It happens all the time that Windows re-arranges your desktop icons. You have arranged your desktop icons neatly in the way you want; but the next time you start Windows, you find that the desktop icons are re-arranged differently. There are many reasons for this behavior, e.g., new software installation, adding a new icon to the desktop etc. If you are tired of arranging the desktop icons over and over again, then you should save and restore your desktop icons layout using a freeware tool called ICU (Icon Configuration Utility).
You can download Icon Configuration Utility (ICU) from its website. The download is a portable application inside a ZIP archive of around 1.5 meagabytes in size. After the download is over, extract the contents of the ZIP archive to a folder on your desktop. Then you can just double-click on the ICU.exe file to start the Icon Configuration Utility. You do not have to install anything. ICU has a very simple user interface.
The top-right corner of the ICU window shows a green box showing that you are Ready to use it for saving or restoring the icon layouts. If the box changes the color to red and shows some message like Working then you cannot use any of the functions like saving and restoring; you will have to wait for the box to turn green. You can click on the Save button to save the current desktop icons layout. This would show a dialog box asking you for the name of the new configuration file. Just type in any name you like. There is an option to select where you would like to move the new icons (the new icons added after saving the layout configuration). You can choose the position of new icons from top-left, bottom-right, custom position, ask per icon or off-screen.
After you have saved a layout configuration for the desktop icons, it will be automatically listed in the ICU window. If for some reason, you do not see it in the list, then just close and start the ICU program again. The desktop layout is saved in a configuration file inside the ICU sub-folder. If you have selected the option Create shortcut on save, then a shortcut to restore this desktop layout is also created in the ICU folder. If you want to restore a desktop layout, then you have to select it from the list and then click on the Restore button. The selected icons layout is restored instantly.
Icon Configuration Utility or ICU in short is a handy tool to save and restore your desktop icons layouts. It allows you to save multiple icon layouts. It also supports command lines to save and restore the icon layouts, so you can easily add the restore of an icon layout to a hotkey. It has options to give you the decision of what to do with new icons that were added after you saved the icons layout.
You can download the Icon Configuration Utility from http://funk.eu/icu-icon-configuration-utility/.