How to save (and restore) your desktop icon layout

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I’m kind of picky about where I keep the icons on my desktop screen. Not all of them, but a few that I click on regularly. I have a couple of spreadsheets I use all the time, and a link to run Evernote, and a link to my Google contacts. I keep these icons in a certain place so I know where to find them. But then something happens, and they’re not where they’re supposed to be.

desktop icons


What causes this?

If you ever play around with your display resolution, that will move your icons to different places. I have heard that certain games require a particular resolution, so some people have to change the resolution to play the game, then change it back again.

But for me, it seems that the most common reason for icons getting moved around is because of Windows Updates. At least that’s what appears to be the culprit, since I notice the rearrangement right after Patch Tuesday (the second Tuesday of each month, when Microsoft sends out the monthly updates). After the overnight updates, I turn on the screen and all of my icons are arranged in solid columns on the left side of my left monitor. So I have to drag some of them back to their “right” place.

But a while ago, I discovered a little program that solves that problem. It’s called ReIcon.



The idea behind this program is pretty simple. You tell it how you want your icons to be displayed on your screen, and it remembers that layout. If something changes the layout, you just tell it to go back to the layout you want.

The program is free. You can get it by going to the developer’s website page here:

That page describes what it does, the benefits of using it, and how to use it. At the bottom of the page you’ll see a link to download. When you click that, it will take you to a page that automatically downloads a zipped folder to your computer. When you open that zipped folder, you’ll see a folder called ReIcon in there – just drag that to your desktop screen and keep it there.

When you open that ReIcon folder, double click on the file called ReIcon_x64.



That opens the program window. Now click on File – Save Icon Layout:



You’ve now saved the current layout of your desktop icons. That’s the new entry you see in the program window:



Want to test it? Drag some random desktop icon to some other place on your screen. Then, in the ReIcon program window, click on File – Restore Icon Layout. That icon you moved goes right back where it was supposed to be!

When you look at the website for the program (above), you’ll see in the description that it does offer a number of other configuration options. For example, on my computer, I added the “restore icon layout” to my right click menu. So whenever I want to restore the icons back to their correct arrangement, all I have to do is right-click on the desktop screen and choose “Restore Icon Layout”. Makes things quick and easy after a Windows Update has messed up the order.

I do like this program because:

  • It requires no installation
  • It doesn’t try to put malware or other junk on your computer
  • It performs a needed service that solves a problem

If you want to use this program but find it to be a little too confusing, contact me and I can help you set it up through my Remote Support service.

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