The desktop allows me to arrange files/folders as I'd like on it, so I'm wondering if it's possible to allow the same thing for my D: folder/drive? Is this possible?

  • 1
    Remembering icon positions and the like is a unique feature of the desktop. Other folders can remember all sorts of default properties (like sort,group, and the like).. but alas.. not icon positioning or individual order. One trick I use (when I care) is to put 1_, 2_, etc etc in front of folder names that I want to be sorted when I can't keep the order through settings. Jun 24 '21 at 21:05

Long answer short: you cannot.

This used to be possible in early windows versions, but in recent versions of windows, the Explorer window just does not allow you to arrange files/folders at all. They are always sorted afterwards. This is also the case if you use explorer to navigate to your desktop folder. You can't drag the icons around there either.

Given that sort is always applied in explorer, if you want to sort your folders differently, rename them and add a number in front. Such as:

    1. My stuff
    1. Awesome Projects
    1. The rest
  • Thank you for explaining that. I wonder why they got rid of it. Jun 25 '21 at 2:54
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    There were too many complaints of people accidentally turning of sort, not getting their files back in order anymore.
    – LPChip
    Jun 25 '21 at 9:08
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    At an MVP summiit in (I think) '08, the Shell team explained that saving arbitrary icon order/positon (as well as folder window position), for every file in every folder was a feature implemented when a "Power user" might have several hundred files. The registry value for my Deskop (ÌconLayouts`), which only has 25 items on it, is 2,312 bytes. As storage capacity and file counts increased by orders of magnitude, saving this data for every folder was seen a cause of registry bloat and slowed down response time, and was eliminated for those reasons. Jun 29 '21 at 8:19

No. The Windows Desktop exists for the operating system as a whole and not for the individual drives.

You can only have one real Desktop (the one you see when you log on.

With Windows 10 you can have virtual Desktops but they are still a Windows desktop and do not extend to folders.

Sorry - desktop arrangements do not apply to folders in the way you are asking.

You can place files / folders anywhere on your Desktop.

Within Explorer, file and folder views are limited to the Windows Explorer folder options and cannot (safely) be re-arranged anywhere.

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