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I sometimes remote into my desktop PC (1900x1280) from my laptop (1280x900). When I do, Windows (Vista) on the desktop PC rearranges all my desktop icons.

I could understand this if the RDP session's desktop size was too small to fit them in, but it's not. I have about 12 icons, which do fit on the laptop's resolution (I've tried).

Why would Windows rearrange them all like this each time?

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"Why would Windows rearrange them all like this each time?" Is this a trick question? – msw Jul 6 '10 at 10:09
No it's not a trick question. Of the two resolutions (the one I use when I'm physically in front of the machine, and the one that is set by RDP because my RDP client machine has a smaller screen), both are large enough that the icons needn't be moved around to make them fit. – Neil Barnwell Jul 14 '10 at 15:07
I have the same problem under Windows 7 – JuanZe Jul 28 '11 at 13:44

I know about 3rd party software that will restore the arrangement of the desktop icons after you make a remote desktop connection.

The 1st link is for the software, and the 2nd one is a blog post about this software (explaining generally how to use it, though it's an easy interface and easy to use software)

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I know this is a very old question, but I am hoping that my answer provides useful information for future visitors to this question. See the answer at Realign Remote Desktop session icons to physical desktop's for an explanation of how icon positions are stored separately for different resolutions. So even though you can see there is physically enough room to accommodate all of your icons within both resolutions, each resolution has its own collection of icon positions maintained independently.

To prevent the moving of the icons by using the remote machine's native resolution, you could follow the tip at to enable smart sizing. This would effectively scale down the remote machine's pixels to match that of your machine, although no guarantees can be made about quality or readability.

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Thanks for responding to this question. Your solution, which is the key portion of your answer, is contained entirely in a link. If the link breaks, your answer would have little value. For this reason, we ask that you include the essential information within the answer and use the link for attribution and further reading. – fixer1234 Aug 3 '15 at 4:49

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