Personalization Change Desktop Icon Horizontal and Vertical Spacing in Windows 11


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Desktop_banner.png

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.

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.


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.


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.


desktop_IconVerticalSpacing-2.png

5 Sign out and sign in to apply.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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