Arranging Desktop Icons Automatically

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2016)

1

You probably already have a good number of icons on your desktop. (I've seen some desktops that had, literally, hundreds of icons on them. Wow!) As you get more and more of them, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of them and keep them organized.

To help with this potential problem, Windows provides a feature called auto arrange. This simply means that as desktop icons are added or removed, the rest of the icons automatically arrange themselves in an orderly manner. What is that orderly manner? To arrange the icons in alphabetic order, by icon name.

You might wonder how this could be beneficial, but it certainly can be—if you know the name of the icon you want to use, you can locate it easily by scanning quickly through the arranged icons on your desktop.

If you want to use auto arrange, simply right-click on any unused area of the desktop, choose View from the Context menu, and then choose Auto Arrange Icons. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Turning on Auto Arrange.

The setting is a toggle, meaning you can turn it on or off by using the same steps. If you turn auto arrange on, then all your desktop icons are automatically reorganized and Windows resists your efforts to click and drag the icons to other places on the desktop. If you turn auto arrange off, the icons don't go back to the way they were before you used the feature, but you'll no longer encounter resistance to dragging the icons around.

 This tip (6814) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Copying Form Field Contents

Are you developing a form with Word? In some instances it is advantageous to copy whatever is entered in a form field to ...

Discover More

Creating Thin Spaces

Thin spaces are a typographic device that allows you add a bit of space between elements of a document. There are no thin ...

Discover More

Adding an Image to a Document

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it is fortunate that Docs allows you to easily add images to your ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Renaming or Deleting File Folders

Just as you can rename and delete individual files, so to can you rename and delete the folders that contain those files.

Discover More

Understanding Compressed Folders

If you're running low on disk space, you may want to consider creating some compressed folders to give you a little ...

Discover More

Accessing a Network Drive

Being on a network is great because it allows you to share resources among the networked systems. Being able to access a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 4?

2016-04-11 09:48:07

Jennifer Thomas

A great timesaver for finding items on a cluttered Desktop is to right-click the Taskbar | click Toolbars, then click Desktop. This adds a "Desktop" tool near the notifications tray that you can click to see a text list of all items on the desktop.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.