Windows 10 has a lot of new trickery up its sleeve when you compare it to Windows 7. But there are some things that don’t change and that’s good because they shouldn’t. Then there are things that don’t change, not that anybody minds, but they probably should. For instance, we place shortcuts to our most used programs and files on the desktop. The default icon view on the desktop is set to Medium icons. When you want to change the icon view in Windows Explorer, you have to right-click on an empty space, select View and then the icon view you want. You can change the icon view on the desktop just like that as well. But can you change the Desktop icons view to Details or List view? Not unless you know how to, and that should change.
Let’s compare the contextual right-click menus in the Windows 10 Desktop and Explorer. Right-click in the Explorer Window, select View and you have Extra large icons, Large icons, Medium icons, List, Details, Tiles, Content. Do the same on the desktop and you only have three options: Large icons, Medium icons, and Small icons.
Quick tip: To quickly change the desktop icons view between the three available choices, hold Ctrl and scroll the mouse wheel up or down. This will make the icons larger or smaller.
Change Desktop icons view in Windows 10
Icons are great and an important part of UX design of any operating system or software. You can see most mobile platforms being totally icon dependent. But on PCs, where you have so much more screen real estate and a much more precise pointing device than fingers, maybe there can be something better.
The List view offers a more compact solution than icons and it can prove to be really useful if you’re someone who dumps in a lot of shortcuts and files onto your desktop. To display the icons as a List, press Ctrl+Shift+0+8 keys. If that doesn’t work, try Ctrl+Shift+5.
The Details view is not as compact as List view but it offers up a lot more information than the icons or List view. A quick glance can let you know the item type, the last date it was modified on and the file size even. To enable it, press Ctrl+Shift+6 on your keyboard. These aren’t the type of Desktop icons view most people would want. But they can be helpful to a certain group of people. It should be noted though that these shortcuts don’t seem to work on the latest Windows 10 versions. If they do work for you though and you wish to go back to how things were before, just right-click and switch the View to Medium icons.