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I want to organize my Windows desktop icons by categories. Multimedia, system tools, editors, etc. I need to define rectangular areas of the desktop, then place the shortcut icons. They would stay locked into place forever in the category until I moved them. The standard windows desktop won't do this, and folders aren't going to do what I want either.

How can I set this up on my desktop on Windows?

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up vote 25 down vote accepted

Fences for Windows sounds like just the product for you! It's free for personal use.

From their website:

Fences is a one-of-a-kind program, allowing you to draw labeled shaded areas on your desktop, which become movable & resizable containers for your desktop icons. These groups can help bring organization and consistency to your computer's desktop, solving the "constant mess" problem that has plagued the desktop since its inception.

Fences also helps you finally appreciate the wallpaper you have hiding behind all that clutter. In addition to its organizing features, Fences offers a novel quick-hide feature (in-patenting-process). Double click your desktop, and all your icons will fade out. Double click again, and they'll return.

There's a great walkthrough on setting it up and using it at the How-To Geek Blog.

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+1 for speed :-) – nik Jul 29 '09 at 4:51
That actually looks awesome, gonna give it a try! – Ivo Flipse Jul 29 '09 at 5:25
I use Fences - it is indeed awesome. A really slick little utility. Highly recommended. – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 5:54
Great this is what I needed. I envisioned more of a strong border line rather than a colored rectangle. I set outline to on, but it doesn't do much. I'd like a setting for opacity, width, color on the border. – P a u l Jul 29 '09 at 6:38
For what I can see the only thing that's free is a 30-day trial. – Donald Duck May 22 at 11:21

Your are looking for Fences from Stardock.

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You could check out BumpTop, but as you notice on this link, they were bought by Google so you can't download it from their site anymore. However, do a Google search (irony?) for BumpTop download and you'll probably find something.

BumpTop is a 3D desktop where you can stack, throw, and organize your files. Here's a great demonstration.

Another approach is Google Desktop. If you get this you won't even have to bother how your desktop looks. You just click Ctrl Ctrl and search for anything you might be wanting from your computer.

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Or if you want to get retro, the Windows 3.1 Program Manager did just that.

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You can try Right Click Enhancer. It allows you to add files and folder shortcuts in right click menu. It also have an option that allows you to add sections in your right click menu. It also comes in portable flavor so you can add , edit or remove shortcuts by inserting your flash drive.

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