Desktop icons moving to monitor 2

I have two monitors on my Windows 10 PC - monitor 1 (on the right) is a 32" set to 1920x1080 resolution and a monitor 2 (on the left) is a 17" set to 1280x1024 resolution.  I have extended the desktop over both monitors with the right-hand one (monitor 1) being the main monitor that has the desktop icons on it, stacked vertically along the left-hand edge of the desktop.  This all works beautifully except that after waking my PC from sleep mode, my icons always move to part-way across monitor 2 (about 2 thirds from the left) and I have to move them back manually.

I've tried every sort of configuration I can think of to prevent this but nothing works.  This aggravates me in the extreme as I always have windows open covering every inch of my extended desktop apart from the bit where the icons normally reside so I have to keep minimising things so I can move them back, otherwise I can't get to them in a hurry (if a customer calls with an emergency).

I'm thinking that maybe on waking, the PC sees monitor 2 before monitor 1 and gets confused as to which is the primary monitor but if that really were the case, I'd expect the icons to be positioned on the left of monitor 2, not just hanging around in the middle somewhere.  

Has anybody else seen this and perhaps solved it?

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Hi Jim,


Have you made any recent changes before encountering this issue?

We'll wait for your response.

Regards.

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Hi Ruth,

I don't recall this problem arising after any changes to my PC except that it wasn't a problem before I upgraded from W7 to W10.  As far as I remember, it has always done it on W10.

I've been expecting one of the many, lengthy W10 updates to fix it as there must be plenty of people with the same issue but it still does it.  I can reproduce the fault simply by switching my monitors off and waiting a few minutes.

Regards,

Jim.

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This issue might occur if the "Auto Arrange Icons" option has been checked.

Let's try to uncheck this option and then arranged the icons by grid and check if the issue persists.

  1. Right-click on an empty space on the Desktop, click on View.
  2. Uncheck the option Auto Arrange Icons.
  3. Check the option for Align the icons to grid.

Let us know how it goes.

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Hi Ruth,

Thanks for the suggestion but I'm afraid I already had the desktop set up with "Auto arrange icons" unchecked and "Align icons to grid" checked; I have had it set like that for months.

To expand on the issue, the desktop windows I leave open also rearrange themselves into an area that represents a smaller desktop than that which is configured.  Again, this is possibly because when waking up, the smaller monitor 2 desktop seems to come alive first so all the windows appear there before being moved back when monitor 1 wakes up, at which point all windows (even the monitor 2 ones) are moved onto monitor 1.  I've never worried too much about the windows because I have a third-party program that will move them all back, but not the icons, sadly.

Regards,

Jim.

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Hi Jim,

For possible resolution, we suggest that you perform a clean boot. It will start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs.

Let us know how it goes.

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Hi Michael,

I tried a clean boot but I'm afraid it hasn't solved the problem.  Now, the icons move slightly further to the right on monitor 2 and are slightly spaced out for some reason.

Regards,

Jim.

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Hello Jim,

We suggest that you boot the computer in Safe Mode and check if you will experience the same issue. Please follow the instructions provided on this link to start your PC in Safe Mode.

Keep us posted.

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Hi Charianne,

I've tried this but unfortunately the system does now allow me to extend the desktop on a second monitor when in safe mode so there is no way that the icons could move there.

Regards,

Jim.

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To isolate the issue, let's perform an SFC (System File Check) scan on the computer. This will scan any corruptions in Windows systems files and repair it. Once done scanning the computer, do a clean boot again to refresh your system.

We're looking forward to your response.

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Hi Jim,

I have the same problem and I found something interesting.  I am on a Surface Pro 3 with very high resolution and connected to an external at standard 1080p (19    .  After trying all the different 'icon' alignment techniques I changed the 'size' of them.  And Voila!  Small desktop icons all stayed on the primary, medium were split and large were mostly on the secondary.  Not really a solution but...

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Last updated May 12, 2022 Views 74,760 Applies to: