How to change the System Font and Icon Size of Raspberry Pi Desktop

Depending on the screen size or the usage of the Raspberry Pi, I usually tweak the font size and icon size.

If I am teaching or recording videos, I want the icon and font size to be large. If I am blogging, then I want them to be medium size. If I am using a small resolution screen then I want to change the icon and font size to a smaller proportion.

Appearance Settings

Luckily, Raspberry Pi has a Set Defaults icon for different screen sizes which makes it quick for me to change the sizes.

To change the system icon and font size of the Raspberry Pi head over to Appearance Settings and tweak the configuration there.

If you need guidance or instructions on how to navigate the settings then follow the tutorial below.

Steps on How to Change the Font Size and Icon Size in Raspberry Pi

Click on the Application Menu (Raspberry Pi icon on the upper left). Then hover over Preferences. Click Appearance Settings.

On the Appearance Settings window, click on Defaults.

Here you can select the following option.

  • Set Defaults for large screens – Set default values for high-resolution displays.
  • Set Defaults for medium screens – Set default values for medium-resolution displays.
  • Set Defaults for small screens – Set to default values for low-resolution displays.

Hovering the mouse over the Set Defaults button will show which display resolution would be the best option.

Click OK when finished adjusting the system font and icon size.

Note: I always set my Raspberry Pi background to a solid color, but when I click Set Defaults it always goes back to the default wallpaper.

Comparison of different System Font and Icon Size on a Full HD Monitor

Below are different screenshots on a Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display.

Set Defaults for Small Screens

Click on the image for a larger screenshot

Set Defaults for Medium Screens

On a newly initialized Raspberry Pi OS, this is the default icon and font size for a FullHD monitor.

Click on the image for a larger screenshot

Set Defaults for Large Screens

When I am teaching Raspberry Pi, I usually use this since students can see the fonts and icons easily.

Click on the image for a larger screenshot

I am not sure whether the initial Set Defaults size will automatically be set depending on the size of the monitor you attach to the Raspberry Pi. If you know this, let me know in the comments below.

I hope this helps.

One thought on “How to change the System Font and Icon Size of Raspberry Pi Desktop”

  1. While it’s nice to use a front end, the resolution of my screen means these windows aren’t displayed correctly.
    Surely the selections you make are saved in a configuration file, somewhere? If so, then all I need is file name and location – the rest can be done from a terminal using vi.

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