Locking Icons on the Desktop

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 2, 2019)

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

Wrapping Spaces

Add more than one space after the end of a sentence, and you may find that the extra spaces wrap to the start of new ...

Discover More

Creating an E-mail Message from the Current Document

In some earlier versions of Word, you could type an e-mail in your document and then have Word e-mail it, as a message, ...

Discover More

Turning Off the Date and Time Shown in a Comment

When you add a comment to a document, Word helpfully includes the date and time that the comment was added. If you don't ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Moving and Resizing Windows

The ability to work on multiple things simultaneously is a hallmark of Windows. If you have many windows up at once, ...

Discover More

Starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Hopefully you'll never find yourself in a situation where you need to restart your computer in Safe Mode. If you do, ...

Discover More

Getting the Steps Down

Often when we are using our computers, we need to remember certain steps that we take, either for ourselves or to show ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 3 + 7?

2020-05-09 20:31:16

John Mann

I never had a problem with my desktop icons wandering around until I made the mistake of allowing my laptop to "upgrade" to Window 10 from Windows 7 (the laptop came wtih the free upgrade option built in). After Windows 10 came online I've had frequent problems wtth the icons moving around to any place the fancy when ever I restart the computer and sometimes simply logging off my usual identity and usng a differnt one, then returning.

I use IconShepard to try to keep order.on my laptop. I do have to report, just to be fair to Microsoft, thatI haven't yet had this particular problem on my desktop computer, which is newer and cam with Win 10

The only reason I'm sticking with Windows is that I have some legacy software which I really like, some of which would be a major loss - I have well over 20 years of my life in Lotus Organizer which I've been usng since version 2.1 - I'm now using 6.0 and have used or worked with every version in between.


2019-09-02 16:30:34

Allan

I have many, many icons on my desktop. One way I have found to group them is to create a folder with a unique name and add desired desktop items to it. Open it and choose an item.


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.