How-To Geek

How Do You Restore or Change the Default Appearance of the Text for Windows 10 Desktop Icons?

restore-or-change-default-appearance-of-text-for-windows-10-desktop-icons-00

For whatever reason, sooner or later we all have someone or something mess around with our keyboards and create ‘interesting’ results. With that in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post has a simple and elegant way to help a frustrated reader restore his desktop icon text back to the default appearance.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

Screenshot courtesy of Lucius Hipan (SuperUser).

The Question

SuperUser reader Lucius Hipan wants to know how to restore the default appearance of the text for Windows 10 desktop icons:

A cat slept on my computer’s keyboard and all of my desktop icons now look like what is shown in the picture below. There are three lines of text on the right side of each of the desktop icons. How can I fix it so that the normal appearance (one line of text below the icons) is restored?

Note: Trying Ctrl + Mouse Wheel did not help.

restore-or-change-default-appearance-of-text-for-windows-10-desktop-icons-01

How do you restore (or change) the default appearance of the text for Windows 10 desktop icons?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor Jonno has the answer for us:

I am not sure how your cat managed to do this since the keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl + Shift + 8. However, to restore it back to the normal default style, right click anywhere on the desktop, go to (click) View, followed by clicking on any of the available options (i.e. Medium Icons).

Since there has been a bit of interest in this, Ctrl + Shift + number (listed below) produces different views when used on any folder (including the Windows Desktop).

  1. Extra Large Icons
  2. Large Icons
  3. Medium Icons
  4. Small Icons
  5. List View
  6. Details
  7. Tiles
  8. Content

This has been tested and works on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012/2016. Keep in mind that the hotkey may vary between editions as others here have pointed out that it is Ctrl + Alt + number on Windows Server 2016 (TP4 – Simplified Chinese), for example.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 01/11/16

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