Mac Software

How do I make Mac icons bigger?

Mac icons
Aww, they grow up so fast...

Do you find yourself squinting down at the macOS Dock, trying to differentiate between Google Chrome and Spotify? If so, Apple has made it incredibly easy to boost the size of icons and folders to give your eyes a rest. Here’s how to make Mac icons bigger.

I’m going to split this article into two sections: the Dock and desktop icons. The former will show you how to make the Dock (the menu bar that stretches along the bottom of the screen) icons larger, while the latter will guide you through boosting the size of folders, files and icons on your desktop.

Make Mac icons bigger: Dock

Head to System Preferences and – surprise, surprise – click the Dock option on the top row.

Make Mac icons bigger - first step

This will bring up a window with two sliders…

Change Dock settings

If you simply want to make the icons bigger, use the first slider. Note that you can make them very, very big and very, very small (those are the technical terms). I prefer just under halfway towards large. The Dock icons will change before your eyes as you use the slider.

However, there’s another tool that will help people who struggle to see icons. The second slider, “Magnification”, increases the size of an icon when you hover over it with the mouse. Like so…

Make Dock icons bigger

To enable it, toggle the tickbox and get sliding. I find that three-quarters of the way to “Max” is ideal, whereas setting the magnification closer to “Min” makes barely any difference.

Make Desktop icons bigger

To increase the size of desktop icons, right-click on a folder, file or app icon at random. Select “Show View Options” from the menu.

Make Mac icons bigger on Desktop

This will generate a somewhat old-school settings menu in an unhelpfully teeny-tiny font.

Adjust Mac icon size

Now it’s just a case of increasing the “Icon size” slider (as you can see, 84 x 84 is my preference, but you can make it as big as 128 x 128) and toggling the size of the text to fit. Making the icon huge and keeping the text size at 12pt or below doesn’t really make sense.

You can also use the “Grid spacing” slider to increase the distance between icons – meaning your desktop won’t become a jumbled mess (like mine before I wrote this article!).

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Max Figgett

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  • Hi- I was trying to make my desktop icons larger on my iMac following your steps, but I don’t have the same pull down menu as yours. I’m running BigSur OS. any advice? Thanks!!