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Fences

CNET Editors' review

Fences is an app that allows you to organize your desktop icons into categories to un-clutter your workspace. The latest version, Fences 2.0, adds new features to help you get and stay organized even faster.

The interface of the newer version is much like before. The fences look the same - they're clean and blend well, and you can adjust the transparency and color to suit your needs. You'll also still be able to easily sort your files and program icons into multiple fences on your desktop. One of our favorite features, Auto-Organizer, also lets you choose which files will automatically go into the fence you specify--this is handy if you frequently add new files to your computer.

Fences 2.0 also comes with a couple new features, Folder Portals and Desktop Pages. Folder Portals lets you create a fence from any folder and organize the contents on your desktop for quick access. Desktop Pages lets you set up multiple screens, each with their own set of fences, and navigate between them just by clicking and dragging. While we found it fairly easy to set up and use the fences, we liked the user guidance and tutorials so you can make sure you're using Fences to its fullest potential.

Users who are overwhelmed by desktop clutter will like the flexibility of Fences 2.0. The installation is easy and quick and you can try the product free for 30 days to see if it's right for you.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Fences 2. The trial version has limited features.

Fences - Arrange icons on your desktop - Download Video Previews:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.1 stars

    out of 1,179 votes

    • 5 star: 565
    • 4 star: 386
    • 3 star: 100
    • 2 star: 49
    • 1 star: 79
  • Current version:

    2.4 stars

    out of 14 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 7
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 14

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great product!"

    April 5, 2014  |   By 4Denise

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Allows organization of desktop in a way that makes sense to the user

    Cons

    You will have to pay for full functionality

    Summary

    I love this software! I have bought it for all of my computers. It isn't expensive. The free version is acceptable. Even if you stick with that, you will have some valuable features. Buying the software adds a few more.

    Reply to this review

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Only good if you have lots of shortcuts"

    December 26, 2013  |   By Lesslog

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Keeps the desktop clean, reduces clutter.

    Cons

    Not worth spending money for, would be better as a freeware and getting more publicity.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Program great company poor, don't spend money"

    December 6, 2013  |   By 1Stealthgeek

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Program's from stardock are relatively good, fences is no exception.

    Cons

    Stardock is a horrendously dishonest company and you should never give them a red cent. They sell you a 'subscription' service to access their softwares and when the subscription runs out you no longer have access to you software. They say in the purchase that you can keep using it they just dont' tell you that its only as long as that installation lasts and you can never download it again unless you want to shell out another $50 clams.

    Summary

    Don't give them any money if you intend to be able to use the software beyond a limited time period. You're not buying their software you're buying a limited 1 year use right to the software that they just don't intentionally de-activate when its over (thats their 'you can keep using it' reference). Contacting support regarding this issue was horrible and their policies are despicable. Everyone be warned regarding these guys.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Worse than useless"

    December 2, 2013  |   By HemlockStones

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Free to try. Other than that, nothing.

    Cons

    Fails miserably with multiple monitors.

    Summary

    I installed Fences hoping to organize some of the clutter; I have developed a habit of placing shortcuts to currently active documents on the desktop to avoid the typical open program and drill through a dozen levels each time.

    I took the default fences, expecting to personalize later. My first disappointment was that I could not re-size or move the fences, contrary to what the manufacturer claimed. I brought up the configuration help, but found nothing. My second disappointment was when I tried to close the configuration; the close "x" was unresponsive. Right-click close, worked however.

    I tried creating a new fence, and it worked as advertised. I moved some icons to the new fence. OK, it's got a few quirks, but I'll probably find it useful, I thought, and went back to work.
    Sometime later, I noticed that Fences was now displaying "hover" icons, where it had not before (believe me, I had spent an inordinate amount of time). Software that changes behavior? I should have seen what was coming....
    I disconnected a third monitor. Fences went crazy, and rearranged things. Some of the fences were now on my secondary monitor (all of the fences were originally on the primary monitor, the laptop), some of them were mostly off screen, and ALL of them were blank.

    Like a previous reviewer, I thought I'd lost them all.
    What I found was that by moving those fences that I could still grab, they would display the icon to which they were associated, in their pre-fence screen location. But that's it. Many icons, although visible inside the fence, were inactive, as if it was a blank desktop. More inconsistency, and an unusable desktop. The immovable fences were now useless.
    At this pint it was obvious that my desktop was intact, but that Fences' presentation was the culprit. I could not find a mechanism to refresh the fences. A reboot was the only thing brought back functionality, totally not acceptable.
    The screen behavior was verified on subsequent boots. Any change at all to monitor positioning freaks Fences out; fences move with far more damage than Windows ever thought about. Scroll bar remnants appear at random screen locations. A reboot is the only recovery option. For anyone who uses a laptop with an external monitor, this program is not for you. Verdict: Not ready for Prime Time.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Like this software"

    November 26, 2013  |   By mohsinjaved463

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    like
    i love this Software and was searching from many days to get it free. thanks for sharing this Software absolately free, i also found this Software over here...
    http://itsiteworld.com/free-download-fences-software-latest-full-version/

    Cons

    like
    i love this Software and was searching from many days to get it free. thanks for sharing this Software absolately free, i also found this Software over here...
    http://itsiteworld.com/free-download-fences-software-latest-full-version/

    Summary

    like
    i love this Software and was searching from many days to get it free. thanks for sharing this Software absolately free, i also found this Software over here...
    http://itsiteworld.com/free-download-fences-software-latest-full-version/

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "totally useless"

    November 21, 2013  |   By ccwhart

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    A fabulous program...until it self destructs. Like many Windows users, the constant, random rearranging of desktop icons was driving me crazy, so when I discovered and downloaded Fences, I was thrilled. Fences, I thought, was fantastic. And it was fantastic until...

    Cons

    Every single one of my desktop icons vanished in an instant, and I was left with an entirely empty desktop. This was quite disconcerting because I was worried that they were gone forever. I looked and looked in the Fences control panel for a solution, but found nothing. Only uninstalling Fences restored the icons. But I REALLY wanted Fences to work, so I tried installing it again, and exactly the same thing happened. So Fences is uninstalled and will stay uninstalled. A real shame because I really thought it was the answer to a major Windows problem.

    Summary

    To have over 4 million downloads means Fences must work for some people, but it sure didn't work for me.

    Updated on Mar 29, 2014

    I was completely wrong about Fences. The problem I had was the result of a confusing function that was enabled upon installation. After it was explained to me by tech support, I easily figured out what was wrong, disabled the command and problem solved! Now I love Fences. It works perfectly, and I highly recommend it

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Works as promis"

    November 14, 2013  |   By Nelson Vega

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    While it takes getting use to it does work, with Fences I can more easily manage my desktop.

    Cons

    can be disorienting but you quickly get use to it.

    Summary

    Not for everyone but does help organizing and quickly finding files and programs.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Great product. Overpriced and lowsy customer support."

    October 29, 2013  |   By projectdave

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Makes your desktop more manageable and clean.

    Cons

    They only allow so many activations per user. I had to reinstall Windows 8/8.1 multiple times and got locked out twice.

    Summary

    Decent product. Disappointed with their policies and would not buy another product from them but will gladly keep using their trials.

    Reply to this review

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Still a major bug one year later"

    October 25, 2013  |   By highstream99

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Basically very useful tool for desktop organizing, especially for those with a lot of desktop icons

    Cons

    One of the most important functional features of Fences is the ability to unhide individual icons within a fence w/o having to unhide the whole fence. That facility was present and worked very well in Fences Pro ("Fences 1"). However, it didn't work when they released Fences 2 in Oct 2012, and a full year later, version 2.11, it still hasn't been fixed. Only documents (e.g., pdf, xls, doc) can be unhidden. It's easy to wonder if Stardock hasn't been too busy counting the $$ from their Windows Start8 menu cash cow to spend the time Fences deserves.

    Stardock support is the slowest of all the many free and paid programs I use to respond to tech problems.

    Summary

    Basically a good program that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves from Stardock.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Uninstall still slows win 8 laptop..."

    October 24, 2013  |   By rrtopaz

    Version: Fences 2.11

    Pros

    Not a d... thing!

    Cons

    -Installing is a pain; to make it work is worse...lots of issues.
    -Uninstall leaves "Enable Fences" in context menu; tried so many ways to remove and still stays there, even registry edits.
    -When right-clicking in context menu on desktop, solid color background appears for about 5 seconds, blinks, then back, and nothing changes, not even what I wanted in menu.

    Summary

    This is one big piece of crap by Stardock, putting something out without testing and letting the masses use to screw up their systems.
    Download/C-net doesn't help by bundled other crap with their installer!

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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Results 1-10 of 14

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