Many users prefer to arrange Desktop icons manually, placing them at a custom location on the Desktop. But sometimes the custom position of icons is lost and they get automatically arranged. Or if you accidentally messed up your desktop icon alignment yourself by turning on the auto-arrange function, there is a way to revert it quickly. Here is how.
There are some situations when the icon view and arrangement of desktop icons changes. It can happen if you accidentally press one of Ctrl + Shift + 1..5 hotkeys on Desktop which will switch the icon view to Details, Content or List view. Or you might accidentally tick the Auto arrange icons menu item in the Desktop context menu:
Regardless of the cause of the issue, it is possible to revert Desktop icons auto arranging in Windows 10. This trick works only if you have not signed out from your account yet, e.g. you need to do it immediately after they get rearranged.
As you might be knowing, every time Explorer exits, it saves the Desktop icon layout to the following Registry key:
Instead, if you terminate the Explorer process, it will not write the new icon layout to the Registry. So, the next time you start Explorer, it will use the previous customized icon position, as it still stored in Registry.
Here is what you need to do to terminate Explorer.
For example, I have set the following icon layout:
Now I 'accidentally' changed it to the following appearance:
- Once your get icons messed up,
- Do not sign out from your current Windows session.
- Do not exit Explorer using this hidden secret option.
- Do not use the tools ExitExplorer or RestartExplorer.
- Instead, open a new instance of the command prompt.
- Type the following command:
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
- Once the Desktop disappears, type explorer at the opened command prompt and press Enter. This will start the Explorer shell again.
The Desktop will appear with the previous icon layout.
The following video shows everything mentioned above in the action:
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That's it. Using this simple trick, you can quickly revert the Desktop icon layout within a few seconds.
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