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Stop Desktop Icons from Changing Positions After Reboot in Mac OS X

If you spend time customizing the desktop icon placement, it can be pretty annoying to discover that after each restart of Mac OS X, the icons seem to take on a mind of their own and rearrange themselves, usually changing their position so that they are all aligned to the far right of the Mac desktop.


The reason for the automatic icon arrangement is simple: Sorting. Here’s how to turn this off:

  • Click on the Mac desktop – you must select the desktop and not a folder
  • Click on the “View” menu and pull down to “Sort By” and select “None”

This removes any sorting or arranging of the icons, which are easy to enable either by accident due to the keyboard shortcuts or because you just forgot that you turned sorting on a long time ago.

Jake provided the following image which shows off the frustration with sorting arrangements perfectly:


You can also change the icon sorting behavior in the “View Options” menu, by hitting Command+J from the desktop. You’ll still want to select “None” as the desktop behavior if you don’t want icons to be realigned on their own.


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