As Windows 10 is frequently upgraded, instability or oddities of one kind or another happen from time to time. Some users find that sometimes after restarting Windows 10, the desktop icons keep rearranging and moving around, and the original desktop layout is disrupted. If you are unfortunate enough to encounter this situation, you can try some of the following solutions.
1. Use Desktop Icon Arrange command
First of all, try to use the desktop right-click menu icon arrangement related commands. Right-click the desktop blank space, under the “View” menu, make sure the “Automatically align icons” and “Align icons with grid” options are unchecked by clicking on them ( Figure 1).
2. Reset the system icon cache file
The desktop icons may also be caused by problems with the system icon cache file, which can be solved by resetting the system icon cache file. The system icon cache file IconCache.db is located under “C:Users<Current User Name>AppDataLocal”, which is an implicit file. If you find the file after entering the directory, delete it, and then restart Windows, the system will automatically rebuild the icon cache file (Figure 2).
3. Update the official display driver
Problems with the display device driver may also cause desktop display problems. Please update the graphics display device driver to the latest version from the official hardware website. You can also fix it by updating the display device driver in Device Manager, or by removing the display device first, then refreshing and reinstalling the display driver. To do this, right-click the Start button and select “Device Manager”, then expand the “Display Adapters” branch, select the display adapter item, right-click and select “Update Driver ” (must be in the network state); or click “uninstall device” first, and then refresh the device driver list, so that the system automatically scan the display driver and install (Figure 3).
4. Changing to a different display resolution
Changing the display resolution setting may also affect the normal display of desktop icons. To do this, right-click on the desktop margin and select “Display Settings” from the pop-up menu (Figure 4).
Afterwards, see if the desktop icons return to normal after changing the display resolution or display percentage by selecting different data in the “Resolution” drop-down list or by selecting the percentage in the “Change the size of text, applications, etc.” list (Figure 5).
5. Stop the theme from changing the desktop icons
If an inappropriate theme is used in the system, it may also cause the desktop display to be confusing. In this case, you need to prevent the system theme from changing the desktop icons through the settings. How to do this: Through the system settings window, select “Personalization → Themes”, and then click “Desktop Icon Settings” in the right pane (Figure 6).
In the Desktop Icon Settings window that then appears, uncheck the “Allow themes to change desktop icons” option in the lower left corner and click “OK” (Figure 7).
6. Trial and error through clean boot state
If all the above operations do not work, you can try to test and try one by one through a clean boot to find out where the problem occurs. To do this, first launch the “Run” dialog box by Win+R key combination and execute MSCONFIG system command to enter the system configuration window. In the “Selective Boot” grouping under the “General” tab, unselect “Load Boot Items” and ensure that “Use Original Boot configuration” and “Load system services” are selected (Figure 8).
Switch to the “Services” tab and check the “Hide all Microsoft services” option at the bottom; for the other services shown in the list, click the “Disable all” button to disable them (Figure 9). After clicking “Apply” and OK, Windows starts in a pure manner. Later, you can find out which service is causing the desktop confusion by trying to open non-system services one by one and start them to the desktop.
7. Restore the layout with third-party software
In addition, we can also use third-party software to make a backup of desktop icons in order to restore them when they are messed up. This is a “conservative treatment”. First of all, you can use DesktopOK software to save the desktop icon layout, run the software and click “Save” on the toolbar; when the desktop icon problem occurs, click the “Restore” button to restore the previous icon (Figure 10). In addition, you can also choose another software D-Color to save and restore the icon layout.