Vista: Return Icons to the Smaller Classic XP Size

The icons in vista seem huge. Here is how to shrink them back to their pre-vista size.

Bring back Classic Icon Sizes In Vista:

1. Right-click on a unused area of the desktop
2. Pick View
3. Select Classic Icons

Even more interesting is this little shortcut…

Hold the CTRL key and scroll up and down on your scrollwheel on you mouse. You can size the icons however you wish!


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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16 Responses to “Vista: Return Icons to the Smaller Classic XP Size”

  1. November 21, 2008 at 11:50 pm, BillGates said:

    thanks alot..


  2. December 15, 2008 at 6:41 am, Vyro said:

    Wow. major help – thanks a lot. I was going crazy thinking my icons were stuck at that big-size because my resolutions maximum on my laptop was 1280×800 – this seriously aided me in my frustration.


  3. January 22, 2009 at 5:23 am, asdf said:

    Thanks! Changed it to the 2nd smallest possible size.


  4. January 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm, Scott said:

    Thank you!!

    this was seriously annoying me because previously I had just made the resolution bigger which made text harder to read.


  5. May 05, 2009 at 10:24 am, V1 said:

    Scrolling is a Great trick!!!!!!!


    • August 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm, charlie said:

      yes, a great trick. Played a little confusion jokes on a co-worker!! hehe


  6. May 08, 2009 at 8:40 am, Nguyen Dinh Hung said:



  7. May 12, 2009 at 9:00 am, mike said:

    thanks , i went to 15 microsoft sites and help features and it would not tell me how. This also works with OS7. Thanks


  8. October 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm, Anonymous said:

    So simple and so close. Thanks


  9. November 17, 2009 at 4:49 am, Anonymous said:

    So cool, thanks :)


  10. November 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm, Anonymous said:

    Thank you so much, I couldn’t stand looking at the icons for another moment!!


  11. February 08, 2010 at 5:24 am, lianne said:

    The BEST and SHORTEST tip ever. Thanks for posting it!!!!!


  12. August 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm, Greenhell666 said:



  13. January 04, 2011 at 2:56 pm, Eric said:

    Brilliant! Thank you. Especially for the Cntrl Wheel information.


  14. January 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm, Alin said:

    thx man :)


  15. June 04, 2011 at 7:13 pm, liz said:

    this really helped. Can you help with another problem
    lately when I open my e-mail the fold has a +in front so I have to double click on it then I have to open the inbox.

    Is there a way , simple, to change and keep it the default setting.
    when I open my mail I see:

    cannot display folder, root of an IMAP store whatever that is,the root does not have messages display the folder list and click subfolder.

    If someone thinks this is a message in English, I’m an English teacher and this is Chinese.

    Now I double click the + sign in front of mail folder 2007 Outlook and change it to a minus sign, change the + sign in front of the in box and THEN can read my mail. 

    I used to never have to do this. Someone told me that updates can change things.

    How, please tell me, can I get it so I can just read my mail !!! Gratefully, Liz


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