Your Windows 10/11 icons don’t stay in place? Try this

by Teodor Nechita
Teodor Nechita
Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
Eager to help those in need, Teodor writes articles daily on subjects regarding Windows, Xbox, and all things tech-related. When not working, you may usually find him either... read more
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icons change position

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Many users like to keep their desktops looking fresh and tidy. This means either having as few items on it as possible or at least having the icons arranged in a specific way.

For example, maybe you want to arrange your icons alphabetically, or maybe you group them up nicely by category (games, work apps, etc).

However, some users have reported issues where the desktop icons that they have don’t stay in one place and change position after a refresh:

I like to position all my desktop icons in a custom order, but since I took my PC into the Geeks to remove a suspected virus, my desktop icons keep returning to default positions upon restart or refresh.

Additionally, those that have dual-monitor systems have reported a similar issue, where their icons would migrate from the primary desktop to the secondary one:

I recently added a second monitor with HDMI. My primary only allows DVI, and for some reason windows prioritizes HDMI as the primary monitor, so it identifies the secondary monitor as 1, and my primary as 2. I’ve recently run into a strange bug where my desktop icons will always go to the secondary monitor, regardless of which monitor is set as the primary.

If you too have any of the above-mentioned issues, then all you need to do is follow the steps listed in the guide below.

How do I stop my icons from rearranging themselves?

  1. Right-click on the Desktop and choose Personalize
  2. Click on Themes
  3. Click on Desktop icon settingsdesktop icon settings
  4. Uncheck the box for Allow themes to change desktop iconsthemes change icons
  5. Click Apply or OK

Can’t move your icons at all? Check out this guide for some quick fixes

How do I make my icons stay on the primary monitor?

1. Dock and Undock the PC

  1. Dock PC
  2. Unplug the HDMI cable from the back of display 2
  3. Undock PC
  4. Dock PC
  5. Plug display 2 back in

2. Switch icon size with just one monitor plugged in

  1. Select all icons to the primary desktop 
  2. Unplug the second display’s cable
  3. Right-click on the desktop and select View
  4. Choose Medium Icons.
  5. Plug the cable for the second display view medium icons

By following these steps you should no longer have issues with icons that change their designated position. They will now stay in place just as you want them, and they won’t move to any secondary monitor either.

If you know of any other solution for the issues listed above, leave us a message in the comments section below so that we may update the guide accordingly.


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