What to Do When Fences Forgets Your Icon Layout

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You're familiar with Fences, right? I've written countless gushing things about it, both here and in the print editions of PC World. It's one of my all-time favorite freebies, and the only tool I'll use to organize my Windows desktop.

But it's not perfect. This morning, for example, I was greeted by a decidedly unorganized Windows desktop: Fences had left the barn doors open, so to speak, and my icons were running loose all over. The "fenced" areas themselves were still there, but the icons were no longer corralled inside them.

This has happened a few times before, for reasons I can't explain. And it's a huge pain in the neck, requiring a good 10 minutes or so to get everything back the way I like it.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to recover from "forgotten" fences: make a backup of your layout. Here's how:

1. Right-click any open area on your desktop, then choose Configure Fences.

2. Click the Tools button.

3. Under the Snapshots (Backups) window, click Take Snapshot.

4. Give the snapshot a name if you wish (e.g. "Rick's Super-Awesome Desktop), or just use the default date-stamp.

5. Click OK and you're done!

Now, if you ever lose your layout, just return to the Tools setting, click the thumbnail of the snapshot you just saved, and then click Restore Snapshot. Easy-peasy!

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