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Fix: Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 10

An icon is a small picture or object that represents a file, program, web page or command. Based on the default icon, users will know more information about files, is that photo, video, Word document or something else. When we decide to install some application, the application will create an icon on the Desktop. End users will be able o rearrange and move icons on the Desktop, by their own wishes.

If there are some issues with system, application or Desktop, users will not be able to do some changes on the Desktop. One of the issues is an impossibility to move icons on the Desktop. There are different issues why this problem occurs, including system issues, wrong configuration, applications are blocking changes on the Desktop, and others. Also, after upgrading Windows 7 and Windows 8 to Windows 10, users are not able to move icons on the right side of the Desktop. Also, this issue occurs on Windows 7 and Windows 8, too.

We will show you how to solve this issue on your Windows machine. So, let’s start.

Method 1: Test your mouse or touchpad

In this method, you will need to test your mouse or touchpad. If your mouse or touchpad is not working properly, you will not be able to move icons, files or folders. How will you do it? There are two ways how to test your mouse or touchpad, one is to create text document (Microsoft Word, Wordpad or Notepad) and write some text using a keyboard. After that, you will need to select part of the text and right click on selected text to see additional options. By using this method, you will test left and right click. Also, you will need to test scroll wheel by scrolling text in the document.

The second method is to plug another mouse to your computer or notebook and test is there a problem with a mouse or operating system. If everything is working properly with another mouse, then you will need to replace your mouse. If the problem is still there, there is not an issue with mouse or touchpad. There are system issues which should be solved by using next methods. Both methods are compatible with computers and notebooks, including operating systems from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Method 2: Auto arrange icons

One of the reasons why you can not move your icons is the wrong configuration with arranging options. You should be able to arrange your desktop icons however you want. We will show you how to change arrange options in Windows 10. The same procedure compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

  1. Right click on a blank area on your Desktop
  2. Hover on View
  3. In the right pane, look for Auto arrange icons. If it’s checked, make sure to uncheck it.
  4. Hover on View, again
  5. This time, check Align icons to grid.
  6. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 3: Hit ESC key three times

In this method, you will need to hit ESC key three times and after that try to move icons on your Desktop. This method is compatible with all keyboards and operating systems from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

 

Method 4: Change icon size

One of the easiest methods which helped end users to solve this issue is to change icon size. We will show you how to change icon size on Windows 10. The same procedure is compatible with previous operating systems.

  1. Right click on a blank area on your Desktop
  2. Hover on View
  3. Change icon size. You have three options including large, medium and small icons. You should change current size to another one. In our example, current is Small icons and we will change to Medium Icons
  4. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 5: Change size of text, apps and other items

In this method, you will need to change the size of text, apps and other items through Control Panel or Settings. We will show you how to do it on operating systems from Windows 7 to Windows 10. If you are using Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you will need to https://appuals.com/fix-the-remote-procedure-call-failed/ by following method 7. If you are using Windows 10, you should follow next steps:

  1. Hold Windows logo and press I to open Settings tool
  2. Choose System and then Display tab
  3. Under Change size of text, apps and other items change current configuration to new one as described in text above
  4. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 6: Uninstall software for optimizing desktop icons

Are you using software for organizing desktop icons on your Windows machine? If yes, we are recommending you to uninstall software through Program and Features. This type of software is controlling your desktop icons and you will not be able to do some changes, as moving icons. We will show you how to uninstall software named Fences which blocked moving icons on the Windows 10 machine. This procedure is compatible with the previous operating system and similar applications.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here
  1. Hold Windows logo and press R
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open Program and Features
  3. Navigate on Stardock Fences 3
  4. Right click on Stardock Fences 3 and choose Uninstall
  5. Wait until Windows is finished uninstalling software
  6. Navigate on Stardock Start10
  7. Right click on Stardock Start10 and choose Uninstall
  8. Wait until Windows is finished uninstalling software
  9. Restart your Windows machine
  10. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 7: Reset Folder Options

In this method, you will need to reset folder settings to default. We will show you how to do it on Windows 10. The same procedure is compatible with previous operating systems.

  1. Hold Windows logo and press R
  2. Type control panel and press Enter to open Control Panel
  3. View applets by Category
  4. Click on Appearance and Personalization
  5. Click File Explorer Options if you are using Windows 10, or Folder Options if you are using Windows 7 and Windows 8
  6. or Folder Options (Windows 7, Windows 8)
  7. Under General tab click Restore Defaults
  8. Under View tab click Reset Folders and then click Restore Defaults
  9. Click Apply and then OK
  10. Close Control Panel
  11. Restart your Windows machine
  12. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 8: Turn off tablet mode

In this method, you will need to turn off tablet mode, which is a new feature in Windows 10. Windows 10 is developed as a combination of Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems. In Windows 10 you can switch between Desktop mode and Tablet mode. Desktop mode is the traditional mode of Desktop where you see all icons, files, and folders and you are accessing them from the Desktop. Tablet mode will automatically activate when you detach a tablet from its base or dock if it is enabled. If you are using touchscreen notebook or AIO, tablet mode will provide you better user experience while working on your Windows machine. This method is compatible only with Windows 10. If you are using previous operating systems, please read next method.

  1. Click on Notification center on the right side of the Taskbar
  2. Turn off Tablet mode by clicking on Tablet mode In our example, it is turned off.
  3. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 9: Perform a System Restore

Implementation of backup and restore strategy is a crucial action for home and business environment. There are different solutions for Windows or data recovery, and one of them is System Restore. What can you with System Restore? If System Restore is enabled on your Windows machine, you can revert the operating system to the previous state when everything worked without any problems. Please note that you can not restore your Windows machine to the previous state if System Restore is turned off. Please read how to perform a System Restore, by following method 17.

Method 10: Change Registry settings

In this method, you will need to change icon spacing in Registry Editor. Before you do any registry configuration, we are recommending you to the backup registry database. Why do you need to do registry backup? In the case of some misconfiguration, you can revert registry database to the previous state when everything worked without any problems. For this method, you will need to use a user account with Administrator privilege, because Standard user account is not allowed to do any system changes. Please check steps to backup registry database at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_Ncdre0tVU. After you backup your Registry database, you will need to continue next procedure. Windows 10 icon arrangement is created by a design that’s why it automatically set to its recommended settings. To manually change the horizontal and vertical spacing of desktop icon using Registry Editor, you can follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to following location HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop/WindowsMetrics
  2. On the right side of Registry Editor navigate on IconSpacing
  3. Right click on IconSpacing and choose Modify
  4. Adjust value between 480 and -2730 and then click OK. In our example, it is -1128.
  5. Close Registry Editor
  6. Restart your Windows machine
  7. Move your icons anywhere on the Desktop

Method 11: Change BIOS or UEFI version

In this method, you will need to change the version of your BIOS or UEFI. At first, we are recommending you to update your BIOS or UEFI to the newest version. If that does not solve the issue, please try to downgrade version of BIOS or UEFI. How will you do it? There are a lot of articles which can teach you how to change the version of your BIOS or EUFI. Please read instructions how to https://appuals.com/best-guide-how-to-update-dell-bios/. Before changing version of BIOS or UEFI, we are recommending you to read the technical documentation of your motherboard.

PRO TIP: If the issue is with your computer or a laptop/notebook you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by Clicking Here

RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

About Jasmin Kahriman

Hi, I’m Jasmin. Thank you for reading the article above. I am a System Engineer and IT instructor with over 8 years of experience. Currently I hold a Microsoft certificates including MTA, MCP, MCSA and Microsoft Specialist for Enterprise devices and apps. I’m happy that I can share my knowledge through addressing tech issues and writing how-to’s in a way that it can be followed by everyone.

Expert Tip

Fix: Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 10

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using the Reimage Plus Software which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage Plus by clicking the Download button below.

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