If your desktop is in a mess, Stardock Fences can help manage all the clutter. But with Fences turning proprietary, we offer you a list of alternatives, so that you have a wide range to choose from.
Did You Know?
Stardock has launched ShadowFX, which adds drop shadows to multiple windows on the desktop.
Nobody likes waking up to a mess, especially if you are in a hurry and you can’t find your house keys. The same applies to a desktop, since that’s the first thing you see when you turn on the computer. A disorganized file system is the last thing you need when you are trying to open a file; and a link with a similar name opens up. For those too lazy to remove unused icons, Stardock Fences is a great software for cleaning desktop clutter.
Stardock Fences is a utility software for Windows that cleans the cluttered icons on your desktop. It was available for free, but became proprietary after version 2. Fences arranges your icons into containers named ‘fences’. Double-clicking on it hides all the uncluttered icons, while double-clicking on it once more makes them reappear. You can also take desktop snapshots to see the difference in your desktops before and after cleaning it. It creates desktop portals that link one folder to another. Stardock was one of the first to add a utility application to the yet unreleased Windows 10, named Start10, which adds a Windows 7-based style menu. It has a 30-day trial period, after which you can buy it for USD 9.99.
For those who like to keep a tight hold over their purse strings, we bring you some options other than Stardock Fences.
Stardock Fences Alternatives
Nimi Places is similar to Fences, except that it organizes files in containers that displays the folder contents in the form of grid icons or a multi-column list. The minimum requirement for it to work is the installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. You can use the built-in templates to organize the desktop according to different themes. You can even organize it to be visible according to a time schedule. This software can downloaded for free.
Website: Nimi Places
Bins organizes the desktop clutter into containers called ‘bins’ but are actually in the form of speech bubbles. Extremely simple and easy to use, it organizes the icons by a simple drag and drop. You can get all this for a one-time price of USD 4.99.
If you need to play with your desktop icons, Real Desktop lets you do so. Launching the application transforms your desktop into a large room, and the icons take the form of tiles. This is the only software which has a one-hour trial period. For unwanted desktop icons, you can relegate it to the Recycle Bin by grabbing the icon by its edge. You can make the rest of the icons fly around by smashing them with other icons. You can select a group of icons by dragging around them with the mouse like a lasso. Because it’s in 3D, you can view the room in different perspectives, and arrange the room that way. To access all the features, you need to pay a price of USD 6.58.
Website: Real Desktop
DesktopShelves is another option for people who are used to Fences. It organizes your files on shelves. It also displays a screenshot of the files associated to that particular shelf. The number of files that can be arranged on the shelf is limited. You can download extra themes if you are tired of the same mahogany look. You can also select information from a browser and drag and drop it onto a shelf. It creates a file on its own. This software is available only for Mac users. It is available for a 14-day trial, after which you can upgrade it for a price of USD 14.99.
ViPad is another application for organizing your desktop clutter. It organizes your files into tabs. If the tab has reached its limit, then another tab pops out. This application is for Windows and touchscreen tablets that run on Windows. You can download it for free, and besides, any additional skins for the application is also free.
Desktop Groups is a free application for Windows. It organizes your cluttered files into transparent frames. You can have only 5 frames on your desktop. If you need unlimited frames, you can upgrade by paying a price of USD 9.99. This software is available only for a 7-day trial period for Mac operating systems.
Website: Desktop Groups
DeskSpace maps virtual desktops on a cube. It offers great features like rotation, zoom, and transparency. You can assign wallpapers to each side of the cube, and keep folders according to your work. It’s compatible only on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. It’s available for a 14-day trial, and the full version can be downloaded for USD 24.95.
ToolBox is a similar application to Stardock Fences, and helps you organize your desktop properly. This application has been around since Windows 3.1. Since then, a lot of changes have taken place, with multiple application launching windows, shortcuts to files and folders, as well as visual customizations. This tool does not require an installation, but can be run from any folder you unzip your files to. You can download it for free.
These are some great options to consider before you try to buy Fences 2.0. And for those stalwarts that still need the free version, Fences 1.01 is still available.