If you feel everything on Windows 11 looks bigger, reducing the size of text, icons, and other items will make your Windows comfortable to see and use. By default, Windows automatically detects and adjusts the display settings based on screen size and resolution to make sure that UI elements (text, icons, taskbar, and other items) are of the right size and readable.
However, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you have to manually adjust the settings to match your display settings to the actual screen size. Users with a smaller screen or lower resolution will need to manually reduce the size of everything to avoid stressing their eyes. Besides, If you are running an app that fills the screen too much, then reducing the scale can make everything easier to see and use.
In this guide, we will see different ways to make everything (icons, font, and other UI elements) smaller in Windows 11.
Change Display Scaling to Make Everything Smaller in Windows 11
The DPI (Dots Per Inch) scaling is the measurement of the number of individual pixels that can be placed within a line of 1 inch of a display. It is used to control how large the text, icons, apps, and other UI elements appear on your display. A higher DPI level will make everything appear larger while a lower DPI will make everything appear smaller. You need to adjust the display scale in Windows Settings to reduce the size of the font, application, and other items.
Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select ‘Display settings’ from the context menu.
Alternatively, open the Settings app (Windows+I), and then select ‘Display’ under the System tab.
When the Display settings open, scroll down to the ‘Scale & layout’ section and then click on the dropdown menu next to ‘Scale’.
From the list of scaling options, choose a lesser percentage from the dropdown list, i.e., 125% or 100% that suit your needs.
The font, icons, and UI elements will reduce in size once you select the option. The drop-down list only includes four options namely 100, 125, 150, and 175 percentages.
If you are not comfortable with the default options, you can also set a custom display scaling. To set a custom size for scaling, click on the Scale option itself instead of the drop-down list.
Type a custom scaling size value between 100% to 500% in the text field and click the Check button.
Then sign out of your PC to apply the scaling level.
Change Taskbar Height and Icon size in Windows 11
In case you only want to change the size of the taskbar and its icons, follow these steps. There is no native option for changing the taskbar height and icon size, so you have to tweak the Registry Editor to make the taskbar and its icons smaller.
First, open Windows Registry Editor by pressing Win+R, typing ‘regedit’, and clicking ‘OK’.
When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following path or copy and paste the below path into the Registry Editor’s address bar and press Enter
In the Advanced folder, look for the REG_DWORD named
TaskbarSi. If it doesn’t exist, you need to create one.
Right-click on the ‘Advanced’ key and select ‘New’ and then click the ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’. Or, right-click on any empty space on the right pane and choose ‘New’ > ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’.
Then, rename the newly created registry entry into this:
After that, double-click on ‘TaskbarSi’ and change its Value data to one of the following:
0– Small size
1– Medium Size (Default)
2– Larger Size
To make the taskbar smaller, change the value to 0 and click ‘OK’.
Close the Registry Editor and reboot your computer. Once the computer is booted up, you will notice that the taskbar and its icon sizes are changed.
Make Everything Smaller using AMD or NVIDIA Display Panel
Another way you can change the size of icons on Windows is by using AMD or NVIDIA panels to change Windows display settings. Here’s how you do this:
To access NVIDIA’s or AMD’s Control Panel, right-click anywhere on the desktop and ‘Show more options’.
If your default display adaptor is an AMD graphics card, select ‘AMD Radeon Software’ or else select ‘NVIDIA Control Panel’.
In the Graphics control panel, navigate to ‘Display’ settings and look for an option called ‘Scaling Mode’. From the drop-down list, select the ‘Full panel’.
After that, restart your computer to apply the changes.
Make Icons Smaller without Scaling in Windows 11
If you only wish to make your Windows icons (desktop icon, File Explorer icons, and taskbar icons) smaller without changing the resolution or the scale, you have to use the keyboard shortcuts, context menu, or mouse scroll to change the icon size.
Make Desktop icons smaller
To manually change the size of desktop icons in Windows 11, right-click on an empty space on the desktop. Then, select ‘View’ on the context Menu and choose ‘Small icons’ from the sub-menu.
Alternatively, you can press and hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse up or down to increase or decrease the size of your icons. You can also press the shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+4 to change the icons to a small size.
Make File Explorer icons smaller
You can use the same method you used on the desktop to change the file explorer icons to smaller ones.
Right-click on an empty space in the File Explorer, select ‘View’ and then choose ‘Small icons’ from the sub-menu.
Make Text Smaller in Windows 11
If you only wish to make the text smaller without changing the size of other UI elements, you should not adjust the scale settings. Follow these steps to change the size of the text:
Open Windows Settings with Windows+I. Then navigate to ‘Accessibility’ on the left and select ‘Text size’ on the right.
If someone changed the text size or if the texts are too big on your computer, use the slider next to the ‘Text size’ to decrease the size of the text. As you adjust the slider, you will see a preview of the size change above. Then, click ‘Apply’ to apply the changes.
Change Screen Resolution to Make Everything Smaller
The screen resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension (horizontally and vertically) that can be displayed on the screen. Smaller screens have more pixel density (number of pixels per inch) than larger screens, hence the image is sharper and more vivid in small displays like tablets or mobile.
If your display is running on a lower resolution than the full resolution supported by your monitor, increasing your screen resolution will make things smaller. Because when you increase the resolution, it adds more pixels to the screen to make images sharp and crisp. The higher the resolution the smaller the image and other elements are. The lower the resolution, the bigger the image and other UI elements are. Here’s how you change resolutions in your Windows 11 PC:
To change the display resolution, right-click anywhere on your desktop and then select ‘Display settings’.
This will open Display settings in the Settings app. Under Scale & layout section, click the drop-down menu in the ‘Display resolution’ tile.
In the drop-down menu, you will see a list of resolutions supported by your monitor and what’s the current resolution. Make sure the select the highest resolution possible (Recommended resolution) to make icons, text, and everything smaller.
Click the ‘Keep changes’ button on the prompt before the timer runs out.
Once the resolution is changed, you will notice the difference in size.
That’s it. Using the methods above, you can easily adjust the size of everything on your screen in Windows 11.