How To Increase Or Decrease Desktop Icon Spacing On Windows 10

Desktop icons on Windows 10 can be resized. You can make them smaller, or bigger. You can also align them properly in a grid layout. If you don’t like the grid, you can move them anywhere you like by disabling snap to grid. This is all great but when you resize desktop icons, the grid doesn’t change. If your icons are too big, there will be very little space between them. If your icons are really small, they’re will be enough space between them to add another entire row of icons. The grid doesn’t change much with the icon size, you can increase or decrease desktop icon spacing to make it more suitable for the icons.

To change desktop icon spacing, you need to edit the Windows registry. This is my desktop with fairly large icons. You can see there’s very little space between the individual icons.

Desktop Icon Spacing

Open the run box with the Win + R keyboard shortcut. In the run box, type regedit to open the Windows Registry.

Go to the following location in the Windows Registry.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

With the grid, you need to change the difference between the rows of the grid, and the columns. That means there are two values you have to edit. Each value manages a different aspect of the grid. The IconSpacing value will change spacing between columns, and IconVerticalSpacing will change spaces between rows.

By default, the value for both is set to -1128 but it may be different depending on your screen’s resolution.

You can change it to anything between -480 and -2780. -480 is the least amount of space you can have between icon rows and columns, and -2780 is the maximum amount of space you can have between them. You will have to experiment with the numbers to see which looks best. After each change you have to restart your system for the new value to be applied.

The following is what you get when you have large desktop icons, and spacing set to -1500.

You don’t have to set the same value for both registry values. You might want more space between rows than you want between columns so it’s fine if the values don’t match each other. You will need to remember, or write down, the default value of both registry values if you ever want to reset the grid to its default size.

Changing these values will not break anything; you can still align icons to the grid though it’s worth mentioning that with more space between the grid lines, you might end up with more space between the Taskbar and the bottom row of icons than you’re normally used to.

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How To Disable Thin Scroll Bars On Windows 10

Windows 10 goes through lots of changes, big and small, with its feature updates. With these updates, new features like Timeline are added but they also add cosmetic changes like integrating fluent design in more apps. One small cosmetic change that Microsoft made was to the scroll bars. You can see them in the Settings app. When your mouse isn’t hovering over the scrollbars, they’re thin lines. If you find them impractical to use, you can disable thin scroll bars in Windows 10 from the Settings app.

Disable Thin Scroll Bars

Open the Settings app and go to the Ease of Access group of settings. Select the Display tab and scroll down to the Automatically hide scroll bars in Windows switch. Turn it off and the thin bars will never appear again. By default, you’ll always see the thick scroll bars that you’re used to seeing in other apps, and that were the default on older versions of Windows 10.

This setting is well hidden. It ought to be in the Personalization group of settings where you find most miscellaneous settings like this e.g., importing or exporting themes. Most users might be unaware that you can disable thin scroll bars altogether but the setting is there.

The thin scroll bars only appear in most stock apps i.e. the Settings app, Edge, Grove, Photos, Movies & TV, etc. This setting will not affect Chrome, VLC, or Netflix. Most UWP apps don’t support this new UI change that was added in 1709, no desktop apps support it, not even the Control Panel.

Ease of Access

If you look under the Ease of Access group of settings, you’ll find there are quite a few useful switches and options there that might make using your system much easier. For example, if you have an older system or a conservative amount of RAM, you might want to disable animations on Windows 10. There’s a built-in switch that lets you do just that but it’s under Ease of Access, on the Display tab. If you don’t like the animations, you can turn them off with just a switch. There’s no need for third party apps or messing with the Windows Registry.

If you’ve ever wanted Mono audio on your PC, you can go to the Audio tab under Ease of Access and enable a switch to get it. This group of settings is a treasure trove of useful stuff that you might not think existed at all so it’s definitely worth checking out.

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How To View Your Hotspot Connection Speed On Windows 10

On Windows 10, it’s ridiculously easy to create a hotspot. The Action Center has a toggle for it, you can change the password from the Settings app, and you can limit the connection to WiFi or Bluetooth. The Task Manager on Windows 10 tells you how much data speed you’re getting via your WiFi but when you enable the hotspot on your system, you can also view the hotspot connection speed.

Hotspot Connection Speed

First turn on the hotspot, and make sure that a device is connected to it. It must be using the connection for you to get the speed of the connection.

Open the Task Manager and go to the Performance tab. This is where you can see how your CPU, RAM, Disk, and GPU is performing and of course your WiFI adapter. When you enable the hotspot, you will see two WiFi entries here.

To differentiate between your WiFi network card, and your virtual hotspot, you need to select the WiFi graph and check which one says Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter at the top right. If it reads Intel, then that’s not the one you’re looking for.

Once you’ve found the right WiFi adapter, look for the Send and Receive fields. They will tell you how much speed your hotspot connection is giving.

If you look closely at the WiFi adapter listed in the left column, you will notice that the summary of information includes the speed information but it’s instantaneous. The graph will tell you how much speed you’re connection gives for as long as it’s connected.

You won’t be able to see how much data is being consumed, nor will you be able to tell how many devices are connected to the hotspot. If you need to know how many devices are connected, you need only open the Action Center and look at the toggle for Mobile Hotspot. You can connect up to 8 devices to your PC’s hotspot and the toggle will tell you how many, out of the 8, you’ve connected.

If you want more insight on the connection you can try a third-party app or, you can install one on the device that’s connected to your PC’s hotspot. The information can help troubleshoot problems you might be having with your PC’s hotspot and it’s also a quick way to look up the IPv4 and IPv6 address for your virtual adapter. You can also tell what the connection strength is, and copy the information if you want.

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How To Fix “Roaming Profile Was Not Completely Synchronized” On Windows 10

Windows 10 1803 has a bug that appears if you use a roaming profile. The roaming profile doesn’t sync and it takes a considerable amount of time to log in and log out. If you’re experiencing this bug, you’ve likely seen the error message “Roaming Profile Was Not Completely Synchronized”. Microsoft is aware of the issue and there’s a fix for it. It requires you edit the Windows registry but this isn’t as simple as creating a new key or value. You need access to another Windows 10 system running 1803. Here’s how you can fix the “Roaming Profile Was Not Completely Synchronized” bug.

Roaming Profile Was Not Completely Synchronized

If you have access to a Windows 10 system running build 1803, you need to open the Windows Registry on that system and go to the following location.

HComputer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Select the ExcludeProfileDirs value, and go to File>Export. Save the value to an easily accessible location, and then move it to the Windows 10 system where you get the Roaming Profile Was Not Completely Synchronized error. Right-click it, and select Merge from the context menu. You will need administrative rights to modify the registry.

Assuming you do not have have access to another system running Windows 10 1803, you can create the value on your system.

Open a Notepad file, and paste the following in it. Save it as ExcludeProfileDirs with the REG file extension. Once you’ve saved it, right-click the file and select Merge from the context menu. You will need administrative rights to add the value to the registry.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"ExcludeProfileDirs"="AppData\\Local;AppData\\LocalLow;$Recycle.Bin;OneDrive;Work Folders"

Once you’ve added the registry value, restart your system and the error ought to be fixed. You need only do this on systems running Windows 10 1803 as this bug is exclusive to this build. The tricky part of the solution that Microsoft has given is finding a system that is on the latest build but doesn’t have this problem.

We should mention that the registry value is available on any system running 1803. It doesn’t have to be connected to a domain or anything. This makes it easier to find the value though, you can always take the simpler route and create it yourself from the instructions given above.

It’s no longer a surprise that little bugs like this make it to stable builds. The good news is that Microsoft gives you a fix whenever it can. The company doesn’t know what the cause of this bug is just yet which isn’t encouraging but they’re investigating.

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How To Open Screen Sketch With Print Screen On Windows 10

Windows has long been criticized for not having a good screenshot tool. Compared to macOS, it still lacks in a lot of areas. Windows does have the Snipping tool, and it’s been a part of Windows since before Windows 7. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy to open as a screenshot tool ought to be. In Windows 10, Microsoft added the Win+Print Screen keyboard shortcut that takes a screenshot and saves it automatically. It’s been a great addition and come the next feature update, you will have a far better screenshot tool called Screen Sketch. By default, the Screen Sketch tool opens from the Action Center, or via the Win+Shift+S keyboard shortcut. It’s hardly intuitive. You can open Screen Sketch with Print Screen though. All you have to do is tweak a little setting.

This feature is only available on Windows 10 Insider Build 17704. It will be part of the next major feature update which is expected to arrive in fall this year. If you want to try it out yourself, you need to join the Windows 10 Insider Program.

Screen Sketch Print Screen

Open the Settings app and go to the Ease of Access group of settings. Go to the Keyboard tab. Scroll down to the section called Print Screen Shortcut. Here, turn on the Use the PrtScn button to open screen snipping.

Screen snipping refers the new Screen Sketch app that Microsoft is adding. It’s available in the Microsoft Store now but unless you’re part of the Insider program, you won’t be able to download it.

The change in the keyboard shortcut might require a system restart. If it doesn’t start working right away, restart your system and the change ought to take affect.

This in no way replaces the Win+Print Screen keyboard shortcut, nor does it interfere with the feature. You can still use the Win+Print Screen keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it to your Pictures folder.

The new Screen Sketch tool is going to be replacing the Snipping tool which, as nice as it was, needs to retire. The Screen Sketch app lets you screenshot a specific area of your screen, crop screenshots, draw and annotate them, and more. It seems to be missing a feature that allows users to take a time delayed screenshot which is rather essential. Perhaps by the time the feature rolls out to the stable channel, this shortcoming will have been addressed. If not, most people will continue using third-party screenshot tools like they always have.

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