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  • Extend display – desktop icons randomised

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 10 » Questions: Win10 » Extend display – desktop icons randomised

    Topic Resolution: Resolved
    • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago.

    I use a Dell Latitude E5570, with an E-dock, bought it in Jan-17.  When docked, I use a VGA display (Display 1).  With only one display connected, I have the same desktop icons displayed as on the laptop, in identical positions.  For a particular purpose, I wanted to connect a second VGA display (Display 2) to the E-dock, and tried to extend the display.  The Latitude has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768; both VGAs are 1920 x 1080.  Obviously, if the desktop on the laptop takes the full screen, it takes less than the full screen on the VGAs.

    With both displays connected, the desktop icons ended up all over the place.  A few icons were on Display 2, the icons on the Display 1 desktop bore no relation to how they were displayed (a) on the laptop, or (b) on Display 1 alone, docked.  Disconnect Display 2, and the desktop on Display 1 reverted to my normal layout.  Replace Display 1 with Display 2, and again the desktop was the normal layout.  It was ONLY with both displays connected that the desktop icons were randomised.

    With both displays connected, I did it the hard way, dragging-and-dropping the desktop icons to the normal layout, then right-click Refresh.  My ideal would be to have my normal desktop layout on Display 1, and a blank desktop on Display 2.  I tried doing a restart from a state where my icons were where I wanted them to be, thought that the restart would bring the desktop the way that I wanted it.  But, no!

    Has anyone experienced this?  What can I do to impose “my” desktop arrangement?  I find other people posting the same problem, but no very obvious solution.  Others sound as frustrated as I feel.

    Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

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    • #2403766

      Enjoying the fun of intelligent drivers? From what I recall you need to drag the numbered screens on the intel app layout page so the numbers there match those shown on the same screen position using the “identify monitor” button.

      That done I think the other cause of the pain is the monitor you’ve added is set as an extended desktop off one of the existing displays – you need to change its use from extend my desktop to discrete display (which you might even be able to resolve through the Windows key and P interface?)

      The final bugbear here is when a display port is allocated to a new screen (by the driver plug and playing a change of monitor often) the resolution jumps around until the setting is right for your display hardware when driving two monitors, and at each jump any icon which would be off the screen is moved – depending on how icon arrangement has been done. If “auto arrange icons” is ticked on the desktop right click menu, icons on the extended display may be swept back to the parent display until that is filled, if not the icons roll around the edges of the screen until a space is found, which is less problematic but equally bizarre to work with sometimes.

      These describe how someone who has added a screen finds the displays are the wrong way around, swaps the monitor connectors as that doesn’t involve rebuilding the desk, and finds they have the same displays on the same screens, but now apps open on the other monitor.. until a reboot..

      Turn off auto arrange icons and set it up and then don’t touch it is my only suggestion, and in alignment with the general Askwoody theme having sorted the device drivers for the display be very cautious around letting them update for frivolous reasons.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2403797

      I use the Fences app from stardock to keep things aligned.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2403863

      Thank you, oldguy, and thank you, Susan

      I did find this thread on Microsoft Community, started in Oct-13, still alive currently, full of people posting more or less the same issue, and frustrated that MS shows no sign of wanting to address their concerns: Desktop icons move from main screen to extended screen monitor.

      Susan – more than one contributor mentioned Stardock Fences, and I was about to pony up their £ 5.99 (US$ 8.00-ish) when I came across Icon Shepherd, which is free for personal use.

      It seems to have been a very simple answer to what should not have been a complex problem.  I’ll post again if anything goes awry.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      • #2403874

        Sometimes you just stop beating your head against the wall and find another solution.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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