Alternatives to Fences for all platforms with any license

  • Nimi Places

    Organizes desktop into customizable containers - showing folders (e.g.: local folders, network locations) contents, displayed as icons/thumbnails on scrollable surface....

    Free Windows

    Nimi Places icon
    • It will not organize my icons on my desktop. Guest • Jan 2017 • 14 agrees and 9 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • I wanted to organize my desktop the way fences can and it worked out beatifully. I got just what I wanted from Nimi Places for free DivejiAug 2017 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Free, and it works almost the same. Just has a little more setup than Fences does. Guest • Feb 2018 Disagree   Agree
    • Actually it is better than Fences, giving more control over created fences. Guest • Jun 2015 • 3 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Just the basic but allows to define area where you can store link... Guest • Jul 2016 • 1 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
  • Folderview Screenlet

    Folderview Screenlet is a Linux alternative to Fences (which is for Windows). You can create fences on your desktop just like the original Fences software.

    Free Linux Screenlets

    Folderview Screenlet icon
    • Discontinued The program is no longer updated. Last version, 0.9.9, released in August 2010, can be still downloaded from the official website.
  • ICU - Icon Configuration Utility

    Restore your desktop when the icons get “rearranged”. Melba23 and I found we were working on very similar ideas to restore the Desktop icons to their normal place if...

    Free Open Source Windows

    ICU - Icon Configuration Utility icon
    • It only keeps the icons arranged, don't let you make fences which I think is the best feature of it. Guest • Jun 2017 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
  • Sideslide

    SideSlide is an advanced, portable, unobtrusive, dockable, skinnable, instantly accessible, highly configurable Desktop Extension on Steroids! Clean desktop clutter and...

    Free Windows

    Sideslide icon
  • VeBest Icon Groups

    VeBest Icon Groups is a powerful, but easy to use and rich in animation utility. VeBest Icon Groups is a software, intended for just creative and occupied people who...

    Free Windows

    VeBest Icon Groups icon
  • ToolBox

    ToolBox is an application launcher for Windows operating systems with many amazing features. Easy to install, you can get going in minutes. Its drag & drop interface...

    Free Personal Windows

    ToolBox icon
    • Discontinued The program is no longer updated. Last version, 2.97h, released in May 2011, can be still downloaded from the official website.
  • Desktop Groups

    The app lets you create groups of related files on your desktop. You can freely move groups of files around on your desktop and add or remove files via drag & drop. ...

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac OS X

    No features added Add a feature

    Desktop Groups icon
  • Real Desktop

    Real Desktop: The desktop embellishment for your PC! Real Desktop is a 3D animated multi desktop manager and the perfect tool to replace your wallpaper. Do you want...

    Freemium Windows

    No features added Add a feature

    Real Desktop icon
  • SE-DesktopConstructor

    Free desktop customization tool, that allows to change desktop background automatically, create colored areas for the icons on the desktop and place clock and calendar...

    Free Windows

    SE-DesktopConstructor icon
    • Discontinued The company stopped development for its applications. Last versions can be still downloaded from the official website.
  • DesktopShelves

    DesktopShelves helps you fight the clutter on your desktop by organizing files on shelves. A shelf the size of 5 icons holds 20 files. The app takes a refreshing...

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac OS X

    DesktopShelves icon
    • Discontinued The program is no longer updated. Last version, 2.1.4, released in November 2013, can be still bought from Mac App Store.
  • Fluid Icon Organizer

    Stop arranging your icons over and over again, let us help. Fluid Icon Organizer integrates with your desktop perfectly, consumes little resources and is easy to use.

    Commercial Windows

    No features added Add a feature

    Fluid Icon Organizer icon
  • Know any more alternatives to Fences?

    Suggest an application to this list
  • Dragthing

    DragThing is the original dock designed to tidy up your Macintosh desktop. It puts all your documents, folders, and applications just a single click away. Highly...

    Freemium Mac OS X

    No features added Add a feature

    Dragthing icon



Show 2 less popular platforms

Fences Comments

Its an okay app

Comment by Kagerjay
about Fences · Jul 2017 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

I used it for several years and installed it on some buddy's PC (note I had to pay $10 for each PC liscense at time)

The problem I have with it is that it set bad practices for file navigation as a whole.

Since I have all of these rules I set up on stardock that don't really reflect what my fileexplorer looks like

This leads to (at least for me) sometimes confusion on how I am navigating through my files / docs on my PC

Also, when stardock fences crashes its always a huge pain in the ### to fix the problem

Personally I suggest using something like directoryopus instead Small Directory Opus iconDirectory Opus , even though its not same type of app, does similar job


I Love Fences, However...

Comment by Immie
about Fences · Oct 2012 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

I have used Fences for a very long time and it was always my number 1 desktop tidy-up. But there has been a newer version just come out and it is a 30 day trial which then you must pay $9.95 to continue. I was very disappointed because I wasn't warned and the old version needed to be fully uninstalled so that Fences 2 could be put on.

I would like to get back the old version because the changes made are not that special or exciting, just made its original features easier to access and that is all. But still, Fences is a fantastic program and whether paid or unpaid it is worth it.

Comment by Panic2k8
about Fences · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

Thanks em4020, fr pointing me out DesktopOK I will give it a try, the major problems I need addressed is having my icon positions messed over from time to time as I change resolution.

Fences also doesn't show on the running processes list, only the setup gui (50Mb)...

Comment by Panic2k8
about Fences · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

It is a nice design but with limited application since it is based on .net it does take unnecessary resources, it is also slow, slower than the normal system performance.

One feature that is laking is the ability to turn off the "animations", making movements instantaneous in place of the floating feeling it imposes as icons fall in position. Also I use a black background and there is no ability to make the fence boarder show in a different color.

All in all a nice idea that can be hugely improved and optimized.

My reasons to stop using it is that it takes more resources that I think it is worth and because it is slow and lacks the ability to make it more customizable we move from a cloud of icons to ca cloud of fences, and one thing makes me wonder if people have the time to really make use of fences they should have the time to clean up the desktop, probably the pro version with the default fence ability would address that issue but that is not a real solution to bad habits...

PS: It also crashed my machine on the first install

Comment by EarMaster
about Fences · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful -3 Helpful Report as spam

Fences is really unique. None of the listed applications can replace it. It's look is also nice and clean (even in the free version)! Organize your Desktop!