In Windows 10, there’s no easy way to adjust the spacing of desktop icons, as we used to do in Windows 7. There you could go to Customize, third Window color and then click Change the advanced appearance settings.
Then the dialogue Color and appearance of the window the box above will appear and you could adjust all kinds of settings. Now, unfortunately, this is no longer the case in Windows 10.
However, if you want to change some of these settings, such as Icon space (horizontal) or Icon space (vertical), you must edit the record.
Change the icon spacing on the desktop
Before doing so, be sure to back up your registry in case something goes wrong. I tested it on my machine and it works pretty well. Note that you will need to log out and log back in after changing the registry settings to see the changes.
You must open the registry editor in Windows 10 by clicking Start and typing regedit.
Then go to the following registration key:
Here you will see two values: IconSpacing i IconVerticalSpacing. They are defaulted to this odd number of -1125. You can adjust the horizontal spacing by changing the value of IconSpacing.
The range of values is from -480 to -2730. Near -480 there will be less horizontal space and near -2750 there will be more horizontal space.
Note that this is not really the space between the desktop icons. It is the space in the boundary box of the desktop icon. This is what I mean:
As you can see above, I changed the value of IconSpacing to -2000. This means that the width of the boundary box around each icon increases, but the actual spacing between the icon and the box is very small. Therefore, if you go to a value below -500, the text will be cut off:
For some reason, the vertical spacing key works slightly differently. It doesn’t really increase the area of the bounding box, but it does increase the actual space between the icons. This is what I mean:
As you can see, the bounding boxes are all small, but the actual space between the icons increased when I changed the value to -2000 for IconVerticalSpacing. You can also move with other values on the WindowMetrics key.
For example, I changed BorderWidth to 25 instead of -15. This makes the edge of any window 25 pixels. The range of values here is 0 to 50 pixels. Negative numbers are a different type of calculation method called twips that you don’t have to worry about this setting.
Check out my huge edge in Explorer in Windows 10. Like I said, be sure to back up your system before doing this. Here you can modify many desktop settings and Microsoft even has a link that tells you what each value does:
While Windows 10 doesn’t provide a graphical user interface for customizing the look of Windows 7, you can still do it yourself by registering and playing around a bit.
If you managed to customize something using these keys in the registry, post a comment and let us know. Enjoy!