Detection of an item's changing of its location from one instance to another is typically unaffected by changes in the shape or color of contextual items. However, we demonstrate here that such location change detection is severely impaired if the elongated axes of contextual items change orientation, even though individual locations remain constant and even though the orientation was irrelevant to the task. Changing the orientations of the elongated stimuli altered the perceptual organization of the display, which had an important influence on change detection. In detecting location changes, subjects were unable to ignore changes in orientation unless additional, invariant grouping cues were provided or unless the items changing orientation could be actively ignored using feature-based attention (color cues). Our results suggest that some relational grouping cues are represented in change detection even when they are task irrelevant.