Organize Your Desktop

February 28, 2009

The Windows Desktop is what Windows calls the screen where all of your icons are. You have a lot of options for organizing the icons on your desktop. You should only have icons on your desktop for things you use frequently. For things you don’t use frequently, I recommend removing them from your desktop. Removing an icon from your desktop does not uninstall software from your computer. You can still access that software from the start menu.


When I organize the icons on my desktop, I like to group similar things together. For example, anything that has to do with media (music and video), I would group together. I might group games together and so forth.


You can have Windows auto-arrange your icons if you want to, but I hate this option. Not only do I dislike it because it doesn’t group icons and won’t allow you to group icons, but any time a new icon is added or one is removed, icons move. So they are never in the same place. The whole idea of having icons on your desktop is for faster access. If my icons move around, it slows me down because I have to find the icon on the desktop. If that icon is always in the same place, I can go right to it.


If you have auto-arrange turned on and want to turn it off. Or if you want to turn it on, here’s how. In Windows XP, find an area of the desktop where there are no icons and right-click there. You’ll get a pop-up menu. Hold your mouse pointer over the top menu option “Arrange Icons By” and  you will get a sub-menu. In this sub-menu are several options. One of these options is auto-arrange. If there is a checkmark next to Auto-Arrange, then it’s turned on. If not, it’s off. Click on it to add or remove the checkmark. While you are in this sub-menu, make sure “Align to Grid” has a checkmark next to it. This keeps your icons evenly spaced. If you turn on auto-arrange, then you can also select here how it will arrange them. It can arrange them by name, size, and more.


In Vista, right-click on a blank area of the desktop and choose View. After that, it’s pretty much the same as XP.


When auto-arrange is on, you can’t put the icons where you want them. So once you have it turned off, you can move the icons around and arrange them how you like them. To move an icon, simplay click on it and drag it to the place where you want it. To delete an icon, right-click on it and choose delete from the pop-up menu. To rename an icon, right-click on it and choose rename”


After you have your icons all arranged the way you want them, there are, unfortunetly, some things that can mess them up. For example, some games will mess up your icons. Changing your screen resolution can mess up your icons as well. There are some other actions that can mess up your icons as well. It would be nice if you could somehow save your icon locations and restore them if they get messed up. Windows doesn’t provide this functionality, but there are third party programs that do. And the best part is that they are free. Here are 2 of them.






These don’t work on the 64 bit version of Windows. If you have a 64 bit version of Windows, then click here.

Another powerful way to organize your desktop is by using a dock. These applicaiton launchers are very configurable and very useful. Limited versions of these are available for free. The two best are Object Dock and RocketDock.

One Response to “Organize Your Desktop”

  1. The new IconRestorer supports 64-Bit OS, from XP to Windows 7.
    You can download directly from the FSL home page:

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