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

Transferring Fonts

Do you want to transfer fonts from one computer system to another? It is relatively easy to do, but there is one ...

Discover More

Choosing What You See in the Equation Editor

Sometimes it can be helpful to see where non-printing characters are located. Here's how to view non-printing characters ...

Discover More

Problem with Menus Crashing Word

What do you do if, one day, one of your Word menus suddenly stops working and actually crashes the program? Here's the ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Ending a Frozen Program

Sometimes a program can get 'stuck,' meaning it is no longer responsive and appears to be doing nothing at all. You can ...

Discover More

Removing Spyware with Windows Defender

Despite your best efforts, it's possible that your system might still get afflicted with spyware. If that happens, you ...

Discover More

Using the Contact Support App

Windows 10 has a built-in Contact Support app that you can use to look up possible answers to issues you're having and ...

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 eight more than 0?

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.