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Fences 4 – A Guided Tour

Article posted on 12/6/2021

Fences is a program designed to keep your desktop organized, and with Fences 4 we have added new productivity enhancements: Peek and Desktop Display. Getting started is easy and the robust set of features makes it possible to automatically keep all of your files, apps, and folders, neatly organized on your desktop.

Getting Started

After installation, you will be prompted to apply a popular default configuration or start creating your own fences. For first-time users, it is recommended that you apply the default configuration as this will instantly sort your programs, folders, and files/documents into individual Fences.

If you want to change the default configuration, each fence can easily be removed by clicking the X in the top right corner. All of the default fences can be re-configured too – the default arrangement is a simple way to get started, but the settings are not locked.


Creating Your First Fence

To create a fence, left-click and drag anywhere on your desktop. When you release the left-click button, you will see two options: "Create Fence Here" and "Create Folder Portal Here". Choose the option to create a fence, and then enter a title.

Once created, you can move the fence around your desktop by clicking on the title bar and dragging it to its new location. You can also expand the height and width by selecting the side rails, and you can change the view/sort options by clicking the hamburger button in the top left section of the title bar.

If you want to have your newly created Fence automatically sort a specific type of content, jump down to the “Sorting and Organizing” section below.


Creating Your First Folder Portal

Folder portals are one of the application’s most powerful features; portals let you access any folder content directly from your desktop. Folder portals, like fences, can be placed anywhere on your desktop and can be easily configured following the same steps as outlined above for re-sizing a fence.

To create a folder portal, left-click and drag anywhere on your desktop and select “Create Folder Portal Here”. When you select this option, the file picker window will open and let you select any folder to create a portal and you can also select local or network drives.


Using Peek

Peek is a new feature in Fences 4 that lets you instantly access any of your fences on top of another window. To access the Peek feature, press Windows Key + Spacebar to initiate the action. If you would like to change this hotkey, that option is available in the configuration menu under Hotkeys.

You can figure Peek with two different styles: press and hold or toggle. Using either option will allow you to access all the content inside your fence without having to minimize your existing application.


Desktop Display

Another new feature in Fences 4 is an enhancement to the Windows Key + D shortcut in Windows. By default, this feature will hide your Windows, but it is a slow experience. The new feature in Fences 4 makes Windows Key + D instantly reveal your desktop and also provides the option to make this hotkey a toggle or press and hold.

You can enable or disable this feature in the configuration panel under Hotkeys.


Configuration Panel

The configuration panel is an interface where you can customize your Fences 4 experience. This is also where you can search for updates under the About panel. To open the configuration panel, hit the Windows key, type Fences, and open the application.


Color and Appearance

Fences 4 offers robust options for creating a fences layout that is optimal for your workflow. Everything from the style of the header to the colors of the area of the fence can be configured. There is also an option under Background Style and Color to change the color of individual fences.

For a truly modern appearance, you can disable the option to “darken Fence area title bars” that will give the fences a flatter appearance.



With Fences 4, there are several options for customizing your Peek and Desktop Display shortcuts. In this section of the configuration panel, you can configure the hotkeys for each feature. In addition, you can adjust if the feature is press and hold or a toggle configuration.



A popular feature in previous versions of Fences is Quick-hide. To enable this feature, double-click on the desktop to hide all of the items on the desktop. In the Quick-Hide panel, you can enable/disable this feature and enable a feature that automatically hides icons when not in use.


Roll-up Fences

For a truly minimalist experience, Fences 4 has an option to “roll-up” a fence that collapses a fence into the title bar until you mouse over the fence.

To enable this feature, double-click on the title bar to roll up a fence. By default, fences will be rolled up if they are placed near the edge of a display; this feature can be turned off.


Desktop Pages

For power users who want to have multiple pages of Fences, you can use Desktop Pages. To scroll pages, left-click and hold the leftmost edge of your display and pull it to the right. Alternatively, you can left-click and hold the right-most edge and move your mouse horizontally to swipe through the pages.

This feature is helpful if you want to separate work/school/play fences into pages so that you are not distracted while using your device for work or play.


Layout and Snapping

The purpose of Fences is to keep your desktop organized. Fences will, by default, keep fences aligned with each other. You can adjust these settings in the configuration panel to have your fences aligned exactly as desired.


Sorting and Organizing

Fences can automatically sort content into a fence that you have defined as the destination for specific types of files, apps, or folders. Fences provides a robust set of rules for sorting content including by file type, name-based, target-based, and custom rules that allow you to keep your desktop organized at all times.

You can also define in this panel the order that rules are applied to your desktop. While these features may seem like they are designed for power users, they are quite easy to apply and are a powerful addition to the Fences experience.