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How can I reduce the size of my desktop icons if the video resolution is already on the highest setting?

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up vote 61 down vote accepted

If you click a blank bit of the desktop, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll down using the mouse wheel, you can scale down the desktop icons until they're almost non-existent.

Ctrl + scroll wheel works to zoom in most applications (browser, MS Office, Windows Explorer, etc.).

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Works on Vista too – Motti Sep 8 '09 at 9:42
What if you have a busted mouse wheel like mine? It is very hard to control precisely. I wish there was a keyboard combination – acheron55 Apr 10 at 20:04

Right click the desktop > View > Small Icons (Classic on Vista). That is the smallest icon size you can have.

enter image description here

If these sizes are still not small (or big) enough for you, then you can hold down Ctrl whilst scrolling the Scroll Wheel to change it to the exact size you want.

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+1 for the Ctrl + mouse wheel – Ivo Flipse Jul 24 '09 at 6:26
Ctrl + mouse wheel is great – eqzx Jan 13 '10 at 0:49

I haven't tested this but I would've thought this was a registry setting, according to google it is :)

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]
"Shell Icon Size"="36"

The value '36' is the default (medium size) if I'm correct, a smaller value means smaller icons.

Note: Fiddling with the registry can be dangerous so only use this if the default 'small/medium/large/extra large' don't suffice.

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I have tested this and there was no influence on the desktop icons size (though I did not attempt to restart). – Joe Jul 1 '12 at 10:57

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protected by Jeff Atwood Jun 7 '10 at 7:49

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