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This is really bugging me on Mac OS X (Lion):

When I save files to the Desktop (for example downloads from Web browsers, etc. -- which in my workflow happens a lot), they are placed in a seemingly erratic order: sometimes at the bottom left of existing icons, sometimes in between existing icons, etc.

I'm often having a really hard time finding the files I just saved. Seems to be the behavior in Windows is more consistent and predictable.

Is there any way to improve this behavior, more precisely, to specify that the files be placed in e.g. a left-to-right, top-to-bottom order?

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Do you use PathFinder or anything like this. Because normally, stored files on the desktop should start at the upper right corner until it reaches the lower right corner, then it will continue on the left hand side of the first icon. – cyphorious Jul 19 '12 at 12:36
Another question: When you right click (cmd+click) on the desktop, have you activated something like "grid alignment" (sorry, I don't know the correct english name of the menu item, since my OS X is German)? – cyphorious Jul 19 '12 at 12:40
I'll start by pointing out that the desktop is a very vulnerable location to save any files, and particularly larger, media laden files. If the desktop folder gets corrupted or a bad item is added, you lose everything, including the ability to load your profile. That said, if you have that many files on your desktop that they are arranged in more than one column, your computer is likely very slow and finding anything must be absolute mayhem. – user59488 Oct 14 '13 at 15:48

This is normal behavior when the desktop has no particular order or arrangement specified.

Try going to the Finder and setting a "Sort By" option.

  1. Go to the Finder and click on the desktop.

  2. Click View > Sort By from the menu bar

  3. Then try selecting an option other than "None" with in the "Sort By" Menu.

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I have found the best "Sort By" method to be "Snap to Grid" – davis_m Jul 19 '12 at 13:05

There are a number of ways to organize the Finder windows. I think Apple leaves the default as "Anarchy".

The first way to organize is by using the dropdown in the Finder window:

enter image description here . Here, I'm organized by name.

A better option for me though is to use "View > Show View Options".

enter image description here.

I like this because I can set this as the default. (You can set all folders at once, but you have to set the Desktop separately).

enter image description here

Hope this helps.

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