[Fix] Desktop Icons Changed to Tiles View Mode Suddenly

If your Desktop has suddenly changed to Tiles view mode, then you may have accidentally hit a shortcut key that changes the folder view mode.

desktop icons view mode
(This may also occur due to folder view "Bags" registry key corruption.)

Reset the Desktop View Mode to Defaults

To reset the default view mode for Desktop, use one of the following methods:

Select one of the Icon views via the right-click menu

Right-click Desktop, click View, and select one of the icon views (Small | Medium | Large).

desktop icons view mode

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are the keyboard combinations you can use to change the desktop view. First, click an empty area on the desktop in order to set the focus on to the desktop.

  • Ctrl + Shift + 1    (Extra large icons)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 2    (Large icons)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 3    (Medium icons)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 4    (Small icons)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 5    (List)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 6    (Details)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 7    (Tiles)
  • Ctrl + Shift + 8    (Content)*

* Ctrl + Shift + 8 (Content) mode doesn’t seem to work when I tested in Windows 10. All it does is set the view mode to Tiles, but icons get shrunk a bit, compared to Ctrl + Shift + 7 view mode.

Using the Registry Editor

1. Terminate Explorer cleanly. See How to Exit Explorer and Restart Explorer?

2. Open Task Manager using CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

3. From the Task Manager, click File, Run new task

4. Type Regedit.exe and press ENTER

5. In the Registry Editor, go to the following branch:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop

6. Delete the following values:

  • LogicalViewMode
  • Mode

7. Exit the Registry Editor.

8. Create a new explorer.exe task from Task Manager.

This restarts the Explorer shell, with Desktop set default view mode. That’s it!

More Information

LogicalViewMode registry value can use one of the following value data.

  • 1    (DETAILS)
  • 2    (TILES)
  • 3    (ICONS)
  • 4    (LIST)
  • 5    (CONTENT)

Mode can use one of the following value data.

  • 1    (ICON)
  • 2    (SMALLICON)
  • 3    (LIST)
  • 4    (DETAILS)
  • 5    (THUMBNAIL)
  • 6    (TILE)
  • 7    (THUMBSTRIP)
  • 8    (CONTENT)

The MSDN articles FOLDERVIEWMODE & FOLDERLOGICALVIEWMODE enumeration have all the information pertaining to folder view mode.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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