How to undo ‘auto arrange icons’ in Windows and restore the previous arrangement

The Question: What can I do if I accidently clicked on Auto arrange icons on the desktop? How can I revert it? I liked the previous arrangement so much. I got used to it. Here is the solution on how to undo Auto arrage icons on the desktop. It works in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7. 

Let’s say you have the usual arrangement of icons:

desktop icons arrangement

And some day you accidently clicked on Auto arrange icons in the View setting:

auto-arrange icons on the desktop

How to undo auto arrange icons in Windows 10, 8, 7

The most important thing: do not sign out of your account and do not reboot or powerdown your computer!

Step 1. Launch the Task Manager:

task manager windows 10

Step 2. Go to Details tab (or Processes tab for Windows 7 and earlier versions)

Step 3. Find Explorer.exe in the list. Right-click on it and select End process tree:

end process tree

Step 4. Confirm by clicking on End process tree:

end process tree explorer confirm

Step 5. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Step 6. Select Task Manager:

ctrl alt del task manager

Step 7. Click File  Run new task:

task manager run new task

Step 8. Type explorer and hit Enter:

create new task explorer

That’s it! Now you should be able to see the result.

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