How to Make Desktop Icons Bigger

By Chris Yokum

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Windows XP operating system

  • Windows Vista operating system

Customizing your computer system can be done in many ways. Change the look and feel of it by altering the default settings. Instead of settling for small desktop icons, consider increasing them according to your preferences. With a few simple steps, you'll learn how to make desktop icons bigger.

Windows XP

View a blank area on your computer's desktop and right click it. A list of options will appear for you to choose from. Select the "Properties" link to look at more choices. A pop-up box called "Display Properties" will automatically appear after doing this. Several available tabs that will appear in this section include "Themes," "Desktop," "Screensaver," "Appearance" and "Settings." Pick the "Appearance" tab to begin changing the size of your desktop icons.

Press the "Advanced" button on the "Appearance" tab to gain access to more settings. Another window called "Advanced Appearance" will be displayed for you to change settings. In the "Item" section there will be multiple settings that can be quickly altered. Click the arrow to reveal each of the components.

Choose "Icon" from the list of options. Change the number that appears in the "Size" section to the left. To make your desktop icons bigger, just click the up arrow to increase the number. You'll also be able to directly type a number into this same section. After raising the current number setting, press the "OK" button at the bottom of the window.

Click "Apply" in the "Display Properties" window to finalize your new changes. Within a few seconds, your desktop icons will be larger than they were before. If you're satisfied with the changes, select the "OK" button in the "Display Properties" window to close it.

Windows Vista

Look for an empty space on your computer's desktop and right click it. A pop-up box with multiple settings will immediately appear for you. Choose the "View" link from the listed choices to reveal more settings. From the new list, select the "Medium Icons" link to make your desktop icons bigger.

View the new size for your desktop icons and decide if you're happy with the changes. If you still feel these items aren't big enough, you'll be able to increase the size again. Right click an empty space on your computer's desktop and pick the "View" option again. Click the "Large Icons" link to make the icons even larger.

Review the overall look of your computer's desktop. If it seems overly crowded, delete some of the unnecessary files or icons to make space for the new, larger icon sizes. This will help to keep your desktop in order with a neat appearance.


Don't add files with sensitive information to your desktop. Don't make your desktop too large or your desktop will appear unorganized.