Organize your desktop with Fences

Have you ever taken a look at your desktop and wondered if it could look any worse?


Lets just say I am familiar with the issue. (OK, the above picture is faked, but still… it doesn’t reach my minimum standards!) So to tackle the problem of a messy desktop, I decided to use a program I tried a while ago on my other laptop: Fences.

Fences is a niffy program that organizes all your icons into nice little “fences”. In each fence, users are allowed to place icons. You can create as many fences as you want, you can name the fences what you want, and you can easily drag + drop icons in and out of fences. Also, you can hide/show the fences and the icons inside them at will. Check out what I did with Fences:


Isn’t that much better than the other desktop? Not only do I now have more control over what is rightfully mine, but it also looks better.

The best part about Fences is it is very user friendly (a caveman could use it). The install was quick and painless. At the end of the install, when you first run the program, a box pops up asking if you want Fences to automatically sort your icons into the fences or if you want to do it yourself:


If you decide to allow Fences to sort your icons, you will be given another choice:


If you choose the second option (the “Sort out my icons”) be sure to know it creates and sorts your icons, into the following fences: Quick Links, Recent Things, Programs, Web Links, Folders, and File & Documents. You may or may not want all of those fences, but they are easy to change so don’t let it deter you from using the second option.

To add a new fence, just right click on your desktop and drag the cursor; then release the mouse:




If you prefer, you may also select icons while creating a fence; that way the icons will be automatically put in the fence when it is created instead of the fence being empty.

To rename a fence just right click it and click “Rename”:

To move a fence, click and drag the title:


To resize a fence, click and drag the edges:


One neat thing about Fences if you double click on any fence or on your desktop, all the fences and all the icons in the fences will hide (by default); all but the Quick Links that is:


If you want a specific fence to not be hidden when you double click, you simply need to right click on the fence, and select “Exclude this Fence from Quick-Hide” from under the “View” menu when you right click. If you prefer, you can also set it so specific icons, instead of whole fences, do not disappear when double clicked. To do this, simply right click on the icons you don’t want to disappear, and select “Exclude this icon from Fences’ quick-hide”.

When you delete a fence, the icons will snap to the most top-left corner of the screen in vertical rows.


If you right click on any fence, you will be able to select “Configure Fences” which will then open up the Fences configuration menu:


From the configuration menu you can do many things:

  • Organize your fences into predefined layouts:


  • Customize how your fences look:


  • Enable/disable the hiding of fences when double clicked and make backups your current desktop configuration (which you can restore at any time):


So, do you like? I know I like. You may download Fences (.NET Framework v2.0 required), from the following links:

Version reviewed: v1.00.2787 Release Candidate

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7

License limitations: Free for personal use

Fences homepage [download link]

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  • Rob AC

    I used to use this- but uninstalled it. It works great for what it does. But I decided just to use the built in Win7 snap to grid feature on the desktop instead.

    The other useful program from Stardock that I really like is the older Objectdock v1.9. (The latest version 2 is a unintuitive mess that forces you to dig thru menu after menu to change a feature you need. Not as simple as the layout in v 1.9)

  • Karl

    I’ve been using Fences for several months now. Originally got to keep my icons from getting rearranged when VPNed into my machine but I really like the organization as well.

    2 Cents

  • Mags

    I h8 a cluttered desktop! Right now I only have one icon on my desktop, the trash bin.

    I’ve organized all my programs, some are in the Start Menu (the ones I use most often.) All the others are in the Quick Launch bar.

    Now you’re probably thinking that would be a long list and the programs hard to find. Not so, what I have done is organize them into files to allow me to find what I’m looking for quickly.

    I just followed instructions on how to set it up and have been using it for a couple of years now.

    The instructions are found here

  • Oh, its really a great program. As my desktop clock.

  • There is clearly a great deal to understand about this. I believe you produced some good factors in Attributes also.
    Keep operating , good task!

  • Steelers6


    I tried it and it seemed to hog up a lot of resouses. Now I use a Dell dock and couln’t survive without it.

    Have you tried any of the free doc’s out there?

    Nexus has a great one.

    Maybe when I finish my install of Windows 7 I’ll give fences a try again. Windows 7 is supposed to be faster.

    Vidimo Se!

  • Johnny

    Thanks Locutus.
    This is a really nice program.
    It is just what I needed, as my desktop was a mess.
    Thank you.

  • @Samuel: I know! Windows 7 + Libraries + Me for once actually using Favorites= Wow, Microsoft, great job!

  • Very nice looking program. I won’t be using it because I have almost nothing on my desktop, and what I do I almost never user (I use the jump lists, YAY 7!)

  • Personally I like FSL Launcher. You can remove the icons from your desktop onto a box that will “disappear” after a few seconds of inactivity or will sit quietly in the corner of your desktop. You can arrange tabs and create tabs as well to add categories for your icons. This looks very interesting and I am anxious to give it a try. Thanks for sharing fences.

  • Sue D. Nymme

    Been using Fences for several weeks now. Loved it from the start. Highly recommended.

  • Jack

    Ok, I have to chime in on this. I gave it a shot. not bad. well better than not bad. I like the fact that I can put things into groups that work my way. Which i must say is not how most normal folks work or organize things.and it ended up give me a lot more room on this 24 screen to see the desktop backgrounds that I like using. I haven’t found anything yet that I dislike about Fences. It also lets you set the transparent which is great. so this is a great find and very useful.

  • Samer

    Yay I’ve been looking for something like this :D ! I tried docks and all kinds of desktop enhancers but they always were very over the top and slowed down my PC … so this is really useful and simple … thank u ^_^

  • Muhammad

    I Tried this SW & i liked the feature of capturing a screen shot for your icons and if you didnt like the way FENCE organizing your ICON’s you just click on the screen shot and all icons return back to their previous location.

    but i stopped using it due to the low number of my desktop Icons

  • gmon

    this looks great, I still use the old windows 3.0 folder routine to create groups of related shortcuts inside a named window, so this will be fun to play with