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How to change icon spacing on Windows 11 desktop

To narrow or widen the spacing between icons displayed on the desktop of Windows 11, change the numeric value of “IconSpacing, IconVerticalSpacing” in the “WindowMetrics” key in the registry. This page introduces how to change the icon display interval on the desktop.

Change display interval of Windows 11 desktop icons

1. Open icon spacing registry key

1-1. Start Registry Editor

  • Press “Windows” and “R” on your keyboard.
  • When Run opens, type regedit in the text box and click OK.
  • Click Yes when the User Account Control warning appears.

“Run” can also be opened from Start.

Incorrectly editing the registry may prevent Windows 11 from working properly.
If you are unsure of what to do, make a backup before editing the registry before doing anything else.
How to backup and restore windows 11 registry

1-2. Open registry key for setting desktop icon spacing

Registry location to change icon spacing

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetricsOpen WindowMetrics by expanding in the following order .

  • Control Panel
  • Desktop
  • WindowMetrics

A value that changes the spacing between icons in WindowMetrics

  • IconSpacing Horizontal spacing between icons
  • IconVerticalSpacing Vertical spacing of icons

WindowMetrics also contains values ​​that allow the scrollbars to be resized.
How to increase the width of Windows 11 scrollbars

2. Change desktop icon spacing

Change the icon spacing by changing the numeric value data. To change the value, please refer to the point to change the space between desktop icons in the next section.

■ Change the horizontal spacing of desktop icons

Double-click IconSpacingh to bring up Edit Strings.
Change the number of Value Data in the interval next to the icon and click OK. 

■ Change the vertical spacing of desktop icons

Double-click IconVerticalSpacing to bring up Edit Strings.
 Change the number of “Value data” for the vertical spacing of the icon and click “OK”

Reflect changes in desktop icon spacing

After editing the registry, you need to restart your computer for the desktop icon spacing changes to take effect. If you don’t like the icon spacing after rebooting, follow the steps above again to change the numbers.


3. Points to change the spacing of desktop icons

■ Number of default values

The default value is around ” -1125 ” in height and width. However, if you have a wide display with a large resolution, the default value may be “-1500” in width and “-1125” in height, and it depends on the environment such as the display. 

■ Description of icon spacing by numerical value

  • Increasing the negative number ( -1125 → -1300 ) widens the interval
  • Decrease the number of negative values ​​( -1125 → -900 ) to narrow the interval

■ Reference diagram with icon spacing changed

  • Icon Spacing – Horizontal [IconSpacing -900] Vertical [IconVerticalSpacing -900]
  • Icon Spacing – Horizontal [IconSpacing -1125] Vertical [IconVerticalSpacing -1125]
  • Icon Spacing – Horizontal [IconSpacing -1500] Vertical [IconVerticalSpacing -1125]

■ Precautions when changing the interval between icons

Regarding changing the space between icons on the desktop, if the icons are too close to each other, they will overlap and work efficiency will be poor. Also, be careful not to set the spacing between icons too large, as the icons on the edges may fall off the desktop and disappear. Before changing the desktop icon spacing, it is recommended that you make a note of the default value or back up the registry.

Tips Desktop Icons: You can also customize the size of Windows 11 desktop icons, and save and restore icon placement information.

  • Make windows 11 desktop icons smaller
  • Saving and Restoring Windows 11 Desktop Icon Arrangement

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