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Is there a way to force Windows to save desktop icon positions?

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There's also a small shell extension that adds "Save Desktop Icon Layout" and "Restore Desktop Icon Layout" options to the context menu of the "My Computer" icon. You can get it here, for example. –  zb226 Aug 26 '12 at 21:34

4 Answers 4

up vote 19 down vote accepted

You can also simply right-click the Desktop & click refresh. This saves the icon positions (at least it does on XP).

  • Move an icon
  • Kill explorer (& restart it, if it don't auto-restart)
  • Notice icon moves back (because it wasn't saved)
  • Move icon again
  • Right-click on the Desktop -> click Refresh
  • Kill explorer
  • Notice icon doesn't move back (since this time it was saved before killing explorer)
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Good to see that there's a much simpler way. Thanks! –  Jelle Geerts Aug 31 '12 at 15:07
    
Brilliant! If only I'd known this years ago. Thanks! :) –  Chiramisu May 7 '13 at 1:29

A way to force Windows to save desktop icon positions without using third-party utilities:

  1. Open Notepad and enter some text, so that if you were to close it, it would show a confirmation dialog.
  2. Attempt to log off.
  3. Notepad (and possibly other applications) will ask you whether you want to save changes.
  4. Click Cancel. This will prevent Windows from logging off.

The desktop icon positions are now saved. It happens because it's one of the things that Windows does when logging off, and it happens before actually logging off.

This may be helpful when you have just tidied up your desktop, because if Windows Explorer crashes, modifications to the desktop icon positions are lost.

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Nice one! ..... –  Shiki Aug 27 '12 at 21:24
    
I think the solution of Anonymous is much simpler, and it actually works, I just tried that. :) Btw., interesting one. –  Sk8erPeter Nov 20 '12 at 16:12
    
That one is indeed simpler ;) . This one could still be useful though, in the off case the simpler one stops working in a future version of Windows. –  Jelle Geerts Nov 27 '12 at 16:54

There is a good program, called DesktopOK, which has an opportunity to EXPORT (save as) the file, and then restore whenever you want..

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Just installed DesktopRestore from midiox, which works fine on Windows 7.

http://www.chip.de/downloads/Desktop-Restore_30997925.html

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protected by slhck Aug 21 '13 at 10:08

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