I’m pretty neat. Try to look at my desktop: I have organized the icons by type so that I can immediately find everything I need. For my own needs, however, I change the screen resolution very often and I’ve noticed an annoying problem: Windows moves the icons where it prefers every time I switch to a lower resolution. I don’t want to talk about my little brothers, who always move everything on my virtual desk as if it were a game.

Fortunately, there is a remedy for everything (or almost everything). In fact, I’ve discovered that you can lock the position of icons on the desktop so that you can easily cope with the occurrence of situations such as those mentioned above. Excuse me?

Do you often find yourself in circumstances similar to those mentioned above and would be interested in learning more? No sooner said than done. If you give me a few minutes of your precious time and attention I can give you all the information you need, not only for Windows but also for macOS. Would you like to? Yes? Great. I suggest that we don’t waste any more time in chatting and that we start working immediately.

I’ll tell you right now that I solved my problems by taking advantage of some “standard” features but also thanks to some simple little program through which you can make an ad hoc option appear to save and restore, when needed, the position of the desktop icons with a handful of clicks. Now, however, enough chattering and let’s move on to action. I wish you, as usual, good reading.

Lock the position of icons on Windows desktop

Do you own a Windows PC and are interested in understanding how to lock the position of icons on your desktop? Then stick to the instructions below and in no time you’ll find out how to proceed. It’s all very simple, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Standard” functions
How to lock icon position on Desktop

As I said at the beginning, in the case of Windows, to lock the position of icons on the desktop you can take advantage of some convenient features already included in the OS. To be more precise, what you can do is to make sure that the icons are always aligned to the grid regardless of any changes in resolution or “stop” them in a given position, but defined automatically by the system.

In the first case, all you need to do is to position the icons on the desktop as you see fit, right-click on an empty spot on the screen, choose View from the menu that opens and select the Align Icons to Grid option.

To instead lock icons in a specific position defined automatically by Windows, you should always right-click in an empty spot on the screen, select View from the menu that pops up and then Arrange Icons Automatically.

You can then sort the icons, but always according to the automatic arrangement that Windows wants, by right-clicking anywhere on the screen, choosing Sort by from the menu that appears and selecting one of the options in the additional menu that appears: Name, Size, Item Type or Last Modified.

DesktopOK
How to lock icon position on Desktop

The solution of which I have spoken just now is valid but if what you meant was more the possibility of being able to lock the icons going to save and restore if necessary their position on the desktop, then the standard features of Windows can not do anything. To succeed in your intent you need to take advantage of DesktopOK. This is a free software program that is designed to do just that. It is free, requires no installation, is very easy to use and works with all versions of Windows. So what more could you want?

To use it, go to the program’s download page and click the DesktopOK.zipper link at the top if you are using a 32-bit system, and click DesktopOK_x64.zipper if you are using a 64-bit system. Once the download is complete, extract the resulting ZIP archive to any Windows location, run the .exe file inside and click Yes/Run in response to the warning window that appears on the screen.

Once you see the program’s screen on your desktop, first of all click the flag in the lower left corner and then Italian from the menu that opens to translate the program’s interface into English. Then arrange the icons on your desktop in the position where you would like to save them and click the Save button attached to the DesktopOK window.

Once this is done, under the Icon Layout section of the program window you will see the saved layout appear. Now, whenever you move the icons on your desktop and want to rearrange them back to their saved position, all you have to do is start DesktopOK, select the previously saved layout and click on the Restore button at the top of the window. How much easier could it be?

If you are interested in this, I would also like to point out that by accessing the Options menu at the top of the program window you can define the execution of automatic saves for the position of the icons at set time intervals. Also from the same menu you can choose to restore at Windows startup the saves made, to save the position of the icons on exit, etc..

The Tools menu also integrates several interesting features that are useful for keeping your desktop tidy (but not only). For example, there is a feature that allows you to automatically hide icons on the desktop based on a certain time interval.

If you want to keep the program running but minimize its window in the system tray, click on the Minimize in System Tray link located in the upper right part of the system tray window and you’re done.

ReIcon
How to lock icon position on Desktop

As an alternative to the program mentioned above, you can turn to ReIcon. ReIcon is a freeware, portable software (which means that it does not require installation in order to work), compatible with all Windows operating systems and, similarly to DesktopOK, is very useful for locking the position of icons on the desktop, offering the possibility of saving and restoring various layouts if necessary. It also allows you to add a special item to the system context menu. Personally, I suggest you try it right away.

You ask me how to use it? I’ll tell you immediately. First, go to the program’s home page, scroll down and click on the Download button. After downloading, extract the ZIP file to any location and run the executable for your version of Windows. If you are using a 32-bit system choose the ReIcon file and if you are using a 64-bit system double-click on ReIcon_x64.

Then click Yes/Run, arrange the icons on your desktop in the position where you want to save them and click the button with the floppy disk in the program window that appears on the screen in order to save the layout. That’s it!

At this point, if and when your desktop icons are moved, you can easily restore them by launching ReIcon, selecting the previously saved layout, and then clicking the clock button at the top of the window. Restoring the layout will be a snap!

If necessary, you can also rename the saved layout by selecting it from the list in the center of the ReIcon screen, right-clicking on it and choosing Rename from the menu that appears. If you want to delete a specific saved layout, select it and click on the button with the dustbin at the top of the software window.

If you want to add an option to the Windows context menu that can be accessed by right-clicking anywhere on the screen to save and/or restore icons on the fly, just click on the Options item at the top of the window, select Add Context Menu and then choose your preferred option from the ones available. If you have second thoughts, simply uncheck the options you have chosen to remove them from the context menu.

Lock icon position on Mac desktop
How to lock icon position on Desktop

You don’t use a Windows PC, but a Mac, and you’d like to know how to lock the position of icons on your desktop, or rather on your desktop? In this case, you can take advantage of the features included in macOS that, similarly to what you see on PC, allow you to make sure that the icons are always perfectly aligned and organized according to specific “rules”.

All you have to do is arrange the icons on the desktop as you see fit, right-click anywhere on the screen, choose Sort by from the menu that appears and then Align to Grid. In this way, no matter how you change the screen resolution, the icons on your Mac’s desktop will always keep the position you’ve chosen and will always be perfectly aligned. Great, isn’t it?

If you would like to lock their position in the true sense of the word without being able to organize them as you see fit, click anywhere on the screen, select the option Sort by from the menu that appears and choose whether to sort the icons on your desktop and then lock them in the position they will take by name, type, date last opened, date added, date modified, date created, size or tag by clicking on the appropriate item in the additional menu that will open.

In addition to the above, you can lock the position of icons on your Mac’s desktop by right-clicking anywhere on the screen, choosing Show View Options from the menu that appears, and selecting the preferred option from the Sort by: menu in the window that appears.

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