1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Help Me Stop XP from Moving My Desktop Icons

Discussion in 'Software' started by petejc, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    Does anybody know a foolproof way of keeping the desktop icons in place? I am running XP Pro. I set my icons on the desktop where I like them. At various times they will suddenly move so that they are all along the left of the screen. They do this:

    (1) If I log off and log back on,
    (2) When my antivirus (avast) updates,
    (3) Sometimes when Outlook Express finishes checking mail,
    (4) Sometimes when I open Explorer (but not most of the time)
    (5) At other times when something a little "traumatic" happens like maybe closing a program that is a little stubborn.

    I have been trying various things over a period of months. Some programs or methods don't seem to work at all, others seem to work for a while then things get worse and worse. Nothing seems to actually stop the icons from repositioning.

    Things I have tired:

    Iconlock (not for XP but it has its uses)
    DI?????? (Can't remember the name)
    Tried both 0 and 1 for a registry entry for Explorer, NoSaveSettings
    Everything in TweakUI that seems remotely associated with something like icons.

    Right now, I can't go along for more than 15 or 20 minutes without the entire desktop being rearranged. I then use Iconlock to put them back but I have to do a "restore" three or four times to get them all restored.

    I have googled over and over and can't seem to find a reliable solution to this problem. Somebody must have solved it. I can't imagine that everyone is happy with icons placed where XP feels like placing them.


  2. Mada_Milty

    Mada_Milty MajorGeek

    Sounds like the Auto-Arrange option is selected.

    What does it say when you right-click a blank spot on the desktop, and select 'Arrange Icons By'? Is there a check next to AutoArrange? If so, clear it by clicking on the option. This should let you move your icons freely.
  3. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    It is not checked. I don't have a problem moving icons. I have a problem with XP moving them later. When ever it feels like it.
  4. Adrynalyne

    Adrynalyne Guest

  5. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    Thanks Adrynalyne .

    It seems similar to IconLock. I also have tried IconRestore. Both seem to work somewhat better than IconLock because IconLock doesn't seem to get them all on the first pass.

    Still, it is a pain to keep restoring them every 15 minutes or so.

    I love MS/XP......like I love a trip to the dentist.

  6. usafveteran

    usafveteran MajorGeek

    Seems that you may have other issues. Why is your system frequently moving icons around? I think I'd be investigating the cause of this. Can't such behavior be caused by a virus?

    Do you frequently change resolution on your monitor? Do you play games or use other software that changes your resolution? Are you experiencing other computer problems such as lockups and forced shutdowns? If not, then your icons should not be getting moved, period.
  7. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    Well, "never say never" but I'm pretty sure I don't have any virus.

    There are three family members that have seperate logons. Each uses a different resolution so depending on who was logged on, a new logon could cause a resolution change. The other users just use it for email. Nobody plays any games. I just use CAD, spreadsheets, and software development programs.

    If I logon after another user, then the icon moving is more rampant. Funny as this may seem, if I power down then log on later, and I do this a few times, the icons seem to get more stable. Like XP is getting more convinced about them and the need to reset them.

    I did see somewhere in all the googling I have been doing that XP wants to make sure that icons don't cover each other so Explorer will reset the icons sometimes. As an example of Explorer doing this, when I was composing the origonal post I opened the directory "Program Files" so I could get the names of some of the programs I tried. When I opened the folder (via a desktop shortcut), the icons all went to the left of the screen. I used IconLock to restore them and then opened that directory 4 or 5 times to see if I could reproduce the reset. No luck. The icons stayed put where Iconlock had restored then.

    Oh, and I almost never have any lockups or forced shutdowns. I run a pretty tight ship. Only the barest minimun number of programs on boot up. I do a HijackThis a few times a week to keep things clean.

    Later yesterday I reinstalled IconRestore after submitting the post. (As you may have guessed, this icon problem keeps bugging me but I have more important things to do. Yesterday was a bit of a down day so I decided to try to fix it again). Well, after installing IconRestore and doing one save of the desktop, the icons have been quite stable. I logged in as both the other users and then back as myself. Icons were rock solid. Same today.

    If history repeats itself, things will be very stable for days and then something will cause them to go unstable. Then while I am doing "normal" actions like opening programs or directories, bam, the icons reset. then a few actions later, reset again.

    I don't know what it is but it sure can be frustrating when it is acting up


  8. usafveteran

    usafveteran MajorGeek

    Well, with different users using different resolutions, I can see how that would cause some bother with having to restore icon positions. That explains part of the problem but doesn't seem to explain the part about icons getting shifted around even while you're working in your user account.

    I wonder whether you're using the best tool for this; perhaps you are now. IconLock appears to be a rather old utility; a website I found stated it supports several versions of Windows, including Windows NT, but did not mention Win XP. IconRestore has good user reviews on SnapFiles.com. Since you've reinstalled it and your system has been stable since doing so, I'm wondering whether that improvement will hold steady or not. Perhaps you can let us know after a few days how it's going.

    I use a utility called WinTidy to handle my icons. It does not add lines to context menus, as several of the other icon management tools mentioned here do, but it allows saving multiple desktop icon layouts. It's worked fine for me in my Win XP system.
  9. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    Right, IconLock was something I had from the ME days. One advantage (?) is it could save multiple desktops for the same user.

    IconRestore doesn't say it can keep them in place, just restore them. Maybe it schedules itself to run whenever Explorer does a reset. Maybe...

    I saw WinTidy but they wanted $5.00 or $10.00 for it. Given my experience with programs that don't work, well.... Also, I believe it also just restores not locks.

    So far, since IconRestore, the only time I had to do a restore was when another user went on and changed their resolution while logged on. Just logging on with another resolution but not changing resolution didn't seem to hurt like it used to.

    Time will tell I guess.

  10. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    Well, they just got rearrainged twice. First I had some excel spreadsheets open and I "X ed" Excel with multiple spreadsheets changed. I replied, "Save All" and the icons reset. I used IconRestore to pu them back (It took three times, each time a few were missed.)

    Then a few minutes later my antivirus said it was updating. When it fininshed, all icons reset to the left again. IconRestore took three runs to correct the desktop.

    Time Told.
  11. charmadette

    charmadette Specialist

    will someone please fix this wicked wandering icon problem. I created another user account and those icons stay put. I can uncheck align to grid and on reboot it is checked again,
  12. petejc

    petejc Private E-2

    Well, I have been doing more data gathering on this problem. I have found that after a large number of logons to the same user the icons stabilize and don't wander anymore. Then, one logon by another user (in my case the other user also uses a different resolution so this may compound the problem) and my icons are all slid to the left of the screen.

    They will be there every time I logon. I can use IconLock to restore them but it takes 3 tries to get them all restored. Then, maybe a few seconds later they all move to the left again. I use IconLock again to restore. Maybe a few minutes later, slid again. I have noticed that they always will slide when I get a notice that my antivirus has updated. I also notice that it will happen sometimes when I open a folder or some other action requiring Explorer.

    This will continue for many logons/power-ups; like maybe 10-20. Then, suddenly when I logon the icons will be where I want them. Once that happens they will be rock solid for days, even when the antivirus updates. Then, the other user logs on and the problems start again.

    I may also be able to aggravate it by saving something to the desktop. I do that a lot. Like if I get a web page that wants me to print it, I just do a "SaveAs" to the desktop. It may be that this new desktop icon doesn't have a "saved position" so XP doesn't know where to put it so it rearranges everything. I haven't been able to confirm this though.

    I am still experimenting.

    One comment, I have reverted to IconLock verses IconRestore even though IconLock is not for XP. I did this because they both seem to work as well but IconRestore ends with a dialog box saying it did the restore. Well, since, like IconLock, it takes three or more tries to get everything back, I have to keep dismissing this IconRestore dialog box. Basically I have to do twice as many clicks to restore the desktop using IconRestore.

    All in all XP doing this is a real pain. I guess Bill Gates doesn't have multiple users on his computers.

Share This Page

MajorGeeks.Com Menu

Downloads All In One Tweaks \ Android \ Anti-Malware \ Anti-Virus \ Appearance \ Backup \ Browsers \ CD\DVD\Blu-Ray \ Covert Ops \ Drive Utilities \ Drivers \ Graphics \ Internet Tools \ Multimedia \ Networking \ Office Tools \ PC Games \ System Tools \ Mac/Apple/Ipad Downloads

Other News: Top Downloads \ News (Tech) \ Off Base (Other Websites News) \ Way Off Base (Offbeat Stories and Pics)

Social: Facebook \ YouTube \ Twitter \ Tumblr \ Pintrest \ RSS Feeds