When moving/saving/etc a new file on the desktop, the icon appears second (just after "Computer"). I find it annoying, since I want my "special" icons to be first (such as the recycle bin, "Network", etc.).

Can this behavior be changed?

  • I see the same thing in Vista. – Dennis Williamson Nov 4 '10 at 17:12
  • 3
    are you not able to manually organize your desktop icons by placing them where you want? – Xantec Nov 4 '10 at 17:18
  • Xantec: of course I can, but it's annoying to have to do it a few times a day. In XP, new files always appeared last. – noamtm Nov 7 '10 at 7:10
  • Thank you reiterating my exact thoughts! This is the best I could find after a long search: New icons location in Desktop – user167966 Oct 26 '12 at 16:11


Even on Eastern installs of Windows the icons fill the screen top-to-bottom left-to-right.

If you want a specific layout you'll have to reposition them.

You may want to consider desktop fences:


  • Fences is a great program. – James Mertz Nov 5 '10 at 21:58
  • Well, Fences is somewhat of an overkill for my needs, but it gets the job done: I created a fence for Computer, Recycle Bin, etc. – noamtm Nov 7 '10 at 7:35

It should be posible to put icons wherever you want, like this:

  1. Right click on your Desktop.
  2. In the context menu, mouse over 'View' to expand it.
  3. Disable the 'Auto arrange icons' option.

Also, in Windows 7, you can also "pin" frequently used applications to the Taskbar! I find this a very handy feature which enables me to easily access the application I use the most.

  1. Right click on a running applications icon in the Task Bar.
  2. Click 'Pin this program to taskbar'.

Alternative solution:

If your goal it to keep your Desktop clean, you could also use Launchy. It gives you easy access to all your files and applications. Triggered by a hotkey, you just start typing the name of the file or the application you wish to access, and hit enter when you get the match you want. It's very nice for those of us to wish the Desktop clean! I use this, and I've disabled all Desktop icons.

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