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Stop icons rearranging when screen resolution changes

Help for if your laptop’s desktop icons move around when you change the screen resolution, attached a second monitor or use a projector.

QUESTION I have two laptops – an HP and a Lenovo. The first of these runs Windows 7 64-bit, while the Lenovo is running Windows 8.1 64-bit.

I’ve always found that when I connect an external monitor or projector and reset the screen resolution to 1024×768, all the shortcut icons rearrange themselves on the internal screen.

What annoys me is that having disconnected the external display and reset the internal screen to its original higher resolution, the shortcuts remain in their new positions – columns down the left side of the screen.

Is there any way of making them return to my chosen positions? I like to have all PC-related icons on the left, my Microsoft Office ones in the top right, photographic applications down the bottom-right corner, and one or two others dotted about for Outlook, Roxio CD burning, and so on.

If not, then I guess I will have to put up with it – I had the same problem when running Windows XP.

HELPROOM ANSWER There’s a small utility called IconRestorer designed to do this. A freeware version is available from, which will do exactly what you want. You can arrange your icons as you wish and then click the ‘Save current desktop layout’ button to record their positions. You can type a note to go along with the layout to help you manage multiple layouts.

It also has the option to restore your icon layout automatically whenever your screen resolution changes. This should mean that when you unplug your external display, your original icon layout will be restored for you. A paid-for version is also available, which adds extra features, such as automatically saving your layouts for you and repairing the Windows icon cache, should it become corrupted.

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