Blurry and Pixelated Icons in Windows 10: 5 Solutions to Use

Check out the solutions others confirmed to work!

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Key notes

  • Many users reported blurry desktop icons, which is quite prevalent in Windows 10.
  • It's usually caused by low-resolution icons, misconfigured scaling, or running an outdated graphics driver version.
  • The most straightforward fix is to restart the computer while changing the scaling or Visual Effects, too, seemed to work for many.

A clean and uncluttered desktop is usually the ideal way to go, but how would you react when the desktop icons look blurry even after putting in all effort?

This is a common problem faced by users on almost all iterations of the OS, but Windows 10 seems more likely to be affected. So, let’s find out how to fix blurry icons in Windows 10.

Why do my icons look blurry?

Here are some of the reasons the desktop icons look appear blurry:

  • Scaling issues – This is usually the most common problem that leads to blurry icons in Windows. Though, some apps may not respond to scaling changes.
  • Running an outdated graphics driver – If you run a corrupt or outdated driver, it will affect the display clarity.
  • Icon has a low resolution – Often, a few icons designed for older iterations of the OS have a low resolution and appear blurry in the ones released later.
  • A bug in the OS – In case you started encountering the problem after updating Windows, chances are that the issue lies with the installed version.

How do I fix blurry desktop icons?

Before we head to the slightly more complex solutions, let’s first try a few quick ones:

  • Restart the computer.
  • Check for Windows Update and install the latest available version.
  • If the problem is faced on an external monitor, reconnect it and check if it’s fixed.

If nothing worked, let’s head to the other solutions.

1. Change the View settings

  1. Right-click on the desktop, hover the cursor over View, and select Small icons.change view
  2. Now, check if the problem is fixed.

In many cases, it was a problem with the app icon’s resolution, which started to blur when it increased beyond a specific limit. So it would be best if you had them set to a Small icon for the best results.

2. Update the graphics driver

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run, type devmgmt.msc in the text field, and click OK.device manager
  2. Expand the Display adapters category, right-click on the graphics adapter, and select Update driver.update driver to fix desktop icons blurry
  3. Now, select Search automatically for drivers.search automatically for drivers
  4. Wait for Windows to install the best available driver automatically.

That’s it! The graphics driver should be updated now, and desktop icons shouldn’t be blurry in Windows 10.

In case Windows can’t find a newer version, navigate to the manufacturer’s official website and look it up:

Update drivers automatically

If you don’t want to download the drivers manually, you can always download them automatically using a third-party tool.

The significant advantage of using such a tool is that it finds compatible versions and works on your system.

Thus, it keeps you away from damaging your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

Outbyte Driver Updater is a simple tool that can automatically update all your drivers with just a single click, so if you don’t want to search and download the drivers manually, be sure to try this tool.

Its interface is straightforward to use, and once the scan is completed, the tool will compare your current drivers with the ones found in its built-in database.

Afterward, Outbyte Driver Updater will fix and update any missing or broken drivers.

Outbyte Driver Updater

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3. Modify scaling

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings, and choose System.system
  2. In the Display tab, choose 100% from the Change the size of text, apps, and other items dropdown menu.change scaling to fix desktop icons blurry

Scaling is probably the reason behind pixelated desktop icons if it wasn’t for the drivers. Some users reported that scaling was set to a higher level on their PC, resulting in blurry desktop icons, and putting it to 100% did the trick.

4. Adjust Visual Effects for the best appearance

  1. Type View advanced system settings in the Search bar and click on the relevant search result.view advanced system settings
  2. Click on the Settings button under Performance.settings
  3. Select the Adjust for best appearance option, and click OK to save the changes.adjust for best appearance to fix desktop icons blurry

This is another viable solution suggested by one of the users who had blurry text with high resolution in Windows 10.

You can optimize your PC to perform better without the UI visual effects. However, remember that this might affect your system performance, mainly if you use a low-spec PC.

5. Create a new user profile

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type netplwiz, and hit Enter.netplwiz
  2. Click on Add.add
  3. Now, enter an email address associated with Microsoft (other than the one for your current account), and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.Microsoft Account to fix desktop icons blurry
  4. Alternatively, you can create a local account by clicking on Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended).sign in without a Microsoft account
  5. Now, click on Local account.local account to fix desktop icons blurry
  6. Enter the details for the new account, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.fill details

If nothing else has worked, it’s likely a corrupt user profile to blame for blurry desktop icons. And the simplest solution, in this case, is to create a new one, either Microsoft Account or a Local Account.

Once done, use a reliable backup tool to transfer data between the two profiles.

By now, the blurry desktop icons would be visible, and the root cause of the problem would be eliminated. Also, the solutions listed here would work for blurry taskbar icons in Windows 10.

Besides, find out the best display settings for enhanced Windows graphics.

Drop in the comments section if you have any queries or know of another solution.

More about the topics: icon, windows 10 fix