Restore Desktop Icon Positions After Windows Rearranges Layout



More often than with previous versions of Windows, it seems Vista likes to change the desktop icon layout positions without warning after operating system updates, screen resolution changes, or new applications are installed. At first, it's not much of a problem. But as time goes by and you add shortcuts and folders, putting many icons back to where YOU want them position on the desktop, becomes frustrating.

While this problem occurs on all versions of Windows, and not just with Vista, saving and restoring your desktop layout is possible courtesy of a old resource kit utility provided by Microsoft way back in the Windows NT 4.0 days.





Thanks to this tip from, you can save you desktop icon layout and restore them to the exact positions before they were rearranged by Windows, easily with a right click of the mouse.

– First, you will need to download from PC 911 website. After download has completed, unzip to your desktop (or folder of your choice).

– Next, copy Layout.dll to C:\Windows\System32 (for Windows XP and Vista) orC:\WINNT\System32 (for older versions of Windows).

– Now double click the file Layout.reg file to automatically add the appropriate changes to your registry.

– If not already, layout the icons on your desktop to the position you want them saved. Then right click on the Recycle Bin and select "Save Desktop Icon Layout".



The icon positions are now saved.

NOTE: Make sure you see the pop up "Desktop Icon Settings Saved" which will verify the desktop layout has been saved. If you do not see the message, right click and select "Save Desktop Icon Layout" again.

Next time Windows rearranges the icon layout again, you can restore the layout by right clicking either:

  • My Computer
  • Network Neighborhood (My Network Places),
  • Recycle Bin

and select "Restore Desktop Icon Layout" to restore the layout back to the way you previously saved it.



You can move the icons around freely, however whenever you want them restored to their original saved positions, right click on Recycle BinNetwork Neighborhood, or My Computer again and select "Restore Desktop Icon Layout" to save the new desktop layout.

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Dylan Austin


Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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