Why does my Windows desktop always reset itself?

(This only happens on my computer at work, not on my laptop or my computer at home.)

I like to have my icons arranged a certain way so I can find stuff (read: I’m anal retentive). Whenever I restart my computer or log off and back on, the auto arrange kicks in lines them all up on the left hand side. Also my toolbars disappear. I don’t restart too often, but I do often enough that it’s a pain in the ass. Is there a setting somewhere that I just can’t seem to find that’ll fix this?

I’d hazard a guess that your work techs have set up the network to pull down a fresh logon profile each time you log on, using active directory or similar. This means your desktop will look the way they want it to, not how you want it.

If this is the case, you are SOL unless you either want to do a bit of semi-serious hacking or bribe them with beer to give you a ‘special’ logon account that avoids all the corporate hoo-ha.

I don’t think it’s any kind of global setting. I’m the only person in my department with this problem. Also, the laptop I mentioned earlier is owned by my company and set up by the same people.

Right click on the desktop and select “Arrange Icons By” and make sure there are no checks by Name, Size, Type or Modified.

…and also un-check “Auto-Arrange”. “Snap to grid” is optional – not sure how free-form your desktop layout is. You called this feature by its real name, so I assume you’ve already tried that, but that’s how you turn it off.

I think slaphead’s right. It sounds like your network admins are using Windows’ Group Policy feature. It can be applied per-user or per-machine, which could explain why your laptop is not affected.

I have that turned that off, but it turns itself back on when I restart. I have a hard time believing that my network admins would care if I had my desktop autoarranged or not.

Network admins may very well care how you have your desktop arranged. Standardization helps if you’re supporting a large number of users. For example, the instruction to “Double-click your Network Neighbourhood icon” might be hard to follow if the user has moved or deleted that icon.