Desktop appears like a regular folder or Changed to Tiles view mode

If your Desktop has suddenly changed to “Tiles” view mode on your Windows computer, you may have accidentally hit a shortcut key that switches the folder view mode. It’s also possible that the FFlags registry value data is incorrect.

This article tells you how to restore the Desktop’s default view back.

desktop icons view mode
Desktop icons changed to Tile mode.


This may also occur due to folder view corruption in the “Bags” registry key. For instance, the desktop will appear like a standard folder if the “FFlags” registry value data is incorrect. See “Option 3” below to fix this behavior.

desktop folder view changed fflags

Reset the Desktop View Mode to Default

To reset the desktop view mode to icons, use one of the following methods:

Option 1: Change the Desktop view mode via the right-click menu

Right-click Desktop, click View, and select one of the icon views — Small, Medium, or Large.

desktop icons view mode

Option 2: Change the Desktop view mode using the Keyboard

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 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 + 7    (Content*)

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

Option 3: Fix Desktop views via the Registry

  1. Exit the Explorer shell cleanly. See How to Exit Explorer and Restart Explorer. Don’t restart the Explorer shell yet.
  2. Open Task Manager using Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  3. From the Task Manager, click File, Run new task.
  4. Type regedit.exe and click OK.
  5. In the Registry Editor, go to the following branch:
  6. Delete the three values, namely: FFlags, LogicalViewMode and Mode
  7. Exit the Registry Editor.
  8. Create a new explorer.exe task from Task Manager.

This restarts the Explorer shell, and the Desktop view mode should be reset to the default settings.

Note: For the desktop folder, the FFlags value data, if present, must have the data 0x40000224 (hex). If it’s set to anything else, the desktop view will appear like a regular folder  (without the toolbar/ribbon/navigation pane/status bar, though.)

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 Microsoft technical articles FOLDERVIEWMODE & FOLDERLOGICALVIEWMODE enumeration have all the information about the folder view modes.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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