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


  • Staff
Desktop_banner.png

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.

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


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: 34
  • Auto_arrange_icons-OFF_and_Align_icons_to_grid-OFF.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 76
  • Auto_arrange_icons-OFF_and_Align_icons_to_grid-ON.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 73
  • Auto_arrange_icons-ON_and_Align_icons_to_grid-OFF.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 69
  • Auto_arrange_icons-ON_and_Align_icons_to_grid-ON.bat
    339 bytes · Views: 73
Last edited:

elbmek

Active member
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Location
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Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
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
    PC Specialist
    CPU
    amd ryzen 9 5900X 12 core 3701mhz 24 logistical process
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B550 Auros Elite V2
    Memory
    16GB (2x8) Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Aoris Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27G3T 144hz
    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 2TB External USB. 1 x 4TB External SSD
    other HDD drives optional docking (when I get around to it)
    PSU
    Corsair VS550
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS500 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Multimedia 1.01a. MSI Vigor elite Mech board as spare/games
    Mouse
    Corsair Sabre (with pretty lights!)
    Internet Speed
    600+MB
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Total Security 2022
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
7:23 PM
Posts
5,729
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    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,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

elbmek

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
1:23 AM
Posts
456
Location
Sutton Coldfield England
OS
Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
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
    PC Specialist
    CPU
    amd ryzen 9 5900X 12 core 3701mhz 24 logistical process
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B550 Auros Elite V2
    Memory
    16GB (2x8) Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Aoris Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27G3T 144hz
    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 2TB External USB. 1 x 4TB External SSD
    other HDD drives optional docking (when I get around to it)
    PSU
    Corsair VS550
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS500 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Multimedia 1.01a. MSI Vigor elite Mech board as spare/games
    Mouse
    Corsair Sabre (with pretty lights!)
    Internet Speed
    600+MB
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Total Security 2022
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet

elbmek

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
1:23 AM
Posts
456
Location
Sutton Coldfield England
OS
Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
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
    PC Specialist
    CPU
    amd ryzen 9 5900X 12 core 3701mhz 24 logistical process
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B550 Auros Elite V2
    Memory
    16GB (2x8) Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Aoris Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27G3T 144hz
    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 2TB External USB. 1 x 4TB External SSD
    other HDD drives optional docking (when I get around to it)
    PSU
    Corsair VS550
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS500 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Multimedia 1.01a. MSI Vigor elite Mech board as spare/games
    Mouse
    Corsair Sabre (with pretty lights!)
    Internet Speed
    600+MB
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Total Security 2022
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
7:23 PM
Posts
5,729
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    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,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

elbmek

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
1:23 AM
Posts
456
Location
Sutton Coldfield England
OS
Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
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
    PC Specialist
    CPU
    amd ryzen 9 5900X 12 core 3701mhz 24 logistical process
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B550 Auros Elite V2
    Memory
    16GB (2x8) Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Aoris Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27G3T 144hz
    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 2TB External USB. 1 x 4TB External SSD
    other HDD drives optional docking (when I get around to it)
    PSU
    Corsair VS550
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS500 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Multimedia 1.01a. MSI Vigor elite Mech board as spare/games
    Mouse
    Corsair Sabre (with pretty lights!)
    Internet Speed
    600+MB
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Total Security 2022
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
7:23 PM
Posts
5,729
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    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,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

elbmek

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
1:23 AM
Posts
456
Location
Sutton Coldfield England
OS
Win 11 x 64 Home on PC . Pro Win 10 x 64 on Surface 5.
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
    PC Specialist
    CPU
    amd ryzen 9 5900X 12 core 3701mhz 24 logistical process
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B550 Auros Elite V2
    Memory
    16GB (2x8) Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Aoris Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27G3T 144hz
    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 2TB External USB. 1 x 4TB External SSD
    other HDD drives optional docking (when I get around to it)
    PSU
    Corsair VS550
    Case
    Coolermaster
    Cooling
    DEEP COOL AS500 CPU COOLER
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Multimedia 1.01a. MSI Vigor elite Mech board as spare/games
    Mouse
    Corsair Sabre (with pretty lights!)
    Internet Speed
    600+MB
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Total Security 2022
    Other Info
    WIRELESS 802.11 AC1300 867Mbps/5GHz, 400Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
    Logitech speakers
    Asus DRW-14D5MT x48
    Net via Virgin hub 3 (using RJ45 cable). Plus MS surface 5 tablet

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