The desktop in Windows OS provides a good space to organize the icons of your most frequently used applications, software, files, and even folders. Most users don’t change the location of icons on their desktop, and when the arrangement accidentally changes, getting used to the new placement can be inconvenient. Since you cannot rearrange all the icons repeatedly, you must learn how to lock desktop icons on Windows 10/11.
With the chosen methods, you won't need to rearrange the icons repetitively since they will stay locked in their place. In this article, you will learn 6 different ways and the right steps to implement them.
Part 1. How to Lock Desktop Icons in Place on Windows 10/11 So They Don't Move?
There are so many reasons why the Windows OS will rearrange your icons. That can be accidentally holding and dragging on an icon, deleting some app, or changing the display scale and resolution. So, to avoid any of these issues, try one of the 6 ways discussed below.
Way 1. How to Lock Icons on Desktop Windows 10/11 Via View?
The simplest method of locking icons on your desktop so they don’t appear in a scattered way is via the view setting. For some users, this setting is disabled, and the problem they face is that there is no grid formation from the elements. Due to that, any icon, when dragged from its location, stays where it is dropped, making the desktop look messy, with icons scattered in a non-uniform manner. So, if you are facing this problem, this method is perfect for you.
- This method is essentially done in 2 steps, including a few clicks. You begin at the desktop screen by right-clicking anywhere on the screen. Now you will see a small menu where you must hover the cursor over the "view" option.
- From the new menu that appears, you need to uncheck “auto arrange icons" As you do that, all the icons will return to their original position and form a grid that will look neat on your display.
Way 2. How to Lock Desktop Icons on Windows 10 Via Theme Setting?
Windows settings also allow you to lock your desktop icons in their places. However, sometimes you end up permitting without knowing, and that usually happens when you try something new with the themes. While themes can help customize the looks of your computer, they can also mess up your desktop icons, but there is a very simple way to solve this issue with a few steps, as discussed below.
- Open the Windows menu to go to settings. From settings, you need to go to the personalization option. Usually, it is located on the top right of the grid.
- Now in the personalization option, you need to look for the theme option in the left menu. By clicking on that, you will see several options appear; here, you must select "desktop icon settings" from the related settings list on the right side.
- A new pop-up window will appear. At the bottom of this window, you will find an option saying, "Allow themes to change desktop icons." You need to uncheck this option and click apply, then OK.
Way 3. How to Lock Desktop Icons in Windows 10/11 Via Group Policy Editor
Group policy is a feature in Windows OS that allows you to manage configurations for different users with group policy settings and preferences. It can be used for many things, but we are talking about locking your desktop icons. Group Policy Editor can be helpful in a situation where other users working on your PC edit the icons or their layout on your computer.
The procedure is slightly technical, but you will resolve the issue if you go through all the steps correctly. Here is how you can use this method for locking desktop icons.
- Open the Run application and run the command “gpedit.msc”.
- Now go to the user configuration option, open the administrative tools option, and enter the control panel. Finally, you can go to the customization option. Locate the policy that prevents changing desktop icons. You need to enable this policy, and you can close it after applying changes.
Way 4. How to Lock Icons on Desktop in Windows 11/10 Using Registry Editor
Another method you may try is the Registry editor, which will probably work for you. However, the important thing to consider here is carefully following all the steps since some sensitive keys must not be messed up. Doing anything wrong will result in multiple issues with your system.
- Start by opening the Registry Editor using the Run function and the "Regedit" command.
- Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER. There you want to open software, then policies. Finally, you can go into Microsoft, Windows, and personalization. Here right, click in a blank area to create a new DQORD value. Name it "NoDesktopIcons," You will be done by pressing enter.
Be careful when using this method, and don’t mess around with other folders or keys.
Way 5. How to Lock Desktop Icons in Windows 10/11 Using Icon Locker – DesktopOK
While all other ways of locking your desktop icon arrangement involve working in settings, DesktopOK is your Icon Locker tool that allows you to do that with GUI. If multiple users use one profile on your computer, it will be the perfect tool to create a different icon arrangement for every user. The usage process is very simple since you only have to do the following steps:
- After installing the tool on your PC, you can open it and press the save button. The tool will instantly record the icon location.
- Next, you can click the "ABC" button to rename this arrangement. It is helpful when saving different icon arrangements.
- You can click on the saved arrangement and restore button whenever the icon arrangement is not how you want. You will instantly see your icons getting back to the desired arrangement.
Way 6. How to Lock Desktop Icons in Windows 10/11 Using Desktop Organizer - Stardock Fences
Stardock Fences is another software you can use on Windows computers for locking and organizing your icons. Its unique interface and layout ensure you never face any misarrangement in your icons. If you are familiar with folders on the home screen of iOS or Android, then the experience will be much more similar. The best part about Stardock Fences is its easy usability experience.
- Arrange your icons into a group and click + drag the cursor over them. It selects them and gives you the icon to create fences with those icons.
- Next, you can edit the title of the fences according to your preferences. For example, school, games, business, etc.
Once you are done creating fences, you can add more icons by dragging them inside. Now you can keep repeating these steps for all the different groups of icons you want to create. Moreover, you can look at the customization options the tool offers.
Part 2. The Best PDF File Manager for Windows 10/11
Since many users want to lock their desktop icons, they also need a PDF file manager. It is because no such application comes built into the Windows 10 or 11 OS that can meet your PDF management requirements. So, if you are also looking for the best PDF file manager for Windows OS, try UPDF.
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It lets you manage PDF files like you manage other files and brings additional features. One of its best PDF management features is organizing big PDF files into small sections. After dividing or merging them, you can manage each one separately. Additionally, UPDF brings the Cloud drive known as UPDF Cloud, which is solely made for managing your PDF files.
UPDF cloud makes sharing PDF files with other users and transferring them across your devices very easy. Hence, it significantly enhances your productivity through real-time PDF synchronization. Apart from these, UPDF brings many other PDF editing features, including:
- Annotations and comments
- Editing text and images in PDF
- Converting and exporting PDF into other formats
- OCR features
With all these features, it is the most reliable and secure app for you, considering the multi-layer encryption, lossless file storage, and secure fill accessibility it brings.
The Windows operating system has some features designed to enhance convenience, but they worsen things. The auto arrangement feature is one of them. Due to this feature, sometimes, you will be frustrated that the icon arrangement on your desktop has been updated, and now no icon is in its place. Try the "how to lock desktop icons Windows 10 and 11" methods.
With the selected method, you will never face rearranging your desktop icons. If you like to manage your frequent PDF files on a desktop, try UPDF. With UPDF, managing PDF files becomes extremely easy, and you get many other beneficial features like UPDF Cloud, PDF editing, etc.
Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure