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I wanted to have a 3D desktop on my Windows XP, and I did try some applications out of which BumpTop and Real Desktop are very good, but there were some issues in their usage/behavior that I had to uninstall them.

So then I thought I can put a 3D looking 2D wallpaper on my desktop and arrange icons manually. This works great (I always wanted to have a cupboard/container on a corner of desktop), but now the problem is when a new file is downloaded/copied to the desktop it will place it randomly. Thus I have to look here and there every time I download a new file.

So is there any solution to fix some certain items on that left side container and provide a fixed area for new downloads etc, or just auto arrange only the new items on the desktop?

I have no experience with graphics programming or tools, but I am willing to do so if it solves the cause.

http://tinypic.com/r/2nvffc3/5

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marked as duplicate by Karan, gronostaj, Scott, Jens Erat, Raystafarian Jul 14 '13 at 10:56

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I like the idea of what you are trying to do (and the desktop background image).
If you are able and willing to write your own program, then there are two tasks for you to do:

  1. Get notified when new files are added to the desktop
  2. Adjust the position of the desktop icon

For both there are solutions on StackOverflow:

  1. API for Giving Notification when a file is added or deleted in a folder
  2. How can I programmatically manipulate Windows desktop icon locations?
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Thanks that seems legit –  Usman Waheed Jul 15 '13 at 4:47
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It is possible to recognize icon positions and change them (there's a utility that claims to do this for XP, "layout, by Mark Carroll, Microsoft Ltd" - just tested: did not work for me. XP Pro SP3), but I could find no sources for it in order to add "unknown icon" positioning (much less add a "position upon drag'n'drop" functionality).

The easiest workaround seems to place a "Inbox" folder icon on the desktop, and set download save folder to it. Files won't be immediately available, but they'll be one click away, and won't clutter the desktop.

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