Icons play an essential part in elevating and enriching user experiences on platforms. If used effectively, icons help users absorb content without becoming distracting or overwhelming.
Windows XP makes it possible to customize how icons appear on your desktop by right-clicking an empty area and selecting Properties, and in the Display Properties window selecting Appearance tab in Display Properties window.
Table of Contents
1. Right-click on an empty area on your desktop.
Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the icon size on your computer. For instance, if you have difficulty with reading small icons on screen or low vision issues, decreasing their size can make them easier for you to read; on the other hand, increasing it might make your desktop appear too crowded.
One method for changing icon sizes is by right-clicking an empty area on your desktop and selecting Properties from the drop-down list of desktop properties. Under Appearance tab, choose Font size drop-down list. Finally, change font size accordingly before clicking OK to save changes.
One way of changing icon sizes is through the Control Panel’s System section and its Display tab, followed by its Display resolution box and selecting an alternate resolution – this will alter both icon sizes as well as potentially other windows on your screen.
Use the scroll wheel of your mouse to change icon sizes. On most mice, rolling the wheel up allows you to increase or decrease their size; use it downwards if you wish. You can also use this method for Quick Launch toolbar and main Taskbar icons.
2. Click Properties.
Windows XP gives you two methods to customize icon sizes: using the Appearance tab in Control Panel or editing a Registry setting. Both techniques involve some risks; only employ them if you understand their potential dangers.
The Appearance tab of the Control Panel features several radio buttons to modify the size of icons and text. If you are using a high-resolution monitor, you may find the default sizes too small for comfortable viewing; larger items might not fit your screen if you select larger sizes; click Apply once completed to save these changes and apply your settings.
Editing a registry entry is another effective method of changing icon sizes, and can be accomplished by pressing Windows Key + R simultaneously to open Run box, then typing this command:
The Display Properties window opens. Navigating to the Advanced tab, click Icon from the Item drop-down list, then Icon Size field of Icon Size field of Value data box for Icon Size field; by default 32 is selected; selecting higher numbers may result in smaller icons; while lower ones will increase them.
3. Click the Appearance tab.
Eye strain from viewing small icons all day at work can lead to vision problems. Windows provides the option for making desktop icons larger through advanced display settings that can be accessed via context menu; simply right-click an empty area on your desktop to open this menu and click Properties.
Under the Appearance tab, you have several predefined scale sizes available to apply to your icons. You may also specify your own value to give yourself even greater flexibility.
The Window Color button on the Appearance tab opens a dialog box that enables you to change your operating system’s default color scheme. Note that this won’t impact how applications use colors; only folders and other elements on your screen will change their hues accordingly.
iColorFolder is another free tool designed to change icon sizes of folders and drives. You can load colored folders that can be applied directly to folders; or create custom icons for removable drives which will appear wherever they’re plugged into other computers; however, this doesn’t work with regular hard disks.
4. Click the Advanced tab.
Windows XP includes various settings that enable users to adjust the icon size, text size and other visual characteristics of their computer. For instance, the Display Properties screen enables you to enlarge desktop icons to make them easier to read or change the background color of the taskbar; additionally you have the option of locking it so it cannot be moved or deleted by accidental tampering.
The Advanced tab allows you to choose a percentage for scaling of text and icons, though please be aware this could cause compatibility issues with other applications. From the Change the Size of Text Apps & Items drop-down list you may select one of predefined percentages or enter your own number directly.
Your Start menu’s left side can also be personalized by using the Pinned Items button on your taskbar to update dynamically with programs you use most often, which will be added back as new software is installed; additionally, pinned items allows you to hide programs to free up space on your desktop and alter filename extensions by using applications like iColorFolder, which displays folder icons with various colors.
5. Click the Icon item.
Icon Item in Appearance Tab Settings lets you alter the size of icons. Placing a check mark next to Use Large Icons increases their size while disabling it reduces them.
Adjusting icon sizes may seem straightforward, but there are other options you can use to customize their appearance further. Renaming folder icons used by Windows to represent specific file types is one such example – but unfortunately not those appearing in My Computer window like Documents and Settings, Recycle Bin, Windows, WINNT or System32 cannot be changed!
Clicking the Effects button within the Appearance tab enables you to alter some of the visual effects that define Windows XP’s more modern appearance. For instance, you can animate windows when they shrink onto their taskbars or show shadows below your mouse pointer. Furthermore, using this tab also enables you to temporarily turn off some sound effects that Windows produces when doing certain actions – making your computer quieter in general.
6. Click the Size drop-down list.
Staring at small icons all day on your Windows XP computer can strain your eyes and over time lead to vision problems. Luckily, Windows includes an option in its advanced display settings to make folder icons larger; either through right-click context menus or Appearance tabs of Display Properties dialog boxes.
Clicking the drop-down list and selecting an icon size value will become your computer’s default icon size. To change back, just click “Revert to Default.”
Use Windows XP registry editing to alter the size of icons. As this requires altering registry files directly, we suggest backing up before proceeding.
Use iColorFolder, a freeware application available for both Mac OS and Windows, to easily load customized color themes that apply across your operating system folders. This tool offers an alternative way of changing icons using Windows XP icon changing tools; its simple, quick and user-friendly operation even lets you modify removable drives such as USB flash drives.
7. Click OK.
Windows XP Icons feature a more modern consumer aesthetic with softly-rounded corners and images rendered at an angle to add dynamic energy. Drop shadows add depth and dimension, and colors often feature complimentary hues or gradients.
Resizing icons on your desktop requires only a few simple steps. Right-click an empty area on your desktop and select Properties; on the Appearance tab, choose Advanced; use up/down arrows to select desired icon size before clicking OK.
If you have a high-resolution monitor, the default icon size may be too small to see comfortably. To adjust this setting in the Appearance and Personalization window by following these steps:
Adjust icon sizes by editing the IconFilePath registry key’s value – this will change all applications and folders (including System folder) by making these adjustments. To do so, open up Command Prompt window and type this command: