In our article, we have explained how to adjust the Launchpad icon size in Mac. Unlike Launchpad, you have plenty of customization options for handling desktop icons. You can make use of these settings to remove the clutter and keep the icons organized on your desktop.
Desktop Icons in Mac
By default, Mac will show the desktop icons in 64×64 size with 54×54 grid spacing. The default font size for the icon text label is 12px. This can create problem for users as the icons may look very small. Some users also may not like the grid spacing and the small font size. You can change these settings using one of the following ways.
1. Using Show View Options
Unlike Windows PC where you have no option to change the desktop icon size / grid spacing from the settings, Mac allows users to customize these options right from the desktop itself. Go to the desktop and right click on any empty area. Select “Show View Options” from the context menu.
This will open “Desktop” settings pop-up as shown below.
You can customize the following to make the desktop icons appears as per your convenience:
- Stack by – when you select “Use Stack” from the right click context menu, it will group icons based on the option you set here. “Kind” is the default option which means files of same kind will be grouped together.
- Sort by – you can click this dropdown and change the sorting order of icons on desktop. The default settings is to sort the icons based on the “Date Added”.
- Icon size – drag the slider to increase or decrease the icon size on your desktop. The icon’s size will be changed as you drag the slider so that you can lively view the changes.
- Grid spacing – drag the slider to increase or decrease the icon’s grid spacing. This will change the number of icons aligned per row and column. Make sure to use the smaller grid spacing, otherwise rows of icons will be overlapping on other when you are not using stack option.
- Text size – increase the font size of the default size is not clearly visible for you.
- Label position – change the icon’s label position to bottom or left.
- Show item info – enabling this check box will show additional details like number of items in the folder or dimension of image files.
- Show icon preview – this will show the preview of the file in the icon when enabled. Otherwise, it will show the default associated app’s preview. You can see the below difference for PHP and HTML file.
Below is how the customized desktop icons will look like with increased size and grid spacing.
Note that you can also open the “Desktop” setting pop-up by navigating to “View > Show View Options” menu or by pressing “Command + J” shortcut keys. However, make sure you are on the desktop and not in Finder app. Though desktop also shows “Finder” menu, you will see a different settings pop-up when pressing “Command + J” keys inside Finder app.
2. Change Icons Size and Spacing by Editing Plist File
The above option is super easy with visual control. However, you can also edit the settings by modifying the content in the com.apple.finder.plist file.
- Open Finder app and navigate to “Go > Go To Folder…” menu. Alternatively, press “Shift + Command + G” shortcut keys.
- This will open a “Go To” pop-up where enter ~/Library/Preferences/. You will see the folder in the dropdown list and double click on it to open Preferences folder.
- When you are in the Preferences folder find com.apple.finder.plist file.
- Though you can preview the .plist file, you need apps like Xcode to open it. Note the default TextEdit and many other code editors like Visual Studio Code apps will not work to open .plist files. You can download apps like BBEdit which is available on App Store with 30 days free trial version.
- Right click on the file to select “Open With” option and select the correct app that can open .plist file on your Mac.
- When the file is opened, press “Command + F” and search for desktop.
- You will find “DesktopViewSettings” key under which you can change “gridSpacing” and “iconSize” values.
Desktop is the first screen you see after booting your Mac. Looking at the cluttered icons on the desktop before starting your work can easily make you feeling sick. Therefore, make sure to adjust the icon size and grid spacing to your preferred values and keep the desktop icons clearly visible.
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