Fix space between desktop icons in Windows 10

After my upgrade to Windows 10 1909, I noticed large spaces between my desktop icons. A lot of things can be set in the settings of Windows 10, but not the spaces in between. In this blog post, I show how you can easily restore or adjust the spaces between your desktop icons.

windows 10 1909 desktop icon spacing

Fix large spaces between desktop icons

  1. Click Start -> type Registry Editor -> Click Registry Editor.
    open registry editor regedit
  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Desktop -> WindowMetrics.
  3. In WindowsMetrics, double click IconSpacing.
  4. In the Edit String window, set the Value Data to -1650. (in my case, the faulty value was -3300, but yours may be different. In any way, -1650 is reasonable.).
    set iconspacing to 1650
  5. Click OK.
  6. In WindowsMetrics, double click IconVerticalSpacing.
  7. In the Edit String window, set the Value Data to -1200. (in my case, the faulty value was -3300, but yours may be different. In any way, -1200 is reasonable.).
  8. Click OK.
  9. Log out from Windows 10 and log in again. A reboot will do too. (But first: bookmark this site. If this solution didn’t solve your issue, maybe another solution below might fix your problem!).

After logging in again, the spaces between the icons should be smaller.

Change size of desktop icons

You may want to change the size of the desktop icons. While the font size may be just right for you, the icon size may be:

  • Too small, which makes them unclear.
  • Too large, which cause them to use much desktop space.

Here’s how to change the size of desktop icons

  1. Hover your cursor over an empty place on the desktop. So that’s practically any place on your desktop where there’s no application.
    (Or press Windows+D to minimize all open Windows. This will do too.)
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard. And scroll your mouse wheel up and down to scale the icons.

Change size of text, apps and desktop icons

If you experience text and icons to be too small, it may be desirable to increase the scale. In this way, you keep the best resolution for your monitor, while making it readable without glasses.

Here’s how to change the scale

  1. Right-click your desktop/wallpaper and choose Display Settings.
  2. In Display, select the monitor you want to adjust.
  3. Scroll down to Scale and Layout.
  4. In the box Change the size of text, apps, and other items, select a larger scale.
    change size of text apps desktop icons windows 10


Other solutions for desktop icon size, scaling, font type will be added soon.

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Thank you for this Information. It was really helpful 🙂


Thank you! My icon spacing was all messed up after a Windows 10 update. Typical Microsoft bugs popping up all the time.


This seems to have stopped working. All my icons are now fixed at “large” grid spacing and nothing seems to affect that.


Awesome , back to normal spacing now.

Kim Conklin

YES!!! Thank you so much. Great instructions.

Tihomir Urumov

Thank you! Amazing! Working!

Dave Bat

Thank you very much! 

Voravudh thailand

solved for mine, thnks a lot.


Regedit is a temp solution. I have the same issue over and over again.


Why do we need to edit the registry when that’s not how we got the problem in the first place?


I’m familiar with this process; however, is there any way to do the same thing within a desktop folder? I have one called “System Utilities” and would like to increase the spacing between the icons. Thank you.


The solution is good but god damn are those watermarks lame :))


the reg edit fixed it, thank you so much!


Awesome, It worked like a charm. Thx!


1650 was still large. The default value (for both IconSpacing and IconVerticalSpacing) is -1125. You can change it to anything between -480 and -2730, where -480 represents the minimum spacing and -2730 represents the maximum spacing.


Perfect – Many many thanks – this was driving me insane – now fully rectified

Gloria Miracle

I always use Google to help me find some info I might need. Thanks

Cate M

Great information in that it fixes the problem. Thank you.

Microsoft: That’s some real sucky programming that the registry gets screwed up using the control panel but you need to take this back channel to fix it… AND it’s been screwed up for over 3 years?!

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