How to Lock Icons on Desktop Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re tired of your desktop icons moving around every time you add a new shortcut or rearrange your screen in Windows 11, you’re in the right place. Locking your desktop icons will save you time and keep everything organized exactly how you like it. This quick guide will show you how to lock your desktop icons in just a few steps.

How to Lock Icons on Desktop Windows 11

Locking your desktop icons in Windows 11 will keep them from shifting around on their own. Follow these steps to keep your desktop tidy and fixed.

Step 1: Right-click on the desktop

Step 1: Right-click on any empty space on your desktop.

This will bring up a context menu with several options. The right-click menu is your gateway to customizing your desktop.

Step 2: Hover over "View"

Step 2: Hover over the "View" option in the context menu.

When you hover over "View," a submenu will appear. This submenu contains various settings related to the appearance of your desktop icons.

Step 3: Uncheck "Auto arrange icons"

Step 3: Click to uncheck the "Auto arrange icons" option.

Unchecking this option will stop Windows from automatically rearranging your icons whenever you make changes or add new shortcuts.

Step 4: Uncheck "Align icons to grid"

Step 4: Click to uncheck the "Align icons to grid" option.

This option, when unchecked, allows you to freely move your icons around without them snapping back to a grid format. This offers more flexibility in arranging your icons.

Step 5: Arrange your icons

Step 5: Manually arrange your icons as you like them.

Now, you have full control over where each icon goes. Place them in the layout that best suits your workflow or aesthetic preferences.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your desktop icons will stay exactly where you put them. You won’t have to worry about them moving around every time you restart your computer or add new shortcuts.

Tips for Locking Icons on Desktop Windows 11

  • Backup your layout: Take a screenshot of your desktop layout as a reference, in case something goes wrong, and you need to reset it.
  • Use third-party software: There are various third-party applications available that can further assist in locking and organizing your desktop icons.
  • Regularly clean up: Don’t let too many icons clutter your desktop. Regularly delete or move unnecessary shortcuts.
  • Update Windows: Keep your Windows updated to ensure all settings and features work correctly.
  • Use folders: Organize similar shortcuts into folders to keep your desktop clean and streamline your workflow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my desktop icons keep moving?

Your icons may keep moving because "Auto arrange icons" or "Align icons to grid" is checked. Unchecking these options can give you more control.

Can I lock only some icons?

No, the settings apply to all icons on your desktop. However, you can use folders to group icons and manage them more effectively.

What if the icons still move after following these steps?

Try restarting your computer. If the problem persists, consider using third-party software designed for desktop icon management.

Will locking icons affect my performance?

No, locking your icons will not impact your computer’s performance. It’s purely a cosmetic setting.

Can I revert back to the original settings?

Yes, you can re-check "Auto arrange icons" and "Align icons to grid" anytime to revert to the original settings.


  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Hover over "View."
  3. Uncheck "Auto arrange icons."
  4. Uncheck "Align icons to grid."
  5. Arrange your icons.


Locking your desktop icons in Windows 11 is a straightforward task that can significantly improve your desktop organization. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can ensure that your icons stay exactly where you want them, providing a more efficient and aesthetically pleasing workspace.

Whether you are a student, a professional, or someone who loves a tidy desktop, knowing how to lock your icons is a handy skill. With the additional tips and FAQs provided, you now have a comprehensive guide to managing your desktop icons effectively. If you find these methods useful, consider exploring other customization features in Windows 11 to optimize your user experience further. Happy organizing!

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