We have been through several versions of Windows. Yet Microsoft still refuses to give the operating system a much-requested feature: the ability to remember the desktop location and dimensions of each window.
Fortunately, the free WinSize2 utility can help with that. So, let’s see how you can use it to keep your desktop organized by “sticking” windows to their place.
How to download and install WinSize2
Since it is a third-party tool, it is not included with Windows. Therefore, to use it, you need to download the app from the official WinSize2 site.
After you download and install it, you won’t see anything on your screen. The app runs in the background, hidden from view, waiting for input from you. As we will see next, the interface will be accessible from an icon in the window tray.
Before accessing WinSize2’s interface, we should warn you that it looks old. That’s because, well, it’s ancient.
WinSize2 was released over a decade ago, but that’s not a negative. On the contrary, it remains relevant many Windows versions later, the time since its release does not affect its usefulness.
We should also mention two options: Snap Layouts and PowerToys’ FancyZones. If you don’t care about actually saving each window’s location and dimensions, but just want to keep your desktop tidy, those two can do the trick.
Both let you organize your windows into pre-defined “zones” on the desktop, but Snap Layouts is only available on Windows 11, while PowerToy’s FancyZones also works on earlier versions of Microsoft’s OS. For more on them, check out our article on how to use Snap Layouts in Windows 11, and our guide on how to customize and use PowerToys FancyZones on Windows 10.
How to Insta-lock window positions
Hover the mouse pointer over WinSize2’s icon, while lingering in the Windows tray. You will see a floating bubble with the version and the active hotkey.
You can use this hotkey combination, assigned by default to Ctrl + Alt + Z, to save the position and dimensions of all windows at any point on the desktop.
WinSize2 works even on multi-monitor setups. However, it may not be enough for true visual organization of your workspace. If you’re using a 4K or Ultrawide display, also check out our article on the best Virtual Monitor apps to maximize your Ultrawide display.
Let’s see WinSize2 in action, using one of the powerful Directory Opus file manager’s “Lister” windows as our guinea pig.
With the window whose location and dimensions you want to save visible, move and resize it anywhere on the desktop, just the way you want it to appear in the future.
With the window active and selected, to create an entry for it and save its location and size, press WinSize2’s hotkey combination (by default Ctrl + Alt + Z).
Almost immediately, a message will appear next to the mouse pointer, informing you of the success of the action.
That was it! If you try to close and reopen the window, you will see it reappear in the same location with the exact dimensions. Try moving it around and closing it. When it reappears, instead of appearing in a random spot on your desktop, WinSize2 will detect its appearance, and move and resize it wherever you “pinned” it.
How to override hidden rules
WinSize2 works by creating a rule for the active window every time you use the shortcut.
If you ever change your mind about where and how a window should appear, you can use the same shortcut to create a new rule that overwrites the previous one.
If you want to unlock a window or manually position and resize it, you can do so through WinSize2’s interface, which we’ll see next.
How to delete rules and unlock Windows
To unlock a window after you’ve created a WinSize2 rule for it, you must delete that rule. For that, you need to visit WinSize2’s main window.
Find WinSize2’s icon in the Windows tray and double-click it.
With WinSize2’s window on the screen, and while you’re at it WinTitle tab, notice the drop-down menu below Full title of the window. In it you will find entries for all the rules WinSize2 created for different windows.
Each entry is named after the title of the window it targets. To help you make sure you’ve selected the right one, WinSize2 also displays a window process below the right corner of the drop-down menu.
To delete an entry, after finding and selecting it from the drop-down menu, turn your attention to the panel on the right of the window with the title Delete change.
You can also use buttons with arrows to move between entries while clicking Delete button will remove the selected rule from WinSize2’s list.
Manual placement and resizing
While selecting various entries in WinSize2, you may have noticed the numbers below X / Y coordinate and Width height is changed. That’s because these numbers define the window’s position on the screen.
The first set of numbers below X / Y coordinate define a window’s upper left corner coordinates on the horizontal and vertical axes of the screen.
So, for example, if you set both to zero, the top left corner of the window will be aligned with the top left corner of the screen.
If you use a Full-HD screen and you set the first number to 960 and the other to 540 (the result of the screen’s resolution, 1920 x 1080, each number divided by 2), the upper left corner of the window will be aligned to the center of the screen.
The second set of numbers defines the width and height of the window. So if you enter the same numbers here as well, 960 and 540, the window will take up a quarter of your screen (half the horizontal and half the vertical resolution).
Remember that if you make any adjustments or changes to a rule, you should click on OK afterwards to save them.
WinSize can also lock icons
Hate how Windows happily ignores how you’ve “organized” your desktop shortcut icons and rearranges them after a resolution change?
Fortunately, WinSize2 also allows you to save your icon positions. It can even save different icon arrangements for different screen resolutions.
To take full advantage of the feature and ensure your desktop shortcuts stay in place, visit WinSize2 Windows Desktop icon + network the tab. There, make sure Automatic check of icon positions after login and Check the icon positions after changing the screen resolution is activated.
You can also use Save icon positions button here to save your current layout of desktop icons.
Remember to click on OK button afterwards to save any changes you make.
You don’t need to visit WinSize2’s window when you want to save your icon positions. This action is also available via the tray icon’s right-click menu.
By right-clicking on it, below Desktop icon positions submenu you will find three entries that allow you to quickly:
- Save icon positions.
- Restore icon positions.
- Look for changed icon positions.
Keep WinSize2 in the drawer
WinSize2 does not make use of hidden or undocumented Windows features to achieve its goals since such features are not there in the first place.
Instead, it is an intelligent script that continuously monitors any window on the screen. If the window matches one of WinSize2’s rules, it is moved and resized accordingly.
We clarify that because to take advantage of what WinSize2 offers, you need to keep it running in the background. Fortunately, the app has minimal overhead and no annoying nagging screens to let you sign up.
Want an easy way to make sure it’s always available, running in the background and keeping tags on your windows? Pay another visit Special tab in the window.
There, make sure of it Start WinSize2 with login Is on. With that option checked, WinSize2 will run automatically every time you log on to the desktop.
WinSize2: Old but still useful
Despite being an old piece of software by today’s standards, as we saw, WinSize2 is anything but obsolete.
All thanks to Microsoft’s insistence on not adding such a simple feature as user-controllable perpetual window placement and icon positioning to the dominant operating system.
Until it does, WinSize2 will have a place in every Windows installation.