What setting do you have for the icon size (right click the little up arrow)?
- [ ] small - [x] Scale with Panel height
If I choose small it will be like this: (wider but not smaller)
I think I remember you have 200% scaling settings enabled? That may mess things up. If I select small, icons are small and don’t get wider spaces in between. I select adjust to Panel height, it scales properly to the Panel height.
Thank you for remember that, the original size (I use a Pahvo-rc-20210806 ISO) looks like this where I use small as default:
It will actually go bigger if I choose “Scale with Panel height”
I think the main problem is that the “small” icon actually oversized by 200% and seems like “pushing the panel/taskbar from inside” which looks very uncomfortable.
I think so.
Quick tip/side note: If you have the time in your hands, I recommend you give these packages a look through the pamac interface and read their descriptions. Therefore if something goes wrong you will have a better idea of what might have caused it. Packagers very rarely screw up package dependencies, but it has happened. This is also a very good way of getting to know your very own linux box and how it works. Later on in life you will find yourself with much more control over your machine, which is the point of linux.