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Vista desktop icons change size

(22 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by lownoter
  • Latest reply from LH
  • Topic Viewed 28677 times

lownoter
Posts: 8

I swear - my desktop icons in Vista seem to change size individually and indiscriminately! I start out with a desktop full of "normal" sized icons (I believe I've set my icon size to 60 and my screen res is @ 1680 x 1050) and over the course of a session, they get smaller!

I've read several posts about programs changing screen resolution and -to be honest- I haven't tracked which programs (if any, specifically) seem to precede the Incredible Shrinking Icon Anomaly to any great length, but it doesn't seem to matter WHAT I'm doing on the computer when I suddenly notice my icons seem be half the size they were when I started.

Am I going mad!? Is there a tweak to fix this or is therapy more in order?

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Sorry, but I can't stop laughing.:) Excellent writing.

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

What programs are you running. And do you use the "magnifier"?

Posted 6 years ago
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lownoter
Posts: 8

No magnifier - no. I tend to flit back and forth betwixt IE, Outlook, Media Player, Visual Studio, Noteworthy Composer (music notation software), TablEdit (guitar tab editor)... and then -of course- there's the late nights of incessant snooping around to find every adjustment I can make and figure out all the bells and whistles this brand new Vista system of mine has to offer. (It wouldn't surprise me to learn that "Ok" starts to look a LOT like "Cancel" in those wee hours)

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Do you tend to have the problem with certain programs running? (not the late night ones)

Posted 6 years ago
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lownoter
Posts: 8

I tend to be a full-screen kinda guy... you'll RARELY find more than 1 or 2 programs windowed on my desktop at any given time (short of doin' things like copyin' files across two iterations of Windows Explorer or adressing the 46 nested dialog boxes that pop up to track down ONE stinkin' element in the Windows environment). Network Magic and Bitdefender Anti-Virus start with Windows and are always hangin' around in the system tray doin' their thing but as I mentioned before - I've never really noticed a direct connection between any particular program and this apparently arbitrary icon adjustment.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

lownoter, where are you setting the icon size to 60? 60 what? In the Personalization properties, you can change the font DPI. I have the choice between 96 and 120 dpi. From this window you can also choose a "Custom DPI", but for me it starts at 100% and goes up.

Also, check your view setting. Right-click on the desktop and select View and there is a choice of Large, Small and Classic icons. Which are you using? If I were you, I would keep an eye on all these settings and see if any change spontaneously.

"I'm going slightly mad...."

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

doesn't surprise me :)

Posted 6 years ago
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lownoter
Posts: 8

Somewhere in the bowels of the right-click desktop / Personalize process lies an "Advanced Appearance" settings dialog that allows for specifying the "Size" of your icons. I'm assuming the measurement is in pixels and mine is set to 60. As for the other settings you mentioned: I'm here at work on my very "normal" looking XP system and away from my Vista settings at home. I'll have to check into the preliminary icon settings to see if I created a conflict. I -UNDOUBTEDLY- altered every element either in an effort to clear up this issue or initially trying to get everything set up JUUUUUUSSST right. =)

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Wow. Indeed you are correct and there are even more settings that affect the icon size. After 3 months, I'm still finding little corners of Vista that I haven't been to.

One way to get to these settings is: Start -> Control Panel -> Personalization -> Windows Color and Appearance -> "Open classic appearance properties for more color options" -> <deep breath> -> Appearance tab -> Advanced button -> Item drop-down -> select "Icon". <whew!> That is certainly in the bowels of the control panel and getting there is like navigating the Minotaur's Labyrinth.

Anyway, my icon size in this window is "32". This does seem to be pixels -- I zoomed in on a screen grab of my desktop and all the icons seem to fit in a 32x32 pixel area. I've never messed with this setting and now I plan to avoid it if I can. There seem to be far too many settings that affect icon size and maybe, based on your experience, they can conflict with each other!

"...it's finally happened..."

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

he's cracked

Posted 6 years ago
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Scott
Scott
Posts: 5618

http://www.vistax64.com/genera.....hange.html

It's virtually the same in XP btw, Control Panel>Display>Appearance...

Posted 6 years ago
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bilglas
bilglas
Posts: 18

In Vista, if you're on the desktop, you merely need to hold down CONTROL and crank your mouse wheel up and down to change the size of your icons. That's all there is to it. I believe this is a NEW function in Vista; can't replicate the same thing in XP.

Posted 6 years ago
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lownoter
Posts: 8

I'd like to thank everybody for their help on this one. I still don't know -specifically- what's 'causing the glitch... whether it's my advanced appearance settings conflicting with my choice of viewing "Medium Icons" vs. Classic... (blah-blah-blah...) or whether I was just haphazardly spinning the mouse wheel while unconsciously holding down the CTRL key while inadvertently paying attention to something else... ...mm-hmm. Regardless - the trick with CTRL/mousewheel will let me make quick work of getting back to "normal" when my desktop starts to creep me out again.

Much Thanks for everybody's input.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

"...I'm slightly mad!" -- composed by Queen.

Posted 6 years ago
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xenomex
xenomex
Posts: 130

@lownoter,

Simple soloution for you..
go to your desktop, Hold Ctrl Key, and move your mouse wheel,
that will either increase or decrease your icon size depending on which direction you move the wheel!
Try it and reply with result! :)

Posted 6 years ago
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poetman
Posts: 46

HELP,

I change my icon size in the advance settings, but each time I reboot, icons revert to larger default size. And that mouse wheel soultion works not at all on my Vista. HELP

Is Vista Aero the problem?

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Right click on the desktop. Select View > Classic icons

Posted 6 years ago
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Nezello
Posts: 1

I came across this post for I too was searching for information on my vista desktop icons getting smaller without warning. I found 3 work a round’s. 1) mouse wheel, 2) right click desktop refresh, 3) applet to restore layout. The first 2 will always put the icons back to the size I have them set at (until they change again), the 3rd work around not so much. What I really want is FOR THE ICONS TO STOP (HAUNTINGLY) CHANGING ON THEIR OWN TO A SMALLER SIZE!!! Does anybody know of a fix?

Note: I have tried to determine what action and/or program would be causing this. For the most part I'm just on the web, checking email, Windows Media Center, basic bubble gum stuff.

Any help sure would be appreciated...

Posted 5 years ago
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TrashCompaqtor
Posts: 1

I've desperately searched for an answer to this as well, and I even found these two threads on Microsoft's official forums for this kinda stuff:

http://social.answers.microsof.....1fbc842028

http://social.answers.microsof.....83f05e1ccf

Notice how none of the techie (so-called "engineers") do absolutely nothing to address the real problem and instead provide the copy+paste instructions for how to change icon size. One of them even says to try doing a "clean boot" which is totally pointless, because this is a problem with Vista even before you begin to tinker with settings and installing 3rd party software.

For what it's worth, here I'll copy my own report of this problem here that I had posted in one of those threads:

Here is what I think part of the problem is: there are actually 3 ways to change icon size, which are the two listed above and also one other in the Advanced Appearance Settings.

With three things vying for control over desktop icon size, it's no wonder that Vista will "hiccup" once in a while and temporarily reset the icon sizes to look smaller.

When this "hiccup" occurs, give the desktop focus, hit F5 to refresh the desktop and voila, the icons will go right back to the size you had set them at.

The "hiccup" will keep happening at random times when the Explorer process seems to kinda "refresh" itself... I'm not sure what is really happening, but that's how it appears to me. So, no matter what you keep trying to force the icon size to, it will occasionally reset to a smaller size (temporarily until you either restart, hit F5, or force another size change).

I've experienced this in Vista Home Premium 32bit and Vista Ultimate 32bit, and I've found zero solutions to this. Only a few other people have had the brains and guts to notice this and actually post about it, it's such an insignificant problem.

I tripple dog double quadruple dare you to find out why this glitch keeps happening. Beat up a couple of MS techies if you have to, it's worth it.

Posted 5 years ago
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