Make Finder desktop icon sizes huge

Jan 2, 2008 - 12 Comments

The Mac OS X desktop is attractive, highly functional, and very customizable, but by default the maximum icon size is 128×128, which is pretty large but if you have a huge monitor or you’re visually impaired you may want larger icons. This is where the command line comes in, where you can force the Mac OS X desktop to display icons as large as 512×512 pixels! Launch the Terminal and type the following commands:

defaults write DesktopViewOptions -dict IconSize -integer 256
You can set 256 to whatever number you want, as high as 512, just be aware that it can get a little ridiculous, and 512×512 pixel icons will take up the vast majority of your screen.

Next, kill the Finder to relaunch it and see the changes
killall Finder

Reverting the changes is a matter of setting the integer variable to a smaller number.

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Posted by: David Mendez in Command Line, Customize, Fun, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Ingram says:

    This is the most useless tip I have ever seen , why would you possibly want icons to be that size? This is a real american tip, where all you eat are big macs. Supersize your Icons like your cheeseburgers!

    Furthermore the by killing the Finder you can also lose folder positioning and some finder windows, is that really worth it for extra big icons?

  2. robot says:

    Great tip, saves me so much time not having to open up “Adobe Bridge” every time to view the icons at this size. Thanks!

  3. Drew Smith says:

    Great tip, but is there a way to apply this to folders other than the desktop?

  4. Piscart says:

    a wonderful thing on my big screen
    so maybe you can solve something:
    how to make finder icons, ones on the left side (desktop, documents, downloads, home, macintosh hd etc) ….bigger? they are too small on my 24″!

  5. Thank you for your site. I have found here much useful information…

  6. 777driver says:

    Great little tip, to the first bloke that commented… this great little tip allows you to select anysize not necessarily UP… it’s great for intermediate sizes people may need that the slider in finder won’t allow you to use!

  7. Jason says:

    You’re just poor and have a really tiny screen ingram. Go earn some money and then you will be able to actually use this

  8. Mike says:

    I couldn’t get this to work on snow leopard … can it be done?

  9. Yeah, doesn’t work for me on Snow Leopard either. I like the icons enormous because it forces me to not save stuff to the desktop.

  10. Andrew says:

    Does anyone know how to increase the size of one folder on the desktop, rather than all of them at the same time?
    I want one in the middle of my screen as my main folder and other small ones on the side.

  11. [...] the fly so you can see exactly what they will look like. If the size still isn’t big enough, you can make the icons huge using the Terminal, up to 512×512 [...]

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