Phone Icons
How to

Resizing Icons on your Android Device

I’ve had an Android phone for a little while now, and one of the perks they have over other devices is the sheer amount of customizable options available to you. While some of these changes require a little more expertise than just downloading an app, what I’m going to talk about today is just resizing icons.

While resizing icons is something relatively simple, to do this you’re going to need a launcher other than the default one that comes packed with your Android device. If you don’t know anything about other launchers, this might sound intimidating, but it’s really as simple as pushing a few buttons.

I’ll be talking about three different ones today but only concerning how they handle icons. These launchers are:

  • Square Home
  • Apex Launcher
  • Nova Launcher

If you’d like to know more about the first two I’ll be mentioning they were both on the Best Launchers of Android Tablets list. You can read more about their pros and cons there.

But now that I’ve said all that let’s get into this already!

Method 1: Square Home

While the article above mentions launchers for tablets, I’ll be specifically talking about the phone versions of these apps. Both versions, however, are relatively easy to use. The main draw of Square Home is emulating the icon or tile style of a Windows phone or tablet. So if you’re really looking to change the icon size to your heart’s content, this may be the launcher for you.

If the tile style of a Windows phone doesn’t strike your fancy, skip to Method 2 for another option.

Step 1:

First off you’ll need to download Square Home for either your phone or tablet, I’ll be providing a link to both down below so click whichever Google Play button suits your needs best.

For your phone:

Download-at-Google-play

For your tablet:

Download-at-Google-play

Once you’ve done that you should see the install page that looks like so.

Square-Home-Install-Page

If it goes to a page that’s unavailable thankfully, there are two more methods for you to try! However, if everything is going according to plan so far, go ahead and install the launcher and continue to the second step.

Step 2:

Now that you have Square Home installed launch it as your new home. No worries if this is your first time using a different launcher, you can always very easily switch back to what you had before.

Once you set Square Home as, well, your home you should see something similar to this.

Square-Home-Home-Page

This might look a little messy or haphazard because…well, it is. That is until you mess around with it for a little while and really make it your own. What’s great about Square Home is that you don’t have to go into any extra menus to change tile/icon sizes; you can just do it right from the home screen.

If you want to change the size of a tile, press down on it for a split second. You’ll get a light gray box around it with a little square in the corner that looks like this.

Square-Home-Resize-Example

Now, drag that little box to the left, right, up, down, or wherever you want to change its size. You can also edit the tile if you hold down on it for a little longer than a second. You’ll end up getting a pop-up menu above it that looks like this.

Square-Home-Pop-Up

From here, you can change it however you like; or at least how Square Home likes it. Though, with luck that will be how you like it too.

Method 2: Apex Launcher

If having your home screen look like a Windows phone doesn’t appeal to you, then this method and the one after it should be a better alternative. Apex Launcher has both a free and a pro version (priced at $3.99 as of writing this) that both allow you to change icon size. It may not be as straightforward to resize as Square Home is, but the interface is initially more attractive.

Step 1:

As always, the first step is to install the launcher, so if you’re looking to try out Apex, you don’t need to look much further than the Google Play button placed below.

Download-at-Google-play

Barring any errors, you should be taken here on your device:

Apex-Launcher-Install-Page

Now it’s time to install the Apex Launcher, which shouldn’t take very long at all, and may even be done by the time you scroll down to the second step below.

Step 2:

Now that you have the Apex Launcher installed on your device, you should be looking at a menu at least somewhat similar to this on your home screen.

Apex-Launcher-Home-Screen

All I have on there right now is a shortcut to the launcher itself.But, unless you want to go back to Step 1, that isn’t much use to you. To go any further you’ll need to tap and hold an empty part of the screen that gets a menu to appear looking like so:

Apex-Launcher-Apex-Options

From here, you’ll want to click Apex Actions as outlined by the red arrow. That will open up a menu that looks like this:

Apex-Launcher-Apex-Settings

Give Apex Settings a tap and you’ll get a little settings button on your home screen now for easy access, which is vital for the next step.

Step 3:

Since you can actually progress now with the button on screen, you can give it a tap to take you to this menu here:

Apex-Launcher-Settings-Menu

There’s a lot going on here, but everything you need for icon resizing is under Advanced Settings. If all goes well, it should take to the Advanced Settings page that looks like this.

Apex-Launcher-Advanced-Settings

When using the Apex Launcher you can tap “Icon Size” to scale the size of icons from 50% of their normal size, up to 150%. Or you can stick with 100% if you’ve changed your mind on resizing all together.

Method 3: Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher has both a free and a Prime version, priced at $4.99. Unfortunately, Nova Launcher only can resize icons in the prime version, so if you’re looking for something free you can ignore Method 3 and skip to the conclusion.

However, if you want to see a little more about the Nova Launcher keep reading to see if it might be worth that price tag for you.

Step 1:

Before Nova Launcher can do much for you, you’ll need to install it, Follow this link to it in the Google Play Store.

Download-at-Google-play

The new launcher app will look something like this on your device.

Nova-Launcher-Install-Page

Go ahead and install it if you safely made it to the download page, and then move onto the next step as long as you accept.

Step 2:

If you’re still with me, your homepage should look something like this with the launcher installed and started.

Nova-Launcher-Home-Screen

What you’re after, however, is tucked away in Nova Launcher’s settings, so what you’ll have to do is tap and hold an empty part of the screen to end up here:

Nova-Launcher-Settings-Button

After you hit the Settings button, it will take you to the third and final step.

Step 3:

Now that you’re in the Settings Menu, you should be face to face with this:

Nova-Launcher-Settings

If not, panic, and then repeat Step 2 until you do see it. Once you’re on the same page, you just need to tap on App & Widget Drawers, not Look and Feel, I made this assumption and was wrong. There’s no need for you to make the same mistake I did.

That will bring you here without a doubt:

Nova-Launcher-Apps-And-Widgets

So now,you’re only one tap away from being able to resize your icons, as long as you’re okay with paying $4.99 to unlock the feature. After tapping Icon Layout you’ll be met with this:

Nova-Launcher-Icon-Resizing

As well as the paywall that you may or may not be okay with passing. Clicking the GET PRIME button will take you right to the purchasing page, so it’s easy enough if you think it’s worth the money.

Conclusion

Out of the three methods above only two of them are free of charge, and only two of them aren’t exactly drastic changes to your home screen layout. If you only want to resize your icons on your current launcher, be that the default or one you’ve downloaded previously, it’s all up to the developers if icon resizing is an option. With the three above, though I already have a clear preference.

Method 1 is most likely the simplest to use as far as resizing goes, but the style of the launcher is very distinct. It’s attempting to emulate something not all users may find easy on the eyes.

Method 2 was the easiest to use while still looking aesthetically pleasing in my opinion and lets you take advantage of its resizing features without purchasing the Pro version of the product.

Method 3 has its resizing functions locked behind a paywall but has an easy to use and understand interface that may have more to it that would be worth paying $4.99.

However, when it comes down to getting a launcher solely for the sake of resizing your icons, I would say Apex Launcher is the best for your initial investment of $0.00. It’s sleek, easy on the eyes, and not terribly hard to use.

If you want a more in-depth look at the Apex Launcher, you can again go here for a list of its features other than resizing.

Did you manage to find an easier way to resize things, or even a better launcher that’s worth the price? Please let us know about it in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. Buzz Launcher lets you stretch each icon individually to any desired size — you can have any combination of large and small icons anywhere on the same screen! Without using tiles at all. Are there any other launchers that can do this? Maybe you could make a stretchable widget for each app and use them in any launcher?

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