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Saving and Restoring the Desktop

by Alan German

In the past I have used the IconRestorer utility (see Keeping Your Icons Straight) to save snapshots of the icon layout on my desktop, and to restore my preferred layout when this became disrupted. However, under Windows 10, I found that IconRestorer didn’t necessarily restore the precise layout that I had spent time carefully arranging. So, it was time to seek out a new program to accomplish the desired effect.

Enter Desktop Restore, a simple utility that hooks into Windows and provides an entry in the context menu when right-clicking on the desktop (see screenshot).

The basic use of the utility couldn’t be much simpler. Select “Save Desktop...” to store a snapshot of the current icon layout, or “Restore Desktop” to reinstate the icon layout in accordance with the saved settings. Confirm taking the snapshot, by clicking OK, and the rest of the “magic” occurs in the background, requiring no further thought on the part of the user. And, the utility certainly seems to work as advertised.

There are more flexible modes of use. For example, the “Custom Layout Save/Restore” option provides the ability to manage multiple snapshots. An individual layout may be saved to a Desktop Restore (.dtr) file, and saved layouts may be restored or deleted.

There are a couple of additional features. The “Highlight Unmatched Icons” menu entry will identify icons that have been added to the desktop layout subsequent to the restored snapshot having been taken. And, several settings may be customized, but their features (i.e. host in the cascade or main menu) do not appear to be documented.

However, the basic usage of save a layout and restore the layout seem perfectly adequate in my case.

Bottom Line:

Desktop Restore (Freeware)
Jamie O'Connell
Version 1.7.0

Originally published: September 2018

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