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Help Windows moved my Icons! (again)

I have responded to this question a few different ways in the past. I was able to revisit the question recently and I realized my approach has changed. Below is my latest approach and a good tool for managing those icons.

I know I had the problem with my icons rearranging when I undocked my laptop before due to the different size screens. I can’t remember how we fixed it and it started doing it again.  I think it started again when I used the
portable monitor with my laptop. Others have the same problem and said they didn’t know of any fix and they just deal with it. I tried everything found on the internet that was within my ability:), but nothing seems to
work. Do you happen to remember or have any suggestions?

Essentially, every time Windows changes the screen size of any attached monitor, the location of the desktop icons may change. Windows only provides methods for auto arrange.

My Response:

You are being frustrated by one of the most “loved” features in Windows. I’ve wrestled with that issue quite a bit. What I’ve decided on lately will require changing the way we think about the ‘desktop’. Bear with me.
I once used a free program to ensure icons stayed in a consistent location for the lab users on common computers. That program is no longer free and it was a bit limited. With the number of icons on the desktop on the average workstation of a heavy user, keeping track of all of them is no easy task, for a human or a computer program. I gave up keeping track of icons quite awhile ago. The desktop is just another folder in Windows. The nice part about it is that it is the top level on most Explorer functions, so it is really easy to get to. Windows 7 adds some other useful shortcuts for those Explorer options but Desktop is still one of the great starting points for finding things. However, Microsoft never really intended it to be used visually. In many cases, we were able to get away with putting order on the Desktop icons, but once we start adding monitors and changing modes, all bets are off. There just isn’t a good way for the computer to keep track of all of the modes and the location of everything in each one of those modes. And really, we want that computer to do more important things.
This is one of the best explanations of the issue that I’ve seen and a really good suggestion:
Fences looks like a decent way to apply some organization to the desktop. Try out the free version. The idea with products like this is to logically organizes icons by function. Aesthetics is not the primary focus.
I’ve given up on using the Desktop for anything other than a storage place. I trained myself to use the Start Menu for shortcuts and Recently used applications. This is what the Start Menu is meant for. It’s always there and I don’t have to ‘clear off my desk’ of open documents to find everything. The Desktop is just there to hold your wallpaper. Windows 7 takes this one step further and provides the ability to quickly access recent documents for each application.
In a way, I’m telling you to give up on ordering icons. In a slightly different way, I’m suggesting let’s find another way to do what you really need to do.
Let me know what you think.


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