DesktopOK: automatically save and restore your desktop icon positions with this tiny app


Do you have a lot of icons on your desktop? Are your icons carefully placed according to some sort of personal scheme or system? Are you annoyed every so often when an event, such as a resolution change or a Windows update, completely messes up your desktop icon placements?

DesktopOK is a free app that can save and restore your desktop icon positions. What makes this one special, however, is that it can run in the background and take “snapshots” of your desktop icons at a set schedule, say every hour or so (better yet, it can be instructed to take these snapshots only if it detects a change).

DesktopOK has a lightweight memory footprint, is portable, and is available for 32bit as well as natively for 64bit systems.

While there are a number of free programs that can save and restore your desktop icon positions for you, DesktopOK, as mentioned above, has the added benefit of staying in memory and

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

periodically saving snapshots of your icon placements. What this means is that when you actually need to restore your icons to the correct placement you are likely to find an automatically saved snapshot from, say, yesterday, instead of using the manually saved icon placement from two weeks ago.

More info as follows:

  • Two ways to save/restore icons: you can either add the current icon layout as an entry in the DesktopOK interface (whereby it will be saved to an .INI file in the same directory as the executable), or otherwise save straight to disk as a .BOK file.
  • Auto save: as mentioned previously, can be scheduled (for example once a day, every hour, every 6 hours, or every 15 minutes). You can also choose, when performing a scheduled save, to only save icon a new icon layout if it detects a change from the previous layout.
  • Optional Save/Restore on shutdown or startup.
  • Memory footprint: a lightweight 3 megs
  • Portable: yes indeed.
  • DesktopOK Systray ScreenshotExtra functionality: the option to tile or cascade open windows via the system tray icon. I don’t usually like random functions tacked on that are unrelated to the main function, but in this case I must admit I like it. See screenshots to the right.
  • Works with virtual desktop software: specifically Dexpot, which I use and which allows icon configurations specific to each virtual desktop.

The verdict: an awesome program. Not only is it extremely low on memory use, but the scheduled icon snapshots taking place in the background is an excellent functionality that many similar apps do not offer (certainly not the couple of similar programs that I reviewed previously on Freewaregenius). A winner!

Version Tested: 1.86

Compatibility: WinAll. 32 bit and native 64 bit versions available.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 40K).

  • JK III

    I would also recommend this. I have been using it for quite a time now and it has come handy whenever my icons got messed up due to changing resolutions, or in one case, by a wise-guy who apparently knew how to “auto-arrange” icons. 🙂

    Although it takes 3 megs, it doesn’t need to be kept running in the background, and takes up negligible disk space.

  • Lovesflsun

    Not to say my way is the best, but I use “Arrange by…Modified” therefore I know what I was working on last. Simple and to the point!

  • Calm Dog

    A very simple, in fact bare-bones, app I’ve used for years is Icon Restore . Once installed, it adds two options to the context menu of all system icons – “Save desktop icon layout” and “Restore desktop icon layout”. It’s tiny, rock-solid, resource-lean, and completely unobtrusive. It doesn’t have all (any) of the cool features of DesktopOK, but it does what it does perfectly.

  • Samer

    @ Calm Dog: thanks for the tip. I must say having the save/restore function in the context menu somehow makes a lot of sense. I used Desksave for a long time which was similar to icon restore(

    Unfortunately with Win7 64bit being my current OS these apps no longer show in the context menu (and anyway I am liking DesktopOK best). But Icon Restore at least has a way to uninstall the context menu entries, which I discovered was not the case for Desksave.

  • most annoying desktop wreakage is when dragging folder across desktop, when windows instead creates a “toolbar” (on display edge nearest to your imprecise folder drop)

    desksave works well. now using ver 7.?? was also good.
    start it up, do commands, then shutdown from systray contextclick.

  • Karthik T

    try Its a more elegant option to achieve the same goal imo.

  • Joshua

    I hide my desktop icons, but i stack ’em to RocketDock, so i can run the icon without have to see my desktop (through floating dock)