected.

Are there any risks involved in changing the icon size?

No, changing the icon size does not pose any risks to your computer or files. It simply changes the way your desktop looks.


  1. Right-click on the Desktop
  2. Hover Over the "View" Option
  3. Select "Small Icons"
  4. Use the Settings App (Alternative Method)
  5. Use Keyboard Shortcuts (Alternative Method)


Making your desktop icons smaller in Windows 11 is a quick and easy way to declutter your workspace. Whether you’re using the right-click method, navigating through the Settings app, or employing handy keyboard shortcuts, each approach offers its own set of conveniences. Smaller icons not only provide a cleaner look but also free up space, making your desktop more functional.

If you’re someone who loves a neat and tidy workspace, consider giving these methods a try. You can always revert back if you’re not satisfied, so there’s no harm in experimenting. For those who like to personalize every aspect of their computer, diving into the "Desktop icon settings" in the Settings app will offer additional customization.

In the end, your desktop is your personal space, and how you organize it can significantly impact your productivity. So go ahead, make those icons smaller and enjoy your new, streamlined desktop environment!

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