How to organize your Windows Desktop for maximum efficiency

If you’re at all like me (or my mum) – your Windows desktop can quickly become cluttered with shortcuts and files. Using Stardock Fences you can not only organize your desktop for maximum efficiency (makes finding programs/files a snap) – it makes your desktop look great. This tutorial will guide you through setting up and using Fences.

  1. As you can see in the screenshot below, a Windows desktop can often become cluttered with icons, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for.

  2. click to enlarge

  3. That’s where Fences comes in. First up, a download Stardock Fences. The installation is very straight forward – you’ll mostly click “Next” a bunch of times. At the end of the installation you’ll get a Welcome to Fences! window. Click the large Start using Fences! button.
  4. On the Choose layout screen, click the Just create a couple fences button – we’ll add more further in this tutorial.

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  6. You’ll notice two new “boxes” (fences) in the bottom right corner of your Windows desktop. One will be titled Project 1, the other Project 2. Don’t worry, we’ll be renaming these in a few moments.
  7. At this point you may also get a message asking if you’d like to open the Fences Settings. Click the Open Fences Settings button to do so.
  8. For the moment, we’re going to ignore the Fences Settings. Just move this window to the side.

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  10. Right-click somewhere in the Project 1 background, and select Rename Fence….
  11. Change the name from Project 1 to something more appropriate for the icons you’ll “store” in this location. I’m going to put all the program shortcuts to my games in this Fence, so I named it Games.
  12. Now drag and drop all the icons you want to store in this Fence into it. As seen in the screenshot below, I moved all my game shortcuts into it.
  13. Repeat the steps above to rename Project 2, then drag and drop the icons into it. In the example below, I created one titled Documents, and this is where I store all my MS Word docs, Excel docs, text files and PDFs. When you add a lot of icons to a Fence, you’ll notice that a scroll bar appears.
  14. If you don’t want to scroll through a Fence to find the icon/file you’re looking for, move your cursor to the top of that Fence and it will turn into a “double-arrow”.
  15. Drag the “double-arrow” and your Fence will increase in size. You can make Fences larger both vertically and horizontally – whatever you prefer. Once the Fence is larger, the scroll bar will disappear and all of your shortcuts/files will be visible.
  16. You can also re-arrange Fences, or move them to an entirely different area on your Desktop, by hovering your mouse over the “Title Bar” of that fence until your cursor turns into the “4-arrow” version (see screenshot below). Then just click and drag the Fence to the location you’d like it to be in.
  17. If you still have the Fences Settings window open, skip down to step #15. Otherwise, right-click on a Fence, and select Edit Fences…
  18. From here you can adjust the settings for your Fences and get help on things like creating new Fences, customizing the label appearances, and changing the background color, level of transparency, etc.

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  20. Speaking of creating new Fences… It’s actually very simple. Click any blank area of your Desktop with your right mouse button, and draw a rectangle. When you let go of the cursor, a Create new Fence here link will appear. Select it.
  21. Repeat that step, name each Fence, and drag and drop the appropriate icons/files to each Fence until you have a tidy and organized Desktop.
  22. Select the Customize tab from the Fences Settings. From here you can determine how labels are displayed (never, always, or only when you hover your mouse over that Fence). You can also change the background color and style for your Fences.

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  24. One of the other neat features of Fences is the ability to hide everything on your Desktop. Just double-click a blank area of your Desktop, and everything will disappear. If you want to keep one (or more) of your Fences visible when you “hide everything” just right-click that fence and select Exclude from Quick-Hide.
  25. That’s it! Have fun creating and customizing your Fences.

4 thoughts on “How to organize your Windows Desktop for maximum efficiency”

  1. |Frans Dekker


    I use Fences now for several months but I am not satisfied.
    The idea is very good, but in practice all the picto’s are scrambled again when placing icons on a free spave or restarting the computer.

    Is this a known issue?

    Kind regards,

  2. Hi Ross,

    Customizing Desktop in to different sections is great idea which makes us simpler in finding the desired folder or document. I have to install it.


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