How to keep windows desktop icons in place

Posted on 2014-01-28
Last Modified: 2014-02-25

I am wondering if there is some known app or method to tell Windows (7 and 8) to just keep desktop icons in place, regardless of screen resolution?

For example, I often work remotely on my machine and since remote client screen hardly matches my resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels), icons on desktop get rearranged every time I use RDP. Also, I have local KVM switch to connect some test machine from time to time and it happens KVM hicups and whoups... icons are again all grouped on left side of screen.

VERY annoying!

Maybe some ATI (I have ATI 630GT and V4800 graphics cards, 2 computers) control panel option or a driver settings or something?

Question by:Andrej Pirman
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 333 total points
ID: 39815370
Found this from a Micro$oft forum post:
Right click an empty space on your desktop,highlight desktop icons,place a check  on 'lock icons in place' and uncheck'auto arrange


Actually tried this on my computer, and didn't work, must have been for Windows XP...

I'll look more into this.
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Hutchinson
Rob Hutchinson earned 333 total points
ID: 39815411
Hmm...haven't tried this free program, but says it'll work:

This tiny application operates as a Shell extension.  It records the layout and positions of icons and programs on the Windows Desktop, and permits restoration of the layout.  It appears to operate correctly under Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.


Lot of posts on the internet have users complaining about the same thing with no definitive resolution from Micro$oft to be found--but found the above info as a possible solution.
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Darr247 earned 167 total points
ID: 39815514
I use UIFriend.  
There is a free trial version there so you can see if it does what you want before you pay for it.
I bought it years ago, when Win98 kept randomly forgetting where on the desktop I wanted my icons, and have never been asked to pay again... that is not, of course, a promise that its author will never ask for an upgrade fee.

For what it's worth, I disabled its auto-backup and auto-restore options... I save and backup the desktop when I get it how I want, and occasionally (like, once a month or so) save it again, then manually tell it to restore when I notice things are off.  That way I don't even need to load it with Windows, though it doesn't use much memory anyway.
LVL 18

Author Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 39859001
Thank you all for suggestions, but that's not what I wanted to know.

What I see is on Server 2008, for example, which I connect to remotely many times from different computers with different screen resolutions, that it somehow remembers icons layout for specific resolution. I can even use my Android phone to connect, all icons get reordered....but when I connect again from my desktop comp, all icons are back in right place.
Without any additional 3-rd party programs.

On newer 2008R2 and especially on 2012 and 2012R2 servers, this functionality is NOT present. So I am looking for Windows native resolution for this, be it via registry, some feature or setting, which might be there, if it was in older 2008 server.
LVL 18

Author Closing Comment

by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 39884957
Did not get the solution for my problem, since I am looking for resolving Remote Desktop icon-auto-rearange problem, so I split the points with B grade. Thank you anyway.

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