Tech Tip #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

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:

  • Right click on the desktop
  • Select ‘arrange icons’
  • If you’re in Win &, pick ‘sort by’ and ‘type

This can be part of their start-up maintenance when they sit down to begin their 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 has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

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