How can I scale my desktop icons in Ubuntu 18.04? With Ubuntu 16.04 I could scale my icons under the screen size tab in Settings. With Ubuntu 18.04 I cannot do that.


Ubuntu 18.04 with Unity Desktop

If you are using the Unity Desktop the most comprehensive method is font scaling which includes icons, title bars and other UI elements. To install it use:

sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool

Then call it from the command line or Dash. The settings I'm using for scaling on a 1920x1080 monitor are:

Tweak fonts.png

The Text scaling factor scales fonts and menu bars Icon size is preset but the text size under it increases giving the illusion the icon size changed:


In the .gif above scaling starts at 1.38 on a 1920x1080 monitor. Then it is changed to 1 and everything gets tiny, which is normal. Then it is changed to 2 which is ideal for the visually challenged. Once again the icons have fixed pixel size and the font shrinking or expanding under the icon gives the illusion their size is changing.

Others may be interested in the full suite of "tweak" tools available for installing under 18.04 LTS:

$ apt list | grep tweak
gajim-rostertweaks/bionic,bionic 1.0.0-3 all
gnome-tweak-tool/bionic,bionic 3.28.1-1 all
gnome-tweaks/bionic,bionic 3.28.1-1 all
mate-tweak/bionic,bionic 18.04.16-1 all
mousetweaks/bionic,bionic,now 3.12.0-4 amd64 [installed]
tweak/bionic 3.02-2 amd64
unity-tweak-tool/bionic,bionic,now 0.0.7ubuntu4 all [installed]
  • I'll put my reading glasses on and repeat again after work in both 18.04 and 16.04. I was certain icons were scaling last time but it may have been an illusion. May 7 '18 at 15:12
  • I'm unsure too. I read your question again and it's ambiguous whether icons sizes are affected. The UI labels are rather clear by omission that they're not. May 7 '18 at 15:19
  • @DavidFoerster Icons come prepackaged 16x16, 24x24, 30x30, etc. and are not changing size with fonts, title bars and menu bars. It was an optical illusion when I did it last time. I've added a .gif to demonstrate. May 7 '18 at 22:59

The resize icons feature works perfectly in Files, but the resized icons may be the wrong size on the desktop if they are the right size in Files or vice versa. The only way that looks right on my Ubuntu 18.04 is to delete all the icons from the desktop. That way the icons in Files are the right size and the desktop looks uncluttered and neat without any icons on it.

Try it and see how it looks on your system. Open Files and click the 3 horizontal lines button that is located next to the three minimize/maximize/close window buttons on the toolbar. Then change the Reset zoom percentage.

enter image description here

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