Thursday, December 31, 2009 2:24 AMHiya, does anybody know of a way (in Windows 7) to lock/pin the desktop icons in place once
you have arranged them?
My desktop isn't exactly cluttered, I think, there are at any given moment some 45-50. For
the sake of easy navigation I try to keep the number to a minimum.
When I have moved the icons around so that they are grouped into categories (roughly)
and have their fixed places, it's easy to find what I'm looking for, and one gets used to it,
like the layout of ones apartment for example. The desktop 'feels like home' to put it
simply, plus it looks good.
But every once in a while upon boot they are moved to the left side of the screen, not
sorted alphabetically (which, at least, would have been some help) but in completely
random order so it takes unnecessarily long to find what youre looking for.
I would understand it, and accept it, if it ocurred only after I, say, change the resolution,
but it happens randomly, 'unprovoked'.
Not a big problem, true, but kind of a drag, so if anybody knows how to pin/lock the icons
in place I'd be very grateful to know how.
Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010 8:22 AMModerator
This behavior is by design, we do not have method to lock the icons.
We will report your concern as a customer voice to our proper department.
Arthur Xie - MSFT
- Marked As Answer by Carey FrischMVP, Moderator Sunday, December 02, 2012 4:18 PM
Wednesday, January 06, 2010 4:07 PMArthur's answer is a little misleading. Windows 7 will normally remember where you put your icons.
I have no problem having my desktop icons remain where I've put them. In my case I've arranged them across the top and bottom of the screen.
Automatic desktop rearrangement can be triggered if the system thinks the size of the screen has changed. You wouldn't be using an external monitor on a laptop, or remote desktop, or a "skin", or something else that might make Windows think the desktop has been changed and needs to be refreshed, would you?
- Marked As Answer by Arthur XieMicrosoft Contingent Staff, Moderator Monday, January 25, 2010 7:11 AM
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:11 PM
If the icons move after a reboot or shutdown then try using F5 after arranging or adding icons, or right-click the desktop and click 'Refresh'. That should lock the current icons in place wherever they are on your desktop -- this only locks the locations, not necessarily the order if you stack them in little heaps.Caveat: If you change a document with MS office it'll delete the old icon and generate a new one (which'll put it on the left side of your desktop). I use OpenOffice which seems to leave the icons intact.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 6:24 PM
Hi Noel, I have exactly same behaviour which you predicted :) I am using external monitor and probably windows assume a screen size change on primary monitor while connecting or disconnecting external monitor. Now when this happens all my desktop icons are shuffled in a strange way.
Do we have resolution of this problem or it's still unattended ?
Saturday, October 01, 2011 5:36 PM
I think if you search the web you will come to the conclusion that this is a poor design. Not only that, but has been irritating windows users since XP and before.
Lots of people, myself included find it extremely annoying for Windows7 to auto arrange desktop icons. For those that dont - well, they dont have to have to check the "lock icons" checkbox.
Saturday, October 01, 2011 5:38 PMYeah, I hook up to several different external monitors. So what? I still dont want Windows messing with the arrangement.
Saturday, October 01, 2011 5:39 PMIt is still unattended. Any updates Arthur?
Saturday, October 01, 2011 8:21 PM
Arrange them for each different desktop resolution, and as far as I can see (assuming you log off successfully) it will remember the arrangement for each different resolution.
I suspect you'd hate it if when you switched to a smaller resolution that the icons that would no longer be visible were permanently out of reach.
- Edited by Noel CarboniMicrosoft Community Contributor Saturday, October 01, 2011 9:21 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:15 AMYou should report this little/big problem. We all like our desktops in a nice personal order, all the technology we have and we can't keep icons in an order we like????!!!! Somebody help!
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 3:43 AM
You should report this little/big problem. We all like our desktops in a nice personal order, all the technology we have and we can't keep icons in an order we like????!!!!
^ YEAH......what he said!!!
Friday, July 20, 2012 4:05 PM
Here is a great fix.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 8:40 PM
i.e. using external monitor etc.
OF COURSE WE ARE!
And what difference should it make?
Either add option to lock them or at the very least stop arbitrarily rearranging them.
More indefensible MS behavior.
Monday, August 27, 2012 11:03 PMOh, how I wish Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom would fix this constant irritation! I tried Buell_Ghost's suggestion (having found it elsewhere), but it disappears every time I restart my machine! I'm getting really, really, REALLY tired of having to move the same half-dozen icons every single time I restart my computer. Screen resolution should make no difference in where the icons are positioned; one organizes their icons to work best for them, on their own machine, and expect those icons to show up in their assigned positions unless or until one moves them! To those at Microsoft who answer only, "This is by design," this is a kiss-off answer; what you're saying is, "This is the way it is, live with it!" I have no desire to have to add third-party programs to fix a problem which shouldn't exist in the first place. Get a clue, Microsoft, and FIX. THE. PROBLEM!
- Edited by MADinIowa Monday, August 27, 2012 11:07 PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 12:17 AM
Those of you losing your icon positions across reboots, can you be more specific about what you're doing, please?
I have never, to the best of my memory, had my desktop icons become rearranged on their own, across any reboot, in 3 years of using Windows 7. That used to happen occasionally with Vista, but not with Windows 7.
I have the same two monitors on and connected all the time and on average I only reboot this system every week or two (pretty much only when Windows Update needs it), but it's enough to know that this problem isn't a basic design flaw of Windows - at least not with the video cards I've used and drivers I've used. So it's at least possible that it should work the way you want it to.
What are you doing differently than I am?
Posts like "I wish Microsoft would fix this problem" without a clear description of what's being done really aren't helpful, though in fairness the posters (e.g., MADinIowa) may not know it actually can work right.
Please provide more detail about what you're doing and what might be exceptional about your system, the way you use it, or whatever. Maybe we might be able to figure out what's going wrong and get it working for you. Don't look now, but Microsoft isn't listening, or at best doesn't feel responsible.
- After arranging your desktop the way you like it, are you logging off or shutting your system down gracefully?
- Do you change monitor cabling or power it/them down separately from starting/stopping your OS?
- Do you use one and only one resolution on the monitor?
- Are video games or other apps causing your system to go full-screen?
- Did it once work then stop remembering the icon positions?
- Have you checked all of what's running on your system with e.g., AutoRuns and ShellExView?
Detailed how-to in my eBooks:
Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:49 PM
Hi, I had the same problem. Anytime I give a presentation using a beamer, the laptopscreen (wide) changes.only the centeroart of the screen displayse the entire desktop leaving 2 black spaces on either side. Thus not using the entire widescreen. This happens depending on the projector or beamer.
When I disengage the beamer, the laptop screen returns to its original size, but the icons are scrambles and are all clustered on the left side. I googled for answers and found different ones. I tried using this one first:written by:securityguy14
When you say "LOCK the icon items on my desktop" I'm assuming that you mean to keep them from re-arranging themselves with a reboot? If that is what you mean, then just copy then paste whats below to notepad, then click on "File>save as..." at the top, save it to the desktop. when you go to save it change the "Save as type" from "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files" and name it anything with a .reg extension. then close everything and click on the file and choose "merge". also you want to make sure to add the part " Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00". that registry setting saves the position of items on the desktop when you shut down
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
This is what I got. when I tried merging it. I did not use windows reguistry editor 5.00
then I downloade "fences" from stardock. This works just fine. I bought the pro version. Works realu good and gives your desktop a look almost like the new windows 8, but works just like windows 7.
Friday, October 12, 2012 8:30 AM
"if my system and device had drivers for linux i would use them as my os but im stuck with ms"
You're an idiot.
Where do you think the drivers etc come from? You've just made my day. May natural selection take it's due course!
Oh, and by the way, SPELL CHECK is a "gay ass bs peece ov rubbiss", but it's by design in Microsoft Word. Wiens out the silly children, remember that in IT class later on.
Friday, November 02, 2012 7:15 PMSeeing as how this is still a problem for me and the posts aren't that old I felt like I should give a real response as to what is happening. The default configuration for icons is top to bottom starting in the left hand corner. I personally have arranged my icons along the top of my screen so they don't block my background. I am also running two monitors and have certain icons on the other screen so I don't have to minimize to bring them up. When ever my computer reboots, shuts down or my desktop refreshes, the icons revert to the default position, including the ones on the second monitor. It has nothing to do with a resolution change because I am always using the same monitors on a fixed resolution. I do not switch inputs in any way. I know that if you change resolutions, the icons will shuffle around a bit due to image resizing.
Friday, November 02, 2012 7:28 PM
I do things a lot like what you have described, sbrant001. I have lines of icons running across near the top and bottom of my primary monitor (of two), so that I can usually see them if I'm running windowed apps that don't cover quite the whole screen. In some cases occasionally I put icons on the second monitor as well. In my case I also keep the Taskbar at the top and auto-hidden, though I don't think that should matter.
I haven't had my icons rearrange themselves as far back as I can remember.
Something you can try:
1. Close all your apps.
2. Arrange the icons the way you want them.
3. Immediately log off then back on again.
If all goes well, at logoff time is when your system should store all your settings, etc., including icon positions, and your icons will be where you left them.
If you're never actually logging off (e.g., you just run until your system crashes), or something is preventing the successful writing of your user profile information during what should be a graceful shutdown then the icon positions could be lost. In that case, check your Windows event viewer to see if you see any messages to the effect of "unable to write user profile/registry information".
Detailed how-to in my eBooks:
- Edited by Noel CarboniMicrosoft Community Contributor Friday, November 02, 2012 7:33 PM
Friday, November 23, 2012 12:07 AM
I have been
frustrated with this for a long time too. In fact, it is one of the reasons
that I got to the point of just deleting EVERYTHING off of my desktop.<o:p></o:p>
That said I
would like to use it. I have recently tried with my newer Windows 7 computer
(haven't even tried sense Windows XP 1ed). Every time I boot up, my icons are
all jumbled. I even tried to use the auto arrange in alphabetical order, but
then it looks to me they get ordered by which account I loaded a program in on,
and then by alphabet.<o:p></o:p>
some pretty nice software by a company called Stardock that actually organizes
your icons for you along with many other features. I would be interested in seeing
something like that built into Windows... and yes, without having to get yet
another OS installed.<o:p></o:p>
Monday, December 17, 2012 10:39 PMWe are STILL waiting for a resolution of this? Really? Seems like it should be a simple program to write, giving the user the option to lock or unlock. I too am tired of the hassle, and that is really the biggest complaint from me regarding Windows7. Please bring in the new year with this fixed!
Monday, December 31, 2012 6:15 AMI've been using Desktop Restore from http://www.midiox.com for about 10 years now, It's free and works on all versions of windows since win98, 2000, millenium, XP Vista, Win7 and Win8 32 and 64bit. Never ever had a problem with it and you can save multiple icon arrangements for multiple resolutions. Microsoft should send Midiox.com a couple of millions in donations for doing their job.
- Proposed As Answer by Chela77 Wednesday, January 02, 2013 3:57 PM