Weirdness with Finder windows

I’ve had a nagging problem for months now with the way icons are vertically spaced in a Finder window. I’ve finally tracked down that the icons seem to spaced differently depending on where the containing folder is located.

Here’s a screenshot of a folder that I created as a test. It’s situated on the Documents folder on my hard disk. It just contains a number of empty folders, and the Finder settings have it in icon view, with an icon size of 16, text size 10, and with labels on the right.

Now here’s a screenshot of the same folder, moved into my iCloud Drive:

The vertical spacing in the iCloud Drive is much wider than on hard disk. I am totally at a loss to explain this—can anyone offer any insights?


I’m not sure that icon view ever promises predictable spacing unless you have the window set to sort by something and use a particular grid spacing. Hit Cmd-J and see what the grid spacing is set to. Perhaps that will shed some light on the situation.

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I go to Cmd-J and “view” but don’t see anything that shows grid spacing or allows for change. Mac Help says the same thing. What am I missing?

Thanks. Both windows are already sorted by filename, and have the same grid spacing. Looking at the Finder view settings, they are identical for both windows. Sorry, I should have said that at the beginning.

In any case, grid spacing only seems to affect horizontal spacing, not vertical?!

Is it possible that it’s making some kind of adjustment to the horizontal spacing based on the lengths of the file names?

Then I can’t see why it wouldn’t be making the same adjustments on both windows, which have identical view settings! In any case, my problem is with the vertical spacing, not the horizontal.

I may have discovered the reason: if somebody shares an iCloud folder or file with you, there is extra text that is shown with the icon that shows who last modified the item. I’m thinking that the Finder is leaving enough space for that extra line even if none of your icons are shared.

See this for example, the icon toward the bottom-right. (This was from an earlier TidBits sharing test IIRC.)


Ah, interesting, and you may have hit the nail on the head there.

You’re probably invoking in a window that’s not in icon view. It isn’t an option for other views.

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Adam - many thanks.
Learn every day - hopefully more than I forget each day.