I’m a desktop minimalist myself and the trashcan is about all I want to see on my desktop. However if you like your desktop with lots of icons on it, arranged according to some non-alphabetical grouping system you might find out that Windows sometimes rearranges them nicely in alphabetical order, aligning them all nicely to the top left of your desktop without your prior consent.
This typically happens after reboots, switching between resolutions, plugging and unplugging a secondary screen or docking/un-docking the laptop.
It can drive people mad.
This seems to be an issue that has been plaguing Windows 8 and 10 for quite a while already, driving lot’s of people bonkers. Unfortunately when looking for a solution online in various fora you tend to find a lot of useless tips or the suggestion to install some third-party desktop icon position-saving software. Eew.
There is a simple solution in the Windows settings however, but I have to admit it’s not very obvious and I had to look for it quite a bit to find it.
It’s all in the settings as expected, but it’s spread out in two different spots, which makes it hard to get right.
Here’s how to fix it:
1. Right click on your desktop and disable the auto arrange feature by disabling the checkbox next in View > Auto arrange icons.
You’d think that should do the trick right? Well most people do. But there’s another option that interferes with your desktop icon zen garden staying the way you want it.
2. Right click again on your desktop, now click Personalize.
You’ll see the Settings screen appear.
There you select Themes.
Now click Desktop icon settings.
Now look what we have there. A checkbox labeled “Allow themes to change desktop icons“.
Uncheck it and press OK.
You should now no longer experience the frustration of computer code messing with your desktop icons.
Zen at last.
One reply on “how to stop windows 10 from rearranging your desktop icons”
Just tried this – I had already unchecked ‘autoarrange icons’, but you were the first person to point out the need to uncheck ‘allow themes to change desktop icons’ (as you pointed out – most people’s suggestions are useless).
With any luck this will be the end of having to occasionally un-alphabetize my desktop icons. Why Microsoft thought this would be a good idea is beyond me – but they are the original masters of rearranging deck chairs, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
Thank you kind sir.