Windows 11 is an amazing experience. All the new features and updates from Windows 10 are quite an improvement. However, a lot of users are used to Windows 10, especially the menus and spacing. Thus, some users faced an issue with the File Explorer spacing.
How to decrease the space between the items in Explorer
If you wish to restore Explorers’ classic icon/item spacing, you need to decrease the space between the items (Compact view) in Windows 11. There are 2 methods of restoring classic spacing in Windows 11:
- Via File Explorer menu
- Through File Explorer options
- Using Registry
1] Via File Explorer menu
To restore the classic spacing in Windows 11 Explorer:
- Launch Explorer
- Open File Explorer menu
- Click on the Layout and view options menu
- Select Compact view.
2] Through File Explorer options
To decrease the space between the items & icons in Windows 11 through the File Explorer options, the procedure is as follows:
- Launch Explorer
- Click on the three dots at the top-right corner of the File Explorer menu (See more)
- Select Options.
- Go to the View tab
- Check the checkbox associated with Decrease space between the items (Compact view).
- Click Apply.
3] Disable or enable Compact View in Explorer using Registry
Open Registry Editor window. You can type regedit in the Search box and hit the Enter key to open the Registry Editor.
When Registry is opened, access the Advanced key. You can access this key using the following path:
On the right-hand section of the Advanced Registry key, create a UseCompactMode DWORD value. To create it, right-click on the empty area, access the New section, and click on the DWORD (32-bit) Value. When the new DWORD value is created, rename it as UseCompactMode.
Double-click on the UseCompactMode value created by you and a small box will pop up. There, add 1 in the Value data field.
Finally, hit the OK button, and close the Registry Editor.
The changes are applied immediately. You don’t need to close or restart File Explorer to view the changes.
In case you want to turn off or disable the compact view in Windows 11/10 File Explorer, just follow the steps mentioned above, and delete the UseCompactMode DWORD value.
Read: How does Dynamic Refresh Rate feature work in Windows 11.
Why is File Explorer spacing an issue?
The File Explorer spacing issue is different with Windows 11, but not new. Earlier, a lot of users reported the same with other versions of the operating system before Microsoft finally released the Compact view option.
While increasing the spacing between the icons in File Explorer, Microsoft intended to better the aesthetics and readability, the users with systems containing many folders could not view all the folders without scrolling through the Quick access bar. Thus, the File Explorer Compact view could be helpful.
Read: How to install the hidden Aero Lite theme in Windows 11.
Will Microsoft update Windows 11 spacing?
A lot of forums confirm that Microsoft has been changing the spacing in the previous Windows systems through updates. At times, the spacing is doubled, and at times reduced. However, if you are using the Compact view settings for File Explorer in Windows 11, it should not change through an update. The settings should remain constant for a long.
Why did Microsoft increase Windows 11 spacing?
Windows 11 is more focused on touch screen users. Microsoft has had the same agenda since they launched Windows 8. Back then, they were targeting tablet users. However, most of us still use good old regular computers with keyboards so the Compact view settings are better for us.
How do I turn off compact mode?
If you want to turn off the compact view mode of File Explorer on a Windows 11/10 computer, then it can be done using three ways:
- Layout and view options drop-down menu present in the Ribbon menu of File Explorer
- Folder Options
- Registry Editor.
All three options are easy to use, but the first two options are easier for disabling or turning off the compact view mode for Windows 11/10 File Explorer.
Read: How to use the DNS over HTTPS privacy feature in Windows 11.
Does this help? Please let us know in the comment section.