Windows CTRL Key Stuck? Desktop Icons are Huge?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Bill T. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I'm not sure what happened, but the other day I was using my computer and the icons on my desktop became sticky. I double clicked MS Word to launch it, but it wouldn't do anything. So I tried clicking on Foxit Reader, but both MS Word and Foxit Reader were selected and I couldn't open either one. To make things worse, now my desktop icons are gigantic and are taking up most of the space on my screen. I can't seem to figure out how to make the icons go back to the original size they were on the desktop. Any idea why this happened and how I can fix it? "

My response:

Based on my own experience, sometimes the CTRL key gets 'stuck' when using Windows. When I say 'stuck', I mean that the key isn't actually being pressed, or that the keyboard has somehow shorted out, but Windows thinks that you're pressing and holding the CTRL key on the keyboard.

When the CTRL key gets stuck, it interferes with just about everything you do when using Windows. For example, if you try and click an icon and then click another icon, both icons get selected and there's no way to unselect the icons -- they effectively become sticky. Another issue with a stuck CTRL key is when using the mouse wheel on the mouse -- this can cause icons on the desktop to grow or shrink, even if you did not intend it to happen.

A 'stuck' CTRL key happens once in a blue moon and has happened to me often enough that I recognize it. I'm not sure what causes it but it happens, and most folks don't understand what's happening when it does happen.

How to Release a Stuck CTRL Key

One way to release a stuck CTRL key is to repeatedly tap both CTRL and ALT on the keyboard at the same time. It may take a few tries, but eventually it will release the CTRL key from being 'stuck' under Windows.

How to Increase or Decrease Desktop Icon Size

Most likely what happened with your icons on the desktop is that your CTRL key was stuck and you used the scroll wheel on your mouse (up). The combination of pressing the CTRL key + using the mouse scroll button (up or down) will increase or decrease your icon size on the desktop.

To decrease the size of your icons, you can press CTRL + mouse wheel down to get it where you want.

Hope that helps!

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