How To: Restore your desktop icon layout on Windows

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Pretty much any Windows user has a custom desktop icon layout – even those that seem chaotic in nature still have some logic behind.  There are many causes that can change the desktop layout such as pressing Auto Arrange by accident or plugging in a different monitor.

If you suddenly wake up to realize your desktop layout is jumbled, no need to panic. We’re going to show you a quick and easy method that lets you restore your desktop icon layout on Windows computers.

Easily restore your desktop icon layout on Windows

Right click on the Start button and select ‘Run’ or simply press Win+R. Now type the following command:

tskill explorer

….then press Enter.

estore your desktop icon layout on Windows

This command will kill the Explorer process and restart it. This should bring back your original desktop layout.

Technically the desktop icon layout is preserved in the memory until you log off so you can terminate the current Explorer session and restore the data saved in the registry.

Keep in mind this only works if the changes to your icon layout are performed during the current session. If for example you restart your computer or log off and then back in, this method will not work anymore.

restore your desktop icon layout on Windows

Also, those using Windows 10 can simply open the Task Manager and restart Explorer from there. The result will be the same as the above-mentioned command line.

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