Fix: Desktop has changed to Tiles view mode suddenly

If your Desktop has suddenly changed to “Tiles” view mode on your Windows computer, then you may have accidentally hit a shortcut key that switches the folder view mode. This article tells you how to restore Desktop’s default view back.

desktop icons view mode
Desktop icons changed to Tile mode.

This may also occur due to folder view corruption (i.e., “Bags” registry key.)

How to 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 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 doesn’t seem to work when I tested 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: Change the Desktop view mode 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:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop
  6. Delete the two values, namely: 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.

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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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

3 thoughts on “Fix: Desktop has changed to Tiles view mode suddenly”

  1. The title of this is desktop view changed to tiles. So you start by telling me to click on my desktop – really? I cant get to desktop view – it appears for split second then the tiles view replaces it. I cant get to the desktop view, so please dont tell me to click on the desktop!

    Reply
  2. It seems that you are using tablet mode in windows 10…

    You can refer to the following steps to turn off this mode and check if any helps:

    Click or tap the Start button
    Open the Settings application
    Click or tap on “System”
    In the pane on the left of the screen scroll all the way to the bottom until you see “Tablet Mode”… change it to Desktop Mode
    Ensure the toggle is set to off to your preference.
    Best regards,

    Reply

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