Using an HDMI switch rearranged my desktop icons  

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  1. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Using an HDMI switch rearranged my desktop icons


    I recently purchased a Mac M1 Mini. I set it up with an HDMI switch so that it could share the main display with my PC. Yesterday I booted the Mac for the first time. Before doing it, I moved my Chrome browser to Display 2, which is not shared. Then I switched Display 1 over to the Mac. Everything worked as expected.

    But at the end of the day, when I put the Mac to sleep and switched Display 1 back to the PC, I saw that my desktop icons had been rearranged on both displays. What caused this, and how can I prevent it next time I use the switch?

    Radeon R9 270 graphics card
    Windows 10.0.19042
    HDMI switch: Amazon.com
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 13,320
    Win10 Version 22H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home
       #2

    Don't know about preventing change but just keep in mind that the desktop display is Dynamic, not Static like a picture on the wall. As such it is always being refreshed/redrawn as what is seen is held in memory so some changes can give issues with the desktop.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 56,722
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #3

    perkinw said:
    I recently purchased a Mac M1 Mini. I set it up with an HDMI switch so that it could share the main display with my PC. Yesterday I booted the Mac for the first time. Before doing it, I moved my Chrome browser to Display 2, which is not shared. Then I switched Display 1 over to the Mac. Everything worked as expected.

    But at the end of the day, when I put the Mac to sleep and switched Display 1 back to the PC, I saw that my desktop icons had been rearranged on both displays. What caused this, and how can I prevent it next time I use the switch?

    Radeon R9 270 graphics card
    Windows 10.0.19042
    HDMI switch: Amazon.com
    Rearranged is what way? All aligned to left or right? Alphabetically? Random scattered? Smaller/Bigger?
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    f14tomcat said:
    Rearranged is what way? All aligned to left or right? Alphabetically? Random scattered? Smaller/Bigger?
    I should have mentioned that. I use Fences 3.0 on Display 1. None of the fences moved and none of their contents were rearranged (good!). Display 1 icons that were outside of fences were moved to the right edge of the screen. I do not use Fences on Display 2. All the icons on Display 2 were rearranged. No icons moved between displays. I didn't try to figure out what rearrangement algorithm had been used (alphabetic, etc.). Will do that next time it happens.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 56,722
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #5

    As an experiment, on the Windows display, do this.

    Win+Ctrl+Shift+B on your keyboard

    This will re-boot the GPU.

    See if you get similar results as switching the HDMI switch.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    f14tomcat said:
    As an experiment, on the Windows display, do this.

    Win+Ctrl+Shift+B on your keyboard

    This will re-boot the GPU.

    See if you get similar results as switching the HDMI switch.
    I will try it later (I'm away from the PC now).

    When I switched display 1, the desktop icons on display 2 refreshed (at least the ones I could see because Chrome occupied most of the screen). I thought nothing of it because my desktop icons refresh periodically throughout the day. I haven't paid attention to what might be causing it, but it's not spontaneous -- it's always associated with some action, like connecting an external drive. But those incidents never rearranged any icons.

    - - - Updated - - -

    - - - Updated - - -

    f14tomcat said:
    As an experiment, on the Windows display, do this. Win+Ctrl+Shift+B on your keyboard. This will re-boot the GPU. See if you get similar results as switching the HDMI switch.
    I tried your suggestion. The results were similar. Icons moved except for icons in Fences, which were unaffected. I had a bit of trouble getting Display 2 back after the reboot, and when I did it was empty (all the icons had moved to Display 1).

    More information: I used the HDMI switch again today. When I switched Display 1 over to the Mac, I paid attention to what was happening on Display 2 (yesterday, the Display 2 desktop was mostly covered by my browser). I think everything from Display 1 moved over to Display 2, including the fences and their contents. When I switched Display 1 back to the PC, the Fences moved back to Display 1 (which is nice). As a temporary workaround, I'll keep all my icons inside fences.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1,747
    Windows 10 Pro x64 22H2
       #7

    See if you didn't change desktop icon settings, this are the default:

    Using an HDMI switch rearranged my desktop icons-untitled2.png

    Using an HDMI switch rearranged my desktop icons-untitled.png
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 56,722
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #8

    The switch seems to be "tickling" the GPU and causing it to think it's been disconnected reconnected. I can't remember the electrical term, but it's the difference in switches that are "smooth" and "interruptible". That's why I asked you to experiment with the GPU reboot to get similar results. It's possible you need a different type or brand of switch.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 129
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #9

    f14tomcat said:
    The switch seems to be "tickling" the GPU and causing it to think it's been disconnected reconnected. I can't remember the electrical term, but it's the difference in switches that are "smooth" and "interruptible". That's why I asked you to experiment with the GPU reboot to get similar results. It's possible you need a different type or brand of switch.
    The GPU reboot was much more drastic than what happens when I toggle the HDMI switch. For example, I lost Display 2 and had to play around to get it back. So maybe it's not the GPU, but rather the OS reacting in the normal way as if one of the displays was simply unplugged. Isn't it true that when you have a two display setup and you unplug one of the displays, everything moves to the other display? Fortunately, Windows remembers that you have a two display setup, so when you plug the display back in, the original desktop icons move back, possibly with some rearrangement. If so, then it's not the fault of the switch, but a Windows feature (and a good one!). What do you think?
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 56,722
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #10

    perkinw said:
    The GPU reboot was much more drastic than what happens when I toggle the HDMI switch. For example, I lost Display 2 and had to play around to get it back. So maybe it's not the GPU, but rather the OS reacting in the normal way as if one of the displays was simply unplugged. Isn't it true that when you have a two display setup and you unplug one of the displays, everything moves to the other display? Fortunately, Windows remembers that you have a two display setup, so when you plug the display back in, the original desktop icons move back, possibly with some rearrangement. If so, then it's not the fault of the switch, but a Windows feature (and a good one!). What do you think?
    Since I don't use a dual display setup, I'm only guessing. For each display recognized by the system, there is a "cache" and configuration assigned to it. I would think it could/would remember the positioning. Limited knowledge here on what it really should do. Sorry no concrete answers, just guesses.
      My Computers


 

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