How to Resize Desktop Icons in Ubuntu

If the icons on your Ubuntu desktop have unexpectedly become excessively large, you may have accidentally altered the rendering size. A few wrong mouse scroll wheel rolls, or even a touchscreen or touchpad, might cause this easy error. To fix the problem, rotate the scroll wheel while pressing the ctrl button. If it still doesn’t help, try the following methods to fix your problem.

In Ubuntu 19.04 Gnome 3.32, the desktop icons are now managed by a gnome-shell extension. Though this extension causes so many bugs, you may now customize the size of desktop icons on the plus side. So

How to Resize Icons in Ubuntu?

Step 1:

Open Ubuntu Software and search for Gnome desktop configuration tool called Gnome Tweaks. Install this extension.

Step 2:

Launch Gnome Tweaks. On the left side, find the navigation bar. Go to Extensions.

Step 3:

Click on settings to change the settings for “Desktop Icons.” There, you’ll see three different options to adjust the size of the icons.

Choose from these three default options according to your requirements. Suppose these three default options do not match your preferences. You may change their default settings by changing the extension prefs file.

Step 1:

Open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on the keyboard, then run command to edit the file with the help of Gedit text editor:

Step 2:

When the file opens, you can change the lines ‘ICON SIZE,’ ‘ICON WIDTH,’ and ‘ICON HEIGHT.’

Changes to ‘ICON SIZE’ will affect the icon sizes on your desktop, change to ‘ICON WIDTH’ will affect the width of the icon selection box, and change to ‘ICON HEIGHT’ will affect the height of the icon selection box.

Step 3:

After making all the changes, save the file and press Alt+F2. Open the command box and type R. Now press Enter to apply changes and to restart Gnome Shell. The problem that may occur:

The known problem is that a regular system update will not allow the changes you made in the previous steps. As an alternative, you can disable the system’s “Desktop Icon” extension and make your own using the instructions below:

Open terminal using Ctrl+Alt+T. Now disable system desktop icons extension by using the following command:

Now use the following command to create the local extensions directory.

Copy the system’s ‘Desktop Icons’ extension to your local directory and rename it using the following command:

Now open the metadata.json file to edit, and run the following command to match the new name by changing the UUID value.

Change the size of icons and spacing between them using the following extension.

Enable the local extension using the following command:

Finally, restart Gnome Shell.


The process of resizing desktop icons in Ubuntu is easy, but it is important to follow every step to get the required results. We have included the simplest method possible to resize desktop icons, but please feel free to connect with us if you have any issues.

About the author

Ankit Sharma