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how to save desktop layout with Windows 8.1

Posted on 2014-12-07
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Last Modified: 2014-12-07
When my video driver updates, my carefully arranged desktop smashes itself in a corner.

How can I save my desktop layout so I can restore it after a disruption like this?
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Question by:Liefr
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Expert Comment

by:strivoli
ID: 40485534
I use a 2nd account when updating video drivers.
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Author Comment

by:Liefr
ID: 40485566
Well, that is not a bad strategy but the last time I was not consulted by the computer gnome and I came back to find the problem.

Are you suggesting there is no way to save the desktop layout in 8.1 as there was in the sainted XP?
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Expert Comment

by:strivoli
ID: 40485605
I don't know if there's a way to save the Desktop. I know the problem (I got well arranged icons on my Desktop too) and I've found a solution (I use another Windows account to run these updates). It works, it's easy, it's fast... no reason (for me) to find another solution.
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40485623
My video driver updates do not re-arrange my desktop. However, I make a screen shot of my desktop that I save and use if something re-arranges things.

I also have align to grid turned ON. If you do not and have turned auto arrange OFF, that may be why your driver updates are re-arranging things.
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Author Comment

by:Liefr
ID: 40485715
I may have to go the second account route. Turn off updates in my daily account and just logon once a week or so into the other one.

I do have 'align to grid' on and 'auto arrange' off.

I left the computer about an hour ago only to come back and find my icons partially re-arranged.
I am using a LG 227W widescreen monitor and the recommended resolution is 1680x1050 (which I am using) and I am using medium icons.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40485717
I do have 'align to grid' on and 'auto arrange' off.

I think this is why video updates are changing things and there is probably no way around that.
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Author Comment

by:Liefr
ID: 40485800
OK thanks. I copied the Desktop folder after re-arranging again. Next time it happens I will replace the active one and see if I get it back.

Does anyone know if the 'desktop.ini' and the thumbs.db can be deleted from the desktop?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40485811
I suspect those file occur because of the re-arrangement. That does not happen to me. I think, however, you can safely delete the two files.
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VB ITS earned 2000 total points
ID: 40486034
You can use a third party tool to save your Desktop layout. Have a look at DesktopOK which works with Windows 8.1

Instructions on how to use it as well as download links can be found here: http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-save-your-desktop-icon-layout-in-windows-xp/
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40486038
Does anyone know if the 'desktop.ini' and the thumbs.db can be deleted from the desktop?
I wouldn't delete these files, they'll get most likely get recreated anyway. It sounds like you've enabled hidden system files in Explorer. To hide these you just open up Windows Explorer > View tab up the top > click on Options on the far right > click on the View tab > tick the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) box > then click OK when done.
Hide-system-files.pngThe desktop.ini and thumbs.db files should then disappear from your desktop.

You can still enable the Show hidden files, folders and drives option if you need to see hidden files, this setting just hides system files which most people don't usually need to access. I only enable this view when I need to make some administrative changes to my system or servers.
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Author Comment

by:Liefr
ID: 40486062
VB ITS; I was looking at RELCON and Icon Restorer as well as DesktopOK but was distracted for a while. Thanks for the referral. You never know with free software what else might be free.

Downloaded DesktopOK and expect it to be good.

Also I did have the option to show all files ... good suggestion.
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