I noticed that in GNOME 3.38, when I change the position of the dock to bottom, then in the app grid the icons size, rows and columns adjust themselves as needed. I think they go from 4x6 to 3x8 so that everything looks proportional. However, when I change the position of dock to bottom in previous versions of GNOME, the app grid remains in 4x6 and the icons become small to accommodate themselves. Is there anyway to change the icon size, rows and columns for the app grid?

2 Answers 2


I believe it's only for Gnome 3.38+; in previous Gnome versions you can increase the number of columns through this extension

Also, see here for more info and tweaking


I used this answer, originaly is intended for GNOME 3.18 but it worked just fine in my Ubuntu 20.04 running GNOME 3.38.

  • Open a root nautilus or whatever file manager you use.
  • Then go to usr/lib/gnome-shell
  • Make a backup of the 'libgnome-shell.so' file.
  • Then edit this file using an hex editor. I used Bless. Search for 'MAX_COLUMNS = 6' as text. replace the number in the text panel, hex will handle itself. Ignore warning an save. Then ignore warning again. Restart GNOME (alt+f2, then type r and then press enter). If you still don't seem to fit enough columns in your screen repeat the procedure but search for 'MIN_COLUMNS' and set it to a bigger number. Also contemplate the possibility of changing 'var ICON_SIZE' in the same way.
  • Finally, restart GNOME (alt+f2, then type r and then press enter)

That should do the trick

  • This is for activities and not for dock (at the left/bottom which shows all open applications and favorites), right? Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 6:50
  • Yes, also be careful when tweaking hex files. Deleting or renaming one of these files could make your system not boot and enter grub directly (I accidentally changed names on the files and that was what happened) Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 12:39

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