How to change desktop icon spacing in Windows?

Question

Issue: How to change desktop icon spacing in Windows?

Hello. I was wondering if it is possible to change the spacing between icons in Windows. Any tips would be appreciated.

Solved Answer

The amount of space between icons on your desktop is referred to as desktop icon spacing. Windows' default spacing is set to a specific value, but some users may find it too close or too far apart. Fortunately, you can customize the desktop icon spacing in Windows to suit your needs.

A user may want to change the icon spacing on their desktop for a variety of reasons. Some users may have visual impairments that make distinguishing between icons that are too close together difficult. Others may prefer a more organized and less cluttered desktop, which can be achieved by increasing the icon spacing. Users with high-resolution monitors may also want to reduce the icon spacing to fit more icons on their screen.

Users must access the Registry Editor and modify specific registry keys to change the desktop icon spacing on Windows. This process can be confusing for users who are unfamiliar with the Windows operating system, and it is critical to carefully follow the instructions to avoid causing any damage to the system.

There are several options for changing the desktop icon spacing in Windows. Some third-party tools and software can be used to change the icon spacing without having to manually edit the registry. However, when using third-party software, users should exercise caution because it may contain malware or viruses that can harm their system.

This guide will show you how to use the registry to change the spacing between icons. Keep in mind that the registry contains critical system information that, if altered incorrectly, can cause serious problems. Changing or deleting the incorrect registry values or keys can cause the system to become unstable, crash, or even fail to boot.

Therefore, it is essential to back up the registry before making any modifications. You can do that easily by following our How to back up and restore the Windows registry? guide.

How to change desktop icon spacing in Windows

Use the Windows Registry

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  • Right-click the Start button on the taskbar.
  • Select the Run shortcut from the pop-up menu.
  • In the Run dialog box, type regedit and click OK.
  • In the Registry Editor window, go to the following registry key:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

  • You can copy and paste that registry location in the address bar or click the keys for it on the left sidebar.
  • Select the WindowMetrics key.
  • Double-click the IconSpacing string. This will bring up the Edit String window.

Edit String

  • Delete the current value (-1125) from the Value data box.
  • Enter a new value for horizontal icon spacing with a minus (-) sign in front of it. For example, entering -1180 will slightly increase the horizontal spacing.

IconSpacing

  • Click the OK button to close the Edit String window.
  • Double-click the IconVerticalSpacing string. This will bring up the Edit String window.
  • Delete the current value from the Value data box.
  • Enter a new value for vertical icon spacing with a minus sign in front of it. If you want the vertical spacing to be the same as the horizontal, enter a number there that matches the IconSpacing value.
  • Click the OK button to close the Edit String window.
  • Exit the Registry Editor.
  • Restart your computer to apply the changes.
  • After the restart, the icon spacing on your desktop will have changed according to the new IconString and IconVerticalSpacing values you entered.

Restore Default Spacing

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  • If you want to restore the default desktop icon spacing, return to the WindowMetric registry key and enter -1125 for both the IconString and IconVerticalSpacing string values.
  • Restart your computer again to restore the default spacing.

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Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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