Desktop Icons as list view

By | March 22, 2009

I remember back when I was using Windows XP there was a shell extension that allowed you to have your Desktop Icons as a list view. I did a quick Google Search and found an application called Deskview.

Deskview not only works in Windows XP but also works in Windows Vista (x86 and x64). To really shrink your icons in Vista, essentially what you would want to do is set them to “classic” icons or hold down your CTRL key and use your mouse wheel to shrink or enlarge them. Then you will want to run deskview.exe to change them to list view.

Now what this small application does is simple and it doesn’t have any options. You double-click it to set your Desktop Icons as a list view then double-click it again to change them back to the default setting.


On the left is what the normal icons look like, and on the right is what the list view looks like.

Note: I didn’t create this program, nor do I know who did. If someone knows of, or you are the author of this software please don’t hesitate to contact me to add your credit!

  • Jay

    DeskView doesn’t work any longer in Windows 7. Have you found a solution that will? I have tried a few options, included the similar DesktopListView, which also does not work.

  • deepdvd

    I got DeskView to work in Windows 7 Beta and RC 64bit, but I just changed to the full version (Ultimate 64bit from MSDN), and now I can’t remember doing anything but turning off UAC, but that didn’t work.

    (I have it still working on my home computer which is still on RC, so I’ll try to figure out anything different on it and post if I get it working)

    • I haven’t tried it on W7 x64 RTM, but works fine on x86 RTM. Will get a mate to test it.

  • deepdvd

    Jay, I figured out what I did to get it to work in Windows 7. It probably doesn’t have anything to do with disabling UAC either.

    On both the Beta and RC, I had removed the watermark on the desktop that showed the version by using the tool listed (with download link) below. As a positive side-effect, it was also what made Deskview.exe work!

    Just follow the directions.


    • It may be so for the Beta and RC, but the RTM doesn’t have a watermark on the desktop. ;-)

  • deepdvd

    Apparently, I was too hasty on my solution. It only works temporarily after you log off and on after running RemoveWatermarkX64.exe.

    After rebooting, it stops working.

    If anyone figures this out, please post here or at:

  • deepdvd

    I just switched to Windows 7 from the RC again, and I can’t believe how simple it was to get this to work.

    All you have to do to get deskview.exe to work is…
    Right-click the desktop, Personalize -> Change desktop icons AND uncheck “Allow themes to change desktop icons”.

    After you uncheck that, deskview works perfectly!

    • I’m running Windows 7. All I needed to do was put the deskview.exe into the Startup folder. I didn’t need to do anything special. This works fine on 3 laptops here.

  • My OS is Windows 7.. I want to know more about this kind of topic..thanks!

  • I am using Windows 7. You give me some of ideas here! Really, thanks for sharing.

  • Same with you guys.. I am also using windows 7. Thanks for the tips being given here!