Download: You can download the application here.

Purpose: This application written in Applescript will remember the location of your Desktop icons and return them to their rightful place.

Premise: I work on a lot of computers. Often times, I have to change the Desktop resolution, remove a monitor, or just plain move a set of icons around the screen. My philosophy is that the user should not be able to tell that I have been on their computer. Desktop Maid helps me put all icons back to where they initially were before I touched the the user’s computer.

Desktop Maid version: 2.6
Last update: 11/14/2018
Compatibility: MacOS X.12.6
Multiple display combination: any… so far!

Written by Rob Stokes
Future Feature: Display the count of Desktop items and compare it to the current number of Desktop items. This is incase people claim their computer is slow.

My Version History:
v2.6: Added the ability to collect and restore the location of volumes mounted to the Desktop
v2.5: Added the ability to launch Desktop Maid remotely and command it to collect or restore without GUI access.
The code to remotely execute Desktop Maid version 2.5 and higher is:


v2.4: DID NOT WORK-REMOVED- Add the ability for DesktopMaid to restore icon locations at startup by placing a copy of this application in the StartupItems folder in the Library folder on the Startup Disk.
v2.3: Move Desktop* variables and put them in .plist file with the it’s name in the variable “thePListPath”
v2.2: Add the ability to recognize if the last time collection was run was actually on the same computer.
v2.11:Recompiled for a computer without Rossetta
v2.1: Added the ability to graduate icons to a proportionate location on the screen if the size of the Desktop is different than when originally collected
v2.0: Quickly written on 8/8/2012

— Desktop Maid History:
— v1.1: written by some guy name “Tom Brovo” < longer active> which doesn’t seem to exist on the web after 1997
— Here is Tom’s description of the app with my edits:

DeskTop Maid is a simple script which can save the position of everything, or some things that are on your desktop, and later, restore those items to their saved positions. Please see the usage notes below. All of the positions are saved within the script application itself. If things get moved around or your monitor size changes and you want to restore everything to that nice neat arrangement you had earlier, just run DeskTop Maid and the saved positions will be restored. If you want to save different arrangements of your desktop, duplicate the Desktop Maid file, name it something that will remind you of what arrangement you are saving, and then save that position. This script application is handy for those neat freaks that like to keep all their icons in certain positions on the desktop.

This is freeware but if you use it, try to post to this page with your comments. You may distribute this script as long as you give me and Tom credit in the distribution, in whole or part, with the script application.

To store the positions of items on the desktop, arrange everything on your desktop they way you want it.  Launch the Maid and it will “learn” by seeing how you arrange things. If this is the first time the Maid is run, the Maid will launch and quit; you’ll think nothing has happened but actually it collected the location of you Desktop icons. On subsequent launches of the Maid, you will be presented with a dialog asking if you want to save the positions of everything on your desktop, or if you want to restore items; make your selection appropriately.

WARNING: This is a simplified script. It does little error checking. It relies on default timeouts for AppleScript. It will only partially warn you if there is a problem in getting or storing data. That said, this is a pretty simple little application, and there shouldn’t be any real problems.

DISCLAIMER: This is freeware. I can not promise tech support. If there is a problem, e-mail me, and I will try to help. I cannot be held liable for any problems you may have with this script application–this is try at your own risk. There should be no problem, but if your hard drive melts, you are on your own (tell me about it, so I can figure out what went wrong).

Here is the Desktop Maid code incase you want to copy and paste instead of downloading from the link at the top of the page: