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How to prevent desktop icons rearranging on Windows 10

Desktop icons on Windows 10 tend to rearrange on their own. This is a long-time prevailing bug in the OS and not only is the cause still unknown, but there’s also no real solution to it. If you’re plagued by this bug, your best option is to do a fresh Windows 10 install or to reset it. Both options will take time that you may not have. If you’re looking for a temporary solution, you can prevent desktop icons from rearranging by locking down their position with an app called DeskLock.

Prevent desktop icons rearranging

Download DeskLock and run it. The app will immediately lock all icons in place. You will not be able to drag and drop them to change their position. Any new items added to the desktop will be added to the next available space in the grid.

The app puts the icons on complete lockdown and while that’s great if your icons tend to jump around a lot, you might need to rearrange them at some point for your own benefit. The good thing about DeskLock is that it works with a keyboard shortcut that you can set yourself. Open the app’s settings and record the shortcut you want to use. The Ctrl and Alt modifiers will be added automatically.

In addition to using the keyboard shortcut to toggle the app, you can also click its system tray icon to enable/disable it on the fly.

DeskLock is great but it is essentially an AutoHotKey script packaged as an app, not that there’s anything wrong with it. In fact, when you download the app, you get the script too. If you know how to write an AHK script, you can even modify it and add more features if you need to. On its own, the app does its job really well.

On Windows 10, icons tend to jump around a lot when users move app windows between displays, add new items to the desktop, connect/disconnect a display, or save something to it. Users who have experienced problems with icons jumping around will tell you that there’s no telling what might trigger it. For a long term solution though, you’re going to have to eventually reinstall or refresh Windows 10. The only other option is to wait for a major Windows 10 update. The update may fix the problem. It’s been known to happen but updates tend to break more things than fix them and giving an update a broken system to install on may not be a good idea. Invest time and do a fresh install.

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