Locking Icons on the Desktop

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2016)

2

Jim wonders if there is a way to lock the position of the icons on the Windows desktop. He would like to group some of them in one area and others in another area, but not by date, size, or some other Microsoft category.

Unfortunately there is no way to lock down the position of icons in Windows. As Jim has figured out, even if you take the time to move the icons where you want them, Windows will periodically reshuffle or resort them, particularly after a system crash, an update, or sometimes even after installing software.

This means that the best solution is to use third-party software to accomplish the task. There are a few different programs suggested by WindowsTips readers. The one most often suggested is Fences, which is published by Stardock Corporation. The latest version of the software is less than ten bucks, but you can try it out for free:

http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/

Other programs suggested by readers include DesktopOK, published by SoftwareOK. It is freeware that allows you to save the location of desktop icons and then restore that positioning as you desire. You can find it here:

http://www.softwareok.com/?Freeware/DesktopOK

The program IconRestorer does essentially the same thing. One cool feature is that it allows you to save different positioning information for different screen resolutions. So, if you change screen resolutions often, you can restore icon positioning based on which resolution you are using. It, too, is freeware; you can find more information here:

http://fsl.sytes.net/iconrestorer.html

Finally, there is WinOptimizer, published by Ashampoo. Their "icon saver" is a feature in the software, which does much, much more than just lock down the position of your icons. The current version of the software is not free (it costs about $40), but they do provide a free trial or you can get an older version of the WinOptimizer for no cost. Find the details here:

https://www.ashampoo.com/en/usd

You'll need to click on the Products link and look for WinOptimizer.

 This tip (5658) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Copying Form Field Contents

Are you developing a form with Word? In some instances it is advantageous to copy whatever is entered in a form field to ...

Discover More

Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows

Create a simple drawing object, and Excel makes some assumptions about how that object should appear. Excel provides a wide ...

Discover More

Adding Up Tops and Bottoms

When you are working with sequenced values in a list, you'll often want to take some action based on the top X or bottom Y ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Ending a Process Using the Task Manager

One of the many functions of the Windows Task Manager is to allow you to control processes running on your system. If you ...

Discover More

Switching between Program Windows

It is not unusual for you to work with several (and sometimes many) programs at the same time. Each program is displayed in ...

Discover More

Over a Hundred Free Windows E-Books

The Internet always provides a huge amount of information, some of it actually of value. Here's a link to a resource that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two minus 2?

2016-01-11 09:52:44

Jennifer Thomas

If, like me, you aren't allowed to install software at will, try using folders on the Desktop and number/name them so they'll sort alphabetically. Then you can right-click the Desktop | View | Check Auto Arrange, and they'll display in alphabetic order every time.

I also recommend a folder for your jump list links; for whatever reason, mine disappear from time to time and having them captured is 1) and easy way to put them back; and 2) Gives you access to those locations when you are saving from within an application (especially networked destinations).


2016-01-11 07:44:38

Arnold

I use fences_public.exe Version 1.0.0.0 from 2012. Its freeware and you can find it on almost all download sites.
Simple to use, works perfect!!!


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.