How to Fix: Increase Thumbnail and Icon Size in Windows 7, 8, 10

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Denise N. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thanks for your article on 'How to Fix: Increase Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7, 8, 10'. I have a similar question. I recently purchased a new PC with Windows 10, and the monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080. The problem is that when I go to My Pictures folder, the picture thumbnails are too small and I have a hard time figuring out what is in the picture thumbnail preview. I have tried setting the icons to 'Large', which is a bit too small, but when I set it to 'Extra Large' it is way too big. How can I make the picture thumbnails in Explorer somewhere between Large and Extra Large?"

My response:

There are two options you can use to resolve the issue. One is that you can adjust the icon / thumbnail size using the scroll wheel on your mouse; the other is that you can set the DPI (dots per inch) to a higher resolution, similar to what I explained in the other tutorial.

How to Fix: Increase Thumbnail and Icon Size in Windows 7, 8, 10

Increase Thumbnail and Icon Size: Using Mouse Wheel

By far the easiest way to increase the icon / thumbnail preview in Windows Explorer is to use your mouse scroll wheel. To do so: navigate to your pictures folder using Windows Explorer (or any random folder you want to adjust, for that matter). To increase the thumbnail preview or icon size, right click an empty space inside your folder window, then select View -> Large icons. Now, press and hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard and at the same time, use your mouse scroll wheel up or down to change the thumbnail preview / icon size. You can also use this icon adjustment 'trick' on the desktop if you want to adjust your desktop icons.

Another tip: if you want to use this exact same layout for all folders, then click the File menu at the top of the Explorer window, then go to "Change folder and search options". The "Folder Options" window will appear; click the "View" tab. Under the "Folder views" heading, click the "Apply to folders" button and this will make all your folders open up the same way.

Increase Thumbnail and Icon Size: Using DPI Scaling

If you find that just about every aspect of using Windows is too small to read, another option is to adjust your DPI scaling. In fact, you can adjust your DPI scaling and also use Option #1 at the same time if you wanted. To do so: click Start, then type in "DPIscaling"; wait for the "DPIscaling" icon to appear, then click it. A new window will with the title "Display" will appear; click the link that reads "set a custom scaling level". A new window will appear with the title "Custom sizing options." Next to the heading that says: "Scale to this percentage of normal size," select 150%, then click OK. You will need to log off the system and log back in. When complete, you will see your desktop is considerably larger than before. If it's not big enough you can adjust it again by following these steps.

I hope that helps.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

Rate this article: 
Average: 3.3 (9 votes)