Is it me or is the size of icons in Gnome 3.2 huge? It makes my 1200*800 resolution look like a netbook interface. Please how do I reduce icons size?


To configure the layout of the application icons in the GNOME Shell, you have to modify /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css. Note that the contents of this file may vary as it is dependent on the particular theme that you are using. In the case of the Dark Glass theme, here are the modifications necessary to reduce the size and layout of the displayed icons by 50% in Applications Overview.

.icon-grid {
    spacing: 18px;                       /* was 36px */
    -shell-grid-item-size: 35px;         /* was 70px */

.all-app .icon-grid {
    -shell-grid-item-size: 59px;         /* was 118px */

.all-app .overview-icon {
    icon-size: 48px;                     /* was 96px */

Read more here.

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  • 1
    Its changed now. But one can get an idea from this post. Now we have to change spacing, shell-grid-horizontal-item-size, shell-grid-vertical-item-size under ".icon-grid" and icon-size under ".icon-grid .overview-icon" – mac Mar 12 '13 at 13:13

For size only: Open nautilus, go to Desktop folder, click in the upper right corner on the icon with the four squares, again the four squares and then set the size using the provided slider.

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  • Nice! Seems it doesn't need to be the Desktop folder. Sharing the Desktop icon size and the folder icon size is a really simple concept, but hard to figure out. Specially when the Desktop icons suddenly changed size after an update (ie. it's not linked to having just changed the icon size in a folder). – Ángel Aug 20 '17 at 15:06

Facing the same problem (wanted to decrease icons size on the launcher grid), editing the gnome-shell.css file worked fine to change the grid layout only (the grid elements were properly resized and redispatched, but the icons were not resized and stacked all over the place).

In order to sort this out I also edited the file


Line 14 in this file now reads

const ICON_SIZE = 48;

instead of

const ICON_SIZE = 96;

This worked fine on Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, fresh install.

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