- Right click your desktop.
A menu appears.
- Left click the Arrange Icons By menu item.
A new menu list appears.
Arrange Icons By
Once you left click the Arrange Icons By menu item, you have a number of choices.
The top section of the Arrange Icons By menu contains:
The next section contains:
- Show in Groups
- Auto Arrange
This is selected by default by Windows.
- Align to Grid
Align to Grid is also selected by default.
The third section in the Arrange Icons By menu contains:
- Show Desktop Icons
Selected by default
- Lock Web Items on Desktop
- Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard
Arrange Icons by Name
Select Name from the Arrange Icons by menu to arrange your desktop icons by the name underneath the icon.
Your standard Windows icons remain in the top left of the screen. Any other icons added by program installation or you added your self will be arranged in alphabetical order right under and to the right of the standard Windows icons.
If you have not edited the name of your desktop shortcuts you created yourself, then all the Shortcut to icons will be bunched together.
Arrange Icons By Type
Left clicking the Type menu item under Arrange Icons By will sort your icons by type, putting the applications first, right under the Windows default desktop icons.
Arranging by type would be useful to group all like icons together. i.e. all your Excel file types would be together, all your web page desktop shortcuts would be together, etc.
With Auto Arrange selected in the Arrange Icons By menu, if you wish to move icons around on your desktop (e.g. manually sort the icons into groups) you will find that Windows wants to pull it back over to the right and to the end of the group of icons it created. Frustrating! But you can arrange the icons any way you want…
To arrange the icons in any order or on any spot on the desktop, deselect Auto Arrange from the Arrange Icons By menu. Now grab the icon with your mouse and drag it anywhere you want on the desktop.
Align to Grid
By default Align to Grid is selected. This forces the desktop shortcuts to align to Windows predetermined grid on the desktop.
When you drag an icon to another spot on the desktop, it will snap to the closest grid spot thus creating typical spacing between icons both vertically and horizontally.
If this isn’t working out to your satisfaction, deselect the Align to Grid item in the Arrange Icons By menu, and then you can put the icons anywhere you like. With Align to Grid deselected you can put the icons closer together if you wish.
Show Desktop Icons
If for some reason your desktop icons have disappeared, select the Show Desktop Icons item in the Arrange Icons By menu. Your screen will flash and the icons will reappear.
Arranging desktop shortcuts is great way to keep your desktop icons sorted and organized. Play with the Arrange Icons By options and see which arrangement works for you.