tech tips for writers / writers tips

Tech Tip for Writers #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up

tech tipsTech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q:  I have several kids/students who share the same computer. Kids being kids loving moving the icons around on the desktop. Sometimes they create the first letter of their name in icons. It’s cute, but makes it difficult for the next student to find the shortcut they need. What’s the best way to handle this?

A:  I’ve tried everything. Refusing to allow them to play doesn’t work and asking them to undo their play at the end of their time doesn’t either. The best solution is to teach all students how to organize their desktop:

  • If you’re in Windows, right click on the desktop
  • Select ‘arrange icons’
  • Pick ‘sort by’ and ‘type’

This can be part of the start-up maintenance when they sit down to begin class. They’ve learned a new skill. They feel empowered to solve their own problems. Life is good.

Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.coman Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab.

9 thoughts on “Tech Tip for Writers #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up

    • That’s a great idea–even simpler for new techies. I can’t have students store shortcuts on the desktop because a reboot washes them out. They are encouraged to save them either as Favorites on the browser or to their digital lockers.

      This is something I haven’t talked to my students about for a while. Thanks for the reminder, El Guapo–and thanks for dropping by.


      • I like my desktop nice and clean. I usually pick one of my favorite pictures to put there and I like to see it unobstructed. When I had my PC I put the bar that’s usually at the bottom of the scream over on the side (right click on it and you can lock it or unlock it) Once it’s unlocked, you can drag it to one side or the other. I use a MAC now and I still do that. The difference between the two is that you can show all your desktop files on the bar if it’s a PC (I miss that feature), and once your bar is locked again, they can’t be moved around. You can even right click on them and see their contents so you don’t have to open a file and then open a document (or however many steps you have to go to get to what you want. Showing the kids how to unlock the bar would totally defeat your nice clean desk top. You don’t have to move the bar to the side but what with the names of the files being horizontal, they take up less room that way. You can select the size of the icon and such too. Oh and to complete the process right click on the desktop itself and hide all the files, and on the bar you’ll need to show all the files. It’s been a couple years since I’ve played with that on my PC so I might have forgotten something. If you have troubles just ask, I’ll probably remember.


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