Personalization Change Desktop Icon Horizontal and Vertical Spacing in Windows 11


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Desktop_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to change the horizontal and vertical spacing of desktop icons for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc...) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

If you like, you can change the horizontal and vertical spacing of desktop icons to be more or less than the default spacing.

Icon horizontal spacing is for how wide (left/right) the desktop icon will be. The wider it is, the more text that will display for the icon's name without it having to be highlighted.

Icon vertical spacing is for how much vertical (up/down) empty space there is in-between the icons on your desktop to separate them with.


Contents



EXAMPLE: Desktop icon horizontal and vertical spacing

This is just an example to help show what your desktop icons can look like with different horizontal and vertical spacing settings when highlighted and not highlighted. The settings you use below will determine how much more or less space your icons will have.


Default_desktop_icon_spacing.jpg





Option One

Change Desktop Icon Horizontal Spacing


1 Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

2 Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

desktop_IconSpacing-1.png

3 In the right pane of WindowMetrics, double click/tap on the IconSpacing string value (REG_SZ) to modify it. (see screenshot above)

4 Type in a value between -480 to -2730, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

The default value is -1128. The minimum amount of space is -480, and the maximum is -2730.

Be sure to include the minus (-) in front of the number.


desktop_IconSpacing-2.png

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Option Two

Change Desktop Icon Vertical Spacing


1 Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

2 Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

desktop_IconVerticalSpacing-1.png

3 In the right pane of WindowMetrics, double click/tap on the IconVerticalSpacing string value (REG_SZ) to modify it. (see screenshot above)

4 Type in a value between -480 to -2730, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

The default value is -1128. The minimum amount of space is -480, and the maximum is -2730.

Be sure to include the minus (-) in front of the number.


desktop_IconVerticalSpacing-2.png

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That's it,
Shawn Brink


 
Last edited:
Something odd, the Path to the registry key provided in this Article does not work in the Key address bar, but its exactly the same as when you copy it from regedit.

I suspect a Widestring conversion may be afoot due to the nature of the text being Bold on the forum.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop works though
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows
Something odd, the Path to the registry key provided in this Article does not work in the Key address bar, but its exactly the same as when you copy it from regedit.

I suspect a Widestring conversion may be afoot due to the nature of the text being Bold on the forum.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop works though

Hello, :alien:

I changed the paths to be in a code line that will copy the path to the clipboard with a click to help.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Laptop Copilot+ PC
    CPU
    Snapdragon X Elite (12 core) 3.42 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" HDR
    Screen Resolution
    2496 x 1664
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Internet Speed
    Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


; By Alex ASSR for 1920x1080 Monitor, Windows 11, with Startallback.


; 19 x 10 icons


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]
"IconSpacing"="-1500"
"IconVerticalSpacing"="-1215"

Example.
%t 002296 11H40M 13Seg 724Mile.jpg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, Pro for Workstations, 22631.2861 (23H2)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Amd Ryzen 5 5500 ("Zen 3") (3.6GHz,45-65W,L3:16M,6/12)
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime B450M Gaming/BR Chipset B450 AMD AM4 mATX DDR4 - BIOS 4002
    Memory
    DDR4 OLOy Owl Black, 8GB, 3200MHZ, (x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Colorful GeForce GTX 1650 Super
    Sound Card
    -
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips TV 43PFG5102/78
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    SSD: 120GB, Sata III, Leitura 560MBs e Gravação 540MBs
    HD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB, Sata III, 7200RPM, 64MB
    PSU
    Corsair ATX CV550 550W, 80 Plus Bronze, PFC Ativo
    Case
    Wheel Jack, Mid Tower, Vidro Temperado, Black
    Cooling
    default
    Keyboard
    common
    Mouse
    commom
    Internet Speed
    600mb
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Laptop Copilot+ PC
    CPU
    Snapdragon X Elite (12 core) 3.42 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" HDR
    Screen Resolution
    2496 x 1664
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Internet Speed
    Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

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