Windows 10 Quick Tips – Icon Spacing

We all know that you can easily change the desktop icon size in Windows by holding down the CTRL key and rolling your mouse wheel. This is a down-and-dirty way to re-size your icons but the spacing remains the same. This week’s Quick Tips article will show you how to take control of the vertical and horizontal icon spacing and get everything just how you want it to look– right down to the pixel.

Standard Registry Editing Warning: The following instructions will ask you to edit your Windows Registry. Be sure to make a backup of your Registry before you make any changes. Making mistakes in the Registry can cause hard-to-diagnose problems, or even keep Windows from functioning properly. If you don’t know how to back up your Registry, please read Windows Quick Tips – Backup/Restore Registry.

Change Icon Spacing

  1. Open the Windows Registry
  2. Drill down to this Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

That should bring you here:


The default spacing for both settings is -1125. The allowable range for each of these settings is from -480 (smallest space) through -2730 (largest space).

Note: No, I wasn’t brave enough to see what would happen with values outside this range. You’re on your own for that one!  🙂

To change the value, double-click the Value Name (either IconSpacing or IconVerticalSpacing) and in the box that opens enter your new value:


You will have to sign out, then back into Windows for your changes to take effect. I will let you play around with this on your own until things look just right.

As always, if you have any helpful suggestions, comments or questions, please share them with us,


About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.


    • Hi Norbert,

      You can have one of two icon sizes on the Taskbar: Small or Large. If there is a way to fine-tune those sizes, I am unaware of it. To change the Taskbar icon size, do the following:

      1. Right-click the Taskbar and choose Settings
      2. In the Settings window that opens, you will find a Toggle switch to turn on/off small icons

      A second option that might work for you would be to adjust the display text size:

      1. Right-click on the Desktop and choose Display settings
      2. You will see a drop-down menu in the Scale and layout section which will let you change the size of text, apps, and other items

      Hope this helps,

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