Why do the desktop icons on the left of the screen have a bigger gap than the icons on the right? I have set my desktop icons "snap to grid".

Is there any way I can make it even?

Resetting Finder and changing grid spacing doesn't help.

I'm using Mojave on MacBook Pro.

My desktop


1 Answer 1


The zero point (0|0) of the grid coordinate system is the upper right corner of the desktop (either with or without menubar - depends on your settings in System Preferences > General > Automatically hide and show menubar).

With a fixed grid size progressing to the left and the bottom of the desktop you usually will get gaps (=incomplete grid boxes) at the left and at the bottom.

Example with your screenshot:


Each box has a fixed size (pixel x pixel) depending on the grid spacing setting. The leftmost column is incomplete and the bottom row is overlapped by the dock. Both usually won't be used to place items in there.

AFAIR Windows uses a relative grid size and a natural number (=positive integer) of tiles (in the x- and y-direction).

Assuming the grid spacing is in pixel (or better some natural multiple), you can set it to a whole integer divisor of your monitor size. I think 60 will fit a lot of common sizes:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Set :DesktopViewSettings:IconViewSettings:gridSpacing 60" ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist

Check the settings with:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Print :DesktopViewSettings:IconViewSettings:gridSpacing" ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
  • Thank you for explaining although I'm not sure if I still understand how it works. I'm coming from windows and never had this kind of issue. I set the grid spacing to 60 and the gap on the left is even bigger now. Will it always be uneven no matter what the grid spacing is set to?
    – user356273
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 12:57
  • @viskaara I will take your screenshot, apply some grid (I hope I get the settings right) and add it to my answer
    – klanomath
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 12:59
  • Thank you for taking the time and explaining how this works! I think I get it now. It seems like 43 is the magic number for my 13 inch display.
    – user356273
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 14:19

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