How to force Windows to save desktop icon positions?

As an IT administrator, it can be a challenge to keep the desktop icons of one’s users in the same place. This can be especially true when the user has to switch between different profiles or when the computer is rebooted. Fortunately, there is a way to make sure that the desktop icons of a user remain in the same place, no matter what happens.

The key to this problem is to use the Windows registry. The registry is a database that stores settings and other information about the computer and its programs. In the registry, there is a key that stores the locations of the desktop icons. By editing this key, it is possible to force Windows to save the icon positions.

The first step is to open the registry editor. This can be done by typing “regedit” into the run command. Once the editor is open, navigate to the following key:


Once this key is open, create a new string value by right-clicking and selecting “New > String Value”. Name this value “Desktop”.

Next, right-click “Desktop” and select “Modify”. In the “Value Data” field, type in the path to the folder that contains the user’s desktop icons. For example, if the user’s desktop icons are located in the “C:\\Documents and Settings\\Username\\Desktop” folder, then the path would be “C:\\Documents and Settings\\Username\\Desktop”.

Once this is done, close the registry editor and restart the computer. This will force Windows to save the icon positions. From now on, when the user switches profiles or the computer is rebooted, the desktop icons will remain in the same place.

It is important to note that this method only works for Windows XP and earlier versions. In newer versions of Windows, the registry key that stores the icon positions is different. Additionally, this method will not work if the user has enabled the automatic sorting of the desktop icons.

In conclusion, it is possible to force Windows to save the desktop icon positions by editing the registry key. This is a useful tool for IT administrators who want to make sure that their users’ desktop icons remain in the same place, no matter what happens.

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