General Turn On or Off Auto Arrange Icons on Desktop in Windows 11


  • Staff
Desktop_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off auto arrange desktop icons for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc...) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

If you turn on Auto arrange icons, your desktop icons will automatically be arranged in columns starting along the left side of your screen.

If you turn off Auto arrange icons, you can arrange your desktop icons how and where you like on the desktop.


Contents

  • Option One: Turn On or Off Auto Arrange Icons on Desktop using Context Menu
  • Option Two: Turn On or Off "Auto arrange icons" and "Align icons to grid" on Desktop using BAT file


EXAMPLE: Auto arrange desktop icons turned on and off

Auto_arrange_icons_on.jpg
Auto_arrange_icons_off.jpg






Option One

Turn On or Off Auto Arrange Icons on Desktop using Context Menu


1 Right click or press and hold on your desktop.

2 Click/tap on View, and click/tap on click/tap on Auto arrange icons to check (on) or uncheck (off - default) for what you want. (see screenshot below)

Auto_arrange_icons_on_desktop.png





Option Two

Turn On or Off "Auto arrange icons" and "Align icons to grid" on Desktop using BAT file


1 Do step 2, step 3, step 4, or step 5 below for what you would like to do.

2 To Turn OFF "Auto arrange icons" and Turn OFF "Align icons to grid"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Auto_arrange_icons-OFF_and_Align_icons_to_grid-OFF.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop" /V FFLAGS /T REG_DWORD /D 1075839520 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

3 To Turn ON "Auto arrange icons" and Turn OFF "Align icons to grid"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Auto_arrange_icons-ON_and_Align_icons_to_grid-OFF.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop" /V FFLAGS /T REG_DWORD /D 1075839521 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

4 To Turn OFF "Auto arrange icons" and Turn ON "Align icons to grid"

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Auto_arrange_icons-OFF_and_Align_icons_to_grid-ON.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop" /V FFLAGS /T REG_DWORD /D 1075839524 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

5 To Turn ON "Auto arrange icons" and Turn ON "Align icons to grid"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Auto_arrange_icons-ON_and_Align_icons_to_grid-ON.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop" /V FFLAGS /T REG_DWORD /D 1075839525 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

6 Save the .bat file to your desktop.

7 Unblock the .bat file.

8 Run the .bat file.

9 You will now notice your screen flicker as the explorer.exe process is restarted to apply the registry changes.

10 You can now delete the downloaded .bat file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Desktop.png
    Desktop.png
    7.7 KB · Views: 145
  • Auto_arrange_icons-OFF_and_Align_icons_to_grid-OFF.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 297
  • Auto_arrange_icons-OFF_and_Align_icons_to_grid-ON.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 252
  • Auto_arrange_icons-ON_and_Align_icons_to_grid-OFF.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 242
  • Auto_arrange_icons-ON_and_Align_icons_to_grid-ON.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 248
Last edited:
I have my icons on lock to grid. Game icons on far right, software etc on far left. When I use web, other progs etc all is good. But when I play a game downloaded from a gaming site (not online) they 'throw' my icons over to the left in a huge jumble. I read your excellent tutorials but cant see anything to set them in concrete so they do not move except manually. This has only happened since I reset win 11.

Its just come up on my screen to reboot following an update - the damn desktop has been shunted across again!!!


Excellent desktop Brink. Very alien
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Upgraded to personal setup from made to measure.
    CPU
    amd ryzen 5 7600 6core 3701mhz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B650M K
    Memory
    32GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI Nvidia Geforce Ventus 2X RTX 4070
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Coolermaster GM27-FFS 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung V-NAND SSD 970 Evo plus 500GB
    3TB SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
    1 x 4TB External USB. 1 x 5TB External SSD, & BIG sticks
    PSU
    700
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS700 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft 600 & Logitech gamer G213
    Mouse
    RhioPHy TM243 wireless with platform charger
    Internet Speed
    640+MB
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Plus
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech L207 Bluetooth Speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin Media hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet (win 10)
I have my icons on lock to grid. Game icons on far right, software etc on far left. When I use web, other progs etc all is good. But when I play a game downloaded from a gaming site (not online) they 'throw' my icons over to the left in a huge jumble. I read your excellent tutorials but cant see anything to set them in concrete so they do not move except manually. This has only happened since I reset win 11.

Its just come up on my screen to reboot following an update - the damn desktop has been shunted across again!!!


Excellent desktop Brink. Very alien
Hello, :-)

It sounds like a change in resolution used by the game may have caused the desktop icons to get reset to default positions despite your settings.

You could try a free app like DeskLock to help keep your desktop icons locked in place.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
your right Brink. Res changes seem to trigger the jump. Heading for desk lock ...................................
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Upgraded to personal setup from made to measure.
    CPU
    amd ryzen 5 7600 6core 3701mhz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B650M K
    Memory
    32GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI Nvidia Geforce Ventus 2X RTX 4070
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Coolermaster GM27-FFS 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung V-NAND SSD 970 Evo plus 500GB
    3TB SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
    1 x 4TB External USB. 1 x 5TB External SSD, & BIG sticks
    PSU
    700
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS700 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft 600 & Logitech gamer G213
    Mouse
    RhioPHy TM243 wireless with platform charger
    Internet Speed
    640+MB
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Plus
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech L207 Bluetooth Speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin Media hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet (win 10)
I clicked on the exe, nothing seemed to happen, so waiting to see if anything changed. Thank you :alien: ah, now they are locked, even manually and I've lost right click too. I removed it from downloads, and rebooted, desktop worked, but left it back in downloaded. I t seems that, if I want to move or delete an icon or whatever, or use right click. I have to kill the process first.

Just looked for a readup on it. Apparently it sits in the system tray and a click disabled it and a click enabled it, so going to try that. :unsure:

Yep, that does it. Worth a seconds work to keep my desktop in one piece, and disabled right click is an option, so unticked it. Thanks Ace
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Upgraded to personal setup from made to measure.
    CPU
    amd ryzen 5 7600 6core 3701mhz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B650M K
    Memory
    32GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI Nvidia Geforce Ventus 2X RTX 4070
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Coolermaster GM27-FFS 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung V-NAND SSD 970 Evo plus 500GB
    3TB SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
    1 x 4TB External USB. 1 x 5TB External SSD, & BIG sticks
    PSU
    700
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS700 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft 600 & Logitech gamer G213
    Mouse
    RhioPHy TM243 wireless with platform charger
    Internet Speed
    640+MB
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Plus
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech L207 Bluetooth Speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin Media hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet (win 10)
You're most welcome. :party:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Update. Reinstalled all games (from an online site) and so far so good, ran a few, tried a couple and desktop behaved itself - Deeeeeeelighted.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Upgraded to personal setup from made to measure.
    CPU
    amd ryzen 5 7600 6core 3701mhz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B650M K
    Memory
    32GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI Nvidia Geforce Ventus 2X RTX 4070
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Coolermaster GM27-FFS 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung V-NAND SSD 970 Evo plus 500GB
    3TB SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
    1 x 4TB External USB. 1 x 5TB External SSD, & BIG sticks
    PSU
    700
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS700 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft 600 & Logitech gamer G213
    Mouse
    RhioPHy TM243 wireless with platform charger
    Internet Speed
    640+MB
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Plus
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech L207 Bluetooth Speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin Media hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet (win 10)
Update. Reinstalled all games (from an online site) and so far so good, ran a few, tried a couple and desktop behaved itself - Deeeeeeelighted.

Great news.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Switched on the pc today, no desklock. So download the zipped package to desktop to access direct. Reset it and unticked right click. Then just now, rebooted after cumulative update, and - its gone. Had to go through retick of exe file again.

ditto - today
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Upgraded to personal setup from made to measure.
    CPU
    amd ryzen 5 7600 6core 3701mhz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B650M K
    Memory
    32GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI Nvidia Geforce Ventus 2X RTX 4070
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Coolermaster GM27-FFS 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung V-NAND SSD 970 Evo plus 500GB
    3TB SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
    1 x 4TB External USB. 1 x 5TB External SSD, & BIG sticks
    PSU
    700
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS700 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft 600 & Logitech gamer G213
    Mouse
    RhioPHy TM243 wireless with platform charger
    Internet Speed
    640+MB
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Plus
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech L207 Bluetooth Speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin Media hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet (win 10)

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