How to Change Desktop Icons on Windows 11

How to Change Desktop Icons on Windows 11

Desktop icons provide a quick and easy way to access important system locations such as This PC, Recycle Bin, and others along those lines. Furthermore, since Windows XP, this set of Desktop icons has always been present on a Windows computer. However, if you have been a long-time Windows user or prefer to use keyboard shortcuts to access file explorer, these icons might seem useless. If you have been seeking a quick and easy way to delete or change the icons on your desktop, we have a solution for you. Read below to learn how to change or remove desktop icons on Windows 11. Moreover, we shall discuss how to resize desktop icons too.

How to Change Desktop Icons on Windows 11

How to Change Windows 11 Desktop Icons

Changing your desktop icons is a fairly simple process; It is by no means complicated. Here’s how to change desktop icons in Windows 11:

1. Press Windows + I keys simultaneously to open the Settings app.

2. Click on Personalization in the left pane.

3. Click on Themes in the right pane shown highlighted.

Personalization section in the Settings app.

4. Scroll down and click on Desktop icon settings under Related settings.

Related Settings

5. In the Desktop Icon Settings window, select the Icon you want to change and click on Change Icon… button, as depicted.

Desktop Icon settings. Change icon

6A. You can choose from the inbuilt icon options from Select an icon from the list below: section.

6B. Or you can utilize custom icons by clicking on Browse… button for Look for icons in this file: field. Select the desired icon from File Explorer.

Change icon dialog box.

7. Click on OK after selecting your preferred icon.

Note: You can also assign icons to a certain theme and keep a separate set of icons for each theme. To do so, select the checkbox labeled Allow themes to update desktop icons. Changing the icons now only affects the theme that is currently active i.e. at the time of the modification.

8. Finally, click on Apply > OK.

Allow themes to change desktop icons. Apply OK

This is how to change Desktop icons in Windows 11.

Also Read: How to Pin Apps to Taskbar on Windows 11

How to Remove Desktop Icons on Windows 11

If you wish to remove all icons to have a minimal-looking setup, you can remove these inbuilt icons too. To remove the system icons, you can either choose to hide all the icons present on the Desktop or use the Settings app to remove them.

Option 1: Use Right-click Context Menu

Follow these steps to remove desktop icons using right-click context menu:

1. Right-click on any empty space on the Desktop.

2. Click on View > Show desktop icons, as illustrated below.

Right click context menu. How to Change Desktop Icons on Windows 11

3. If the said option was enabled, it will now be checked off and Default Desktop icons will no longer be visible.

Pro Tip: Alternatively, you can use the same steps to show desktop icons on your screen, if needed at a later stage.

Also Read: How to Disable Notification Badges in Windows 11

Option 2: Use Settings App

Follow the given steps to remove desktop icons using Windows Settings:

1. Go to Settings > Personalization > Themes as earlier.

Personalization section in the Settings app.

2. Click on Desktop icon settings under Related settings to launch the Desktop Icons Settings window.

Related Settings

3. Uncheck the box next to Each Icon given under the Desktop icons section to remove it from your Windows 11 Desktop.

4. Lastly, click Apply > OK. The said changes will be saved.

Desktop Icon settings. Apply OK

Also Read: Fix Desktop Icons Changed to Tile View Mode

How to Change Size of Desktop Icons

You can modify the size of the icons using a simple keyboard shortcut or your mouse, if the default size is too small or too huge for your liking.

Option 1: Using Right-click Context Menu

1. Right-click on an empty space on the Desktop.

2. Click on View.

3. Choose from Large icons, Medium icons, and Small icons sizes.

Different icon size options

Option 2: Using Keyboard Shortcut

You can also modify the size of the icons using their keyboard shortcut. If you do not remember such combinations, read our guide on Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts here. From the Desktop screen, use any of the shortcuts listed below to resize desktop icons:

Icon Size Keyboard Shortcut
Extra Large Icons Ctrl + Shift + 1
Large Icons Ctrl + Shift + 2
Medium Icons Ctrl + Shift + 3
Small Icons Ctrl + Shift + 4

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We hope you found this article interesting and helpful about how to change, remove or resize Desktop icons on Windows 11. Let us know which topic you want us to explore next.

Posted by
Pete Mitchell

Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.

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