I like to have my desktop icons set to auto-arrange, but I would also like to have specific icons be able to break way from this rule so that I can move them off to the side where they are more visible.
Is there a way to do this in Windows 7?
This is not possible in Windows without installing extra software.
It has a Rules feature which allows you to define how your icons are moved. It might be possible to define a rule set that that does what you want (I haven't tried this).
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