Fix: Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 11 Issue

Windows 11 is now available on all eligible devices, with enhanced improvements and new features. At the point of rapid growth in the user base, recently, some users complained that they could not move the desktop icons in their Windows 11. They are not able to move the icon from one place to another, even after checking for the possibility of screen freezes and mouse/trackpad performance issues etc.

Microsoft has not yet come up with a definitive solution to the same issue. If you can’t move or resize the desktop icons, things will not work out according to your plan and which will never give you a satisfying desktop experience. After an in-depth analysis, we suggest a few solutions to fix the same issue yourself. Although, we do not guarantee that all the solutions listed below will work on your systems successfully. Let’s move to the around fixes.

Fix 1: Align Icons to Grid:

As a prime tweak to repair the “Desktop icons can’t move the issue on Windows 11”, it is switching to Align icons to grid and at the same time disabling the Auto-Align icons feature. To change the settings, you can follow these below-given steps,

  • Firstly, right-click on an empty space on your desktop and select the View option.
  • Then untick beside the option Auto arrange icons tick beside the Align icons to grid option.
  • Once done, restart the system and retry to move the desktop icons; it will work now.

Fix 2: Press the Escape (Esc) key three times:

Sometimes a simple trick will work here to resolve the “Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 11” issue. One such simple trick is to press the Escape (Esc) key three times in a row to fix the issue. This trick has worked for several users, so; we strongly recommend the same here.

Fix 3: Edit Desktop Icons Size:

If the issue lies in the size of the icons, here is what you can do is simply change the size of the desktop icons and check for improvement. To do so,

  • Firstly, right-click on an empty space on your desktop and select the View option.
  • Then change the Icon size; generally, the default icons size might be Medium icons; you need to change it to Large icons or Small icons. Then check for the result.
  • Once the issue is resolved for you, then again, change the icon size to Windows default size.

Fix 4: Restart the System:

This is a basic trick to resolve almost all minor issues in any Windows system. Most of the existing minor bugs and some technical issues will get resolved when you restart the system. So you can restart the system once or twice.

Fix 5: Reset Folder Options:

Sometimes resetting the folder options might help you tackle the “unable to move Desktop icons in Windows 11” issue. You can follow the below-given steps to make the changes,

  • Firstly, press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer option.
  • Then inside the File Explorer, click on the three horizontal dots from the top menu bar.
  • Now select Option from the drop-down menu.
  • In the Folder Options window, select the General tab and click on the Restore Defaults button.
  • Then move to the View tab and click on Reset Folders under the Folder views section.
  • And click on the Restore defaults under the Advanced settings section.
  • Eventually, click on Apply and then the OK button to save the changes.
  • Once done, check now you can move the desktop icons or not.

Fix 6: Edit Display Scaling:

Changing the style and layout of apps, texts, icons, and other necessary elements might help you to get rid of the same issue. So we strongly recommend the same in your case. To do so,

Note: This change will temporally interrupt your viewing experience and turn the texts unreadable.

  • Firstly, launch the Start menu and go to Settings.
  • Inside the Settings window, select System from the left pane menu.
  • Then select Display and click on the Scale option.
  • Therefrom the drop-down menu, select 100% or 150% options.
  • Once done, go to the desktop and try to change the icons. If the issue is fixed or not fixed, again enter into the Display settings and revert the scaling settings to the default one(125% recommended).

Fix 7: Edit Registry Editor:

As a last resort, you can edit the Registry Editor to tackle the “Windows 11 Desktop icon can’t move” issue. Before moving to Registry Editor, keep in mind that even a minor mistake in Registry Editor may destroy your system permanently, so do it at your own risk.

  • Firstly, press Windows + R simultaneously to launch the RUN dialog box, then type Regedit and open the Registry Editor window.
  • Inside the Registry Editor window, copy then paste the following command in the address bar,

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

  • Then in the next opened window, double click on the IconSpacing file from the right side of the screen.
  • Now in the Value data text box, type a numeric value between 480–2730 and then click on the OK button.
  • Once done, restart the system and check for improvement.

At the end of this article, we hope you are now able to move the desktop icon in Windows 11. However, if you have any queries or doubts after reading this article, then please leave a comment in the below-given comment box.