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There are a lot of differences between Windows XP and Windows 7, a lot of which are pretty minor, but make you stop and think for a moment. One of those differences is how you go about changing the size of desktop icons. I have gotten so used to doing it in Windows XP, that I seriously could not figure it out myself in Windows 7 because it`s completely different.

There are actually three ways to go about changing the desktop icon size in Windows 7 and in this post, I`ll quickly go through the three methods. Goodness knows how you`ll have to change the size in Windows 8!

Method 1 – Control Panel

The dialog I was looking for that is similar to Windows XP is totally unintuitive in Windows 7. In order to get to the Window Color and Appearance dialog, you have to go to Control Panel, click on Appearance and Personalization, then click on Personalization, and then click on Window Color.

You can also right-click on the Desktop and choose Personalize to get to this same screen. The unintuitive part is clicking on Window Color! I never clicked on it because I didn`t think window color and icon size fell in the same boat! Anyway, that`s not all! Then you have to click on Advanced appearance settings.

Only then do you get the familiar dialog that we have in Windows XP:

For Item, you have to click on the drop down and choose Icon. Now you can adjust the size and also change the desktop icon font too if you like. Whew! What a process! This method gives you the most control over exactly how big or small you want the desktop icons.

Method 2 – Desktop Context Menu

You can also simply right-click on the Desktop, click on View and then choose from Small, Medium or Large icons.

You only get three options here though, but it`s definitely quicker and easier than going through the control panel like shown above.

Method 3 – Use the Mouse Wheel

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel on it, the easiest way to change the desktop icon size is to press CTRL then scroll the mouse wheel! You can finely adjust the size smaller or larger using the mouse wheel. If you don`t have a mouse with a wheel, then you have to use method 1 or 2, there is no way to emulate the wheel mouse on the keyboard.

So that`s pretty much it! Not anything very complicated, but definitely not what I was used to with Windows XP. I`m sure I`ll be writing a very similar post for Windows 8 as the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 are even bigger!