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Arranging desktop icons alphebatically

by grandpaw7 / November 14, 2004 2:17 AM PST

There may be others besides me that want all their desktop folders arranged in one alphabetical set, but find that they are in two alphabetical sets.

I learned that the reason my desktop icons were in two alphabetical sets is that in XP there is a desktop folder for All Users, and separate desktop folders for each of the individual users, and the icons in the All Users folder are first arranged alphabetically and then the icons in the other folders are separately arranged alphabetically. So, in order to have just one alphabetical set, all the desktop icons need to be in the same folder.

I chose to put all my desktop icons in my individual folder by going to Explorer, displaying the icons in the All Users desktop folder, and dragging them to my individual desktop folder. Then, when I clicked to have them arranged by Name, I had only one set of alphabetically arranged icons on my desktop. That is, except for the few that MS has put first and that are exempt from being rearranged.

I am interested in being sure that newbies understand my explanation. So, if you don't, I would appreciate your letting us know. For example, if there is some part of the process you are not sure of, such as how to move the icons from one folder to another, please let us know so that I, or someone smarter than I, can fill you in.

Thank you, grandpaw

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by Kees Bakker / November 14, 2004 7:02 AM PST

Grandpaw,

That certainly works, but if there are multiple users on the PC, they would each have to do a copy like that before you can delete the 'all users' shortcuts.

An alternative might be to disable the automatic column by column arrangement on the desktop, and drag the icons around as you like them: alphabetically for you, grouped by function for another user, chronologically for a third or neatly in a circle around the picture of your grandchildren in the middle of the desktop.
Personally I prefer a logically grouped arrangement above an alphabetical one. All icons regarding my work at the right, MS Office left of the middle, Internet related things on the upper right, etc. I would find the alphabetic order very annoying, because adding one single item would change the location of the bottom icon in column 2 to the the top position of column 3, which I think is very confusing. You get used to where things are, just as I can find things in a cupboard, or on my real desktop for that matter (printer on the right).

But everybody may have his preferences. And for you, your method is undoubtedly the best, or you wouldn't have presented it here. And you learned me something about how Windows works (believe it or not, but it's 100% true). I'll have a look at the students computers at school to see if they are really alphabetical. I've never even wondered, because the first thing I do with a new computer (but I don't get them often ...) is rearrange the desktop.

It might be interesting if other people tell about their favorite arrangement.

Regards,

Kees

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphabetically
by dcmorris / November 14, 2004 10:45 AM PST

Personally I like the alphabetical arrangement. However, I further minimizing their numbers by inserting them in another folder. For instance I have a folder icon with my icons then another for my wife's. I have another for my games. This reduces the clutter on my desktop.

DC

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 15, 2004 7:56 AM PST

Well!!

I never knew that Grandpaw. I knew there was more than one destop folder, one for Administrator, one for me, as the named user, and I believe, one for All Users". I have now found another for "Default user".

Nice of Microsoft to intentionally confuse an already confusing system.

But I never knew that if you arranged the desktop icons alphabetically, you would get 2 different alpha lists. Weird.

I'm a bit similar as Kees, but lazier. I have arranged my desktop according to how far I can reach my mouse up or down, Happy

I have web page builder applications and graphic applications on the left, Internet connection applications, (IE, Netscape, ISP, Mail), up top, players on the right, (media player, DivX player and so on), and a few odd ones dotted around. I do have a folder on my desktop, for my games shortcuts).

But it's how people prefer to organise thier desktop, and what they feel comfortable with that matters.

Mark

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by roddy32 / November 15, 2004 8:17 AM PST

I've got mine half on the left side and half on the right side so as not to block the picture of the pretty girl that I have as wallpaper. Grin

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 15, 2004 8:23 AM PST

Tut tut!!


Mark
Happy

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by roddy32 / November 15, 2004 8:44 AM PST

You would rearrange your icons for this girl too Mark. She's a 30 year old friend and gorgeous,not that this has anything to do with Grandpaw's question. LOL

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Thanks For The Info Grandpaw, But Gees...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 15, 2004 9:28 AM PST

...how many icons do you guys have on your desktop?

On my work computer, I have 8. On my home computer, I have about 10. I find that there's no need to arrange them any manner other than those I use most are closest to the middle.

I guess it's a personal thing, but I don't like all that "stuff" on the desktop. I place a few of the most used icons on the desktop and the rest I delete. The Start-Programs menu then works when I need it.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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How about sixty?
by grandpaw7 / November 15, 2004 12:10 PM PST

Because of memory problems, and because it seems to work for me, I now have sixty, but I'm aiming for seventy-five so my desktop will match my age. I kind of like it; it makes me look busy and successful, and it reminds of my desk back when I had a job. I should get rid of several of them but I'm afraid to; everytime I get rid of something I need it the next day. I know that I could store them in a folder and put a shortcut to the folder on the desktop, and I sometimes think about doing that, but then there are so many things I think about doing. However, I may get rid of some just to make room for a pretty girl. Anyhow, if you think my desktop is cluttered, you should see my bedroom. grandpaw

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(NT) (NT) I Love It !
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 15, 2004 12:54 PM PST
In reply to: How about sixty?
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QuickLaunch, QuickLaunch, QuickLaunch LOL
by TONI H / November 15, 2004 9:01 PM PST

Get them all off the desktop and into QL by expanding the taskbar to be deeper, arrange as you want, then set the taskbar at the top of the screen and autohide it (leaving it at the bottom causes it to pop open when you are scrolling on the net pages because your mouse gets too close to the taskbar).

When I save my stuff to cd to use for retrieval for backups, I always include my QL folder so I can just bring all of my icons back too.

TONI

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(NT) (NT) Same arragment as Toni.. total of 18
by billzhills / November 16, 2004 4:55 AM PST
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(NT) (NT) 99 total currently here, 5 deep taskbar
by TONI H / November 16, 2004 5:15 AM PST
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Re: Thanks For The Info Grandpaw, But Gees...
by SumerBrez / December 7, 2004 4:00 PM PST

Hi Grif..I was wondering the same thing..I only have icons on 'desktop' that I use all the time. A big total of ( 4 ).
I have friends that actually have their whole screen covered with them..Guess its a prefrence... I never did mind going to 'All Programs' or 'signing in' each time i enter a site either(keep cache/cookies cleaned out daily)..Way I was taught early on.. *S*
some things just dont change. lol

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by pjc865 / November 19, 2004 9:24 PM PST

I have a new laptop with Windows XP. I try to arrange my icons on the desktop the way I want them, but XP keeps putting them back in alphabetical order in columns when I start up again. I have unchecked everything on the "arrange icons by" except "show icons". What can I do to make my icons stay put?

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by roddy32 / November 19, 2004 11:08 PM PST

The ONLY two things that have check marked on mine are "Show desktop items" and "align to grid" and they stay where I put them. Try that and see if it works for you.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by pjc865 / November 20, 2004 12:19 AM PST

Nope, that didn't work...

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by glb613 / November 20, 2004 1:26 AM PST

Have you tried sort by name?

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by pjc865 / November 20, 2004 5:50 AM PST

I don't want to sort by name. I want some of my icons on the left side of the screen and some on top of the screen and some on the right side of the screen. Everytime I log back on it re-arranges the icons into columns on the left side of the screen.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by roddy32 / November 20, 2004 6:00 AM PST

By logging back on, do you mean signing off and signing back on or rebooting? Sometimes you have to reboot to save settings, especially when there is no "apply" button as there is not in this case.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by pjc865 / November 20, 2004 8:00 AM PST

When I reboot, the desktop comes up looking like the way I arranged it then in a few seconds it re-arranges the icons.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by roddy32 / November 20, 2004 8:07 AM PST

That sounds more like a virus or spyware problem to me if they are moving around on their own.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by glb613 / November 20, 2004 8:43 AM PST

Have you unchecked auto arrange or arrange by grid? If so, then you need to check for spyware or other malware.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by pjc865 / November 20, 2004 10:29 AM PST

I did uncheck those. It is a new laptop (1 week old) and I have Norton Antivirus and Zonealarm Pro. It has behved like this from day one...

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by glb613 / November 20, 2004 8:02 PM PST

Norton and ZoneAlarm Pro aren't enough. Download, install, update and run Spybot and AdAware. Delete anything they find. I also use Spyware Blaster to prevent spyware from getting on my computer in the first place. It works great. If your computer is clean and the icons still won't stay put, I don't know what could be causing it.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by dleathe / January 8, 2008 1:57 PM PST

I have the same problem on two different company laptops. The icons don't always rearrange but it sure is irritating when they do. Auto-arrange is not checked, both computers have good virus/firewall protection, I've run Adaware and Spybot multiple times, etc. etc. It is just like Windows XP loses the desktop arrangement and defaults to alphabetical.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by N5RDC / December 5, 2004 11:06 AM PST

Right-click on a blank area of your desktop and select "Arrange Icons By", and you will be presented with several options - selecting "By Name" will arrange them alphabetically.

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Re: Arranging desktop icons alphebatically
by keyhoti2 / December 5, 2004 11:22 AM PST

Maybe I'm missing something - a brain maybe - but (admittedly I don't have many desktop icons) I just move them around at will - actually in categories of function - by just holding down left-click and shifting them wherever.

Surely each user simply needs to arrange icons by the above means according to individual preferences? That doesn't interfere with anyone elses desktop.

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