How to

How to Lock Your Desktop Icons on Windows

Tired of people moving your Windows desktop icons around? Stick them in place with this guide.

If you like keeping the desktop clean and tidy on your Windows computer, it can be frustrating when someone comes in and moves the icons around. After all, it can be time-consuming to put everything back how you like it.

So, we’re going to show you how to lock your desktop icons to keep them in place.

The simplest way to keep you people from moving items on your desktop is to make it so that only Windows can arrange them. To do that, right-click an empty part of the desktop and select View > Auto arrange icons on Windows 11 or View > Auto organize icons on Windows 10.

the option to auto-arrange icons in the context menu

This will lock the desktop items in place, and no one will be able to move them. When you want to unlock the icons, just uncheck the above option.

How to Lock Desktop Icons Using DeskLock

Another way to lock the desktop items is to use a portable app built for that specific purpose. A good example is DeskLock, and here’s how you can use it:

  1. Download DeskLock and extract the ZIP file on your Windows computer to a folder of your choice.
  2. Open the extracted folder and double-click the DeskLock.exe file.
    the DeskLock executable

  3. Click on Show hidden icons in the system tray.
  4. Right-click on the DeskLock icon and select Enabled.
    enabling DeskLock in the system tray

    The menu will close, but if you open it again, you’ll see that there’s a checkmark on the right side of the Enabled option.

If you try to move the desktop icons now, you’ll find that it doesn’t work. You can learn how to lock the Taskbar on Windows if you don’t want people moving items there as well.

To disable DeskLock, just right-click the app icon in the system tray again and select Enabled (the checkmark will disappear to show that you’ve disabled it).

Make Your Desktop Icons Unmovable

When people move your desktop icons around, it can mess up your perfect arrangement. Luckily, you can lock them using the context menu or an app like DeskLock. Now you don’t have to worry about them moving from where you’ve placed them.

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