I played around with some settings for the desktop and now I want them to be exactly stock. I think the grid size by default is 64x64, but I'm not sure what the grid spacing was set to.

Can anyone help?

  • Why don't you create a new admin user account, log into it, and then click on the Desktop and use CMD+J? – harrymc Aug 2 '13 at 5:43
  • Create a new admin user account
  • Log into it
  • Finder >View >Show View Options or CMD+J

The Default Grid Options can be found there. (Screenshot Included)

enter image description here


A more manual way (and one that can be achieved programmatically via AppleScript, Unix shell command etc) is to edit the Finder's "plist" or preferences located here:

Finder Preferences



Standard View Settings -> ExtendedListViewSettingsV2 -> IconViewSettings -> gridSpacing

it will read 54 as your grid spacing if you have never changed your default settings. System Icon default size is below that and would be 64.

Note that the desktop "folder" is special and has it's own settings. That means you can't just look for 'gridSpacing' and get the right one. The desktop settings are at:

DesktopViewSettings -> IconViewSettings -> gridSpacing


For additional fun, get TextWranger from the App Store (awesome tool), open the plist file noted above, locate the gridSpacing for the Desktop. Then show view options (command-j). Then adjust the grid spacing and watch the gridSpacing value change in the TextWranger document. It takes a second to update but this gives you a feel for how apps interact with their preferences.


The default icon size on macOS Mojave is 64 x 64 as shown by the screenshot below:

macOS Mojave Default Desktop spacing

The default grid spacing of 54 x 54 can be found and/or modified by opening ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist using Xcode:

Default grid spacing in com.apple.finder.plist

  • I don't see any numbers for grid spacing. Just curious how you arrived at 54x54. – fixer1234 Dec 4 '18 at 7:51
  • 1
    @fixer1234 I've adjusted the solution above to show the source file that shows the default gridSpacing. – Jonathan Simcoe Dec 4 '18 at 17:45
  • Good answer, except it duplicates William Cerniuk's. The intention is that each answer provide a solution that hasn't already been contributed. – fixer1234 Dec 4 '18 at 17:59
  • 1
    @fixer1234 I'm sorry about that, this is my first time contributing and I was trying to provide a more concise answer with screenshots. I'm still new to this whole thing. – Jonathan Simcoe Dec 4 '18 at 21:30

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