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Fix for Some Icons Are Smaller Than Others on Windows

Occasionally, you might notice that some icons on your desktop or File Explorer appear smaller than other icons. The reasons for this issue include but are not limited to display scaling issues, a corrupted icon cache, graphics driver problems, the use of custom icons, or changes in icon view settings. Whatever the reason, in this tutorial, we’ll show you four methods to fix the problem and make the icons appear in same size across the operating system. Let’s get started.

Steps To Fix Some Icons Are Smaller Than Others

1. Clear Icon Cache

The first and foremost thing you should do when you see inconsistent icon sizes on the desktop or File Explorer is clear the icon cache. Clearing the icon cache forces Windows to rebuild the cache from scratch fixing the problem. Follow the below steps:

First, close all programs.

Right-click on the Windows logo and select the Terminal (Admin) option. In the Terminal select Command Prompt from the dropdown menu on the title bar. If you are using Windows 10, search for Command Prompt in the Start menu, right-click on the result, and select the Run as Administrator option.

open Windows terminal as admin Windows 11

Run the following command to stop the Windows Explorer process.

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

command to stop explorer process

After that, run the following command to navigate to the Icon Cache folder.

cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

command to navigate to icon cache folder

Run the below command to delete the icon cache.

del iconcache*

run delete icon cache command

Next, start the Windows Explorer process by running the below command.

start explorer.exe

command to start explorer process

With this, all the icons on your desktop and File Explorer should appear the same size. If not, proceed to the next method.

Related: How to increase the icon cache size

2. Resize Icon View

Often, resizing the icons instantly fixes the un-uniform icon sizes.

To do that, go to your desktop and right-click.

Select View, and then select one of the three options (Large icons, Medium icons, or Small icons) that’s not already selected. For example, in my case, the Medium icons option is already selected, so, I’m selecting Large icons.

select desktop icon size

After that, right-click again, select View, and then select the previously selected icon size option. In my case, that would be the Medium icons option.

This action resizes the icons and fixes the problem. If not, proceed to the next method.

3. Fix Display Scaling Glitch

If your display scaling anything but 100%, Windows might display some icons smaller than other icons. To fix this display scaling glitch, you must change the display scaling to 100% and then switch back to your original scaling if necessary. Here’s how to do it.

Open the Settings app by pressing Windows key + I. Navigate to the System > Display page. Next, select 100% from the Scale dropdown menu under the Scale & Layout section. Once the display scaling is reset, reboot your computer.

change display scaling to fix some icons are smaller than others

This should fix the desktop or File Explorer icons appearing smaller than others.

Reset the original display scaling: Open the Display page in the Settings app and select the original display scaling from the Scale dropdown.

4. Update your Graphics Driver

For those using a dedicated graphics card, an outdated driver can also be a cause for the Windows icon size issues. To fix it, you have to update the graphics driver. Follow the below steps to update your graphics driver:

Right-click on the Start menu icon and select Device Manager.

In the Device Manager window, expand the Display Drivers option, right-click on your graphics card, and select Update Driver.

select update driver

Select the Search automatically for drivers option. This action will force Windows to check and update the graphics driver.

update graphics driver

As an alternative, you can also visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers from there. Once downloaded, double-click on the installer file and follow the on-screen wizard to update the driver.

5. Stop Using Custom Icons

Last but not least, if you are using custom icons for some or all the icons, I recommend you stop using them. Oftentimes, custom icons are not the same size as the standard size set in your system. If they are too small, it causes icon scaling issues resulting in some icons appearing smaller than others.

If you have to use custom icons, at least ensure their resolution is higher (512 x 512 pixels).

And there you have it! By following the above methods one by one, you can easily fix the Windows icon size issue where some icons are smaller than others.

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