How to Arrange or Move Icons on the Desktop


This article describes how to arrange, move, and change icons on the desktop.

How to Arrange or Move Icons

To arrange icons by name, type, date, or size, right-click a blank area on the desktop, and then click Arrange Icons. Click the command that indicates how you want to arrange the icons (by Name, by Type, and so on). If you want the icons to be automatically arranged, click Auto Arrange. If you want to arrange the icons on your own, click Auto Arrange to remove the check mark.

How to Remove Icons

Some icons are shortcuts to programs on your computer. Shortcut icons usually have an arrow in the bottom-left corner. If you do not want a shortcut on your desktop, click the icon, and then drag it to the Recycle Bin. This action only removes the shortcut, not the program that it is pointing to. You can also right-click the icon, and then click Delete to remove a shortcut from your desktop.

Some icons such as My Network Places, Recycle Bin, and My Computer cannot be deleted.

How to Change Icon Pictures

Some icons have the option to change the picture that represents the icon. Not all icons have this option. To change the icon picture:

  1. Right-click the icon and click Properties.
  2. Click the Shortcut tab (if one is available), and then click Change Icon.
  3. Click the icon that you want to use from the list, click OK, and then click OK.

If there are no icons available in the list, the manufacturer may not supply additional icons. To find other icons, follow the same procedure on a different icon, locate its source file (usually an .ico file), and then go back to the original icon that you want to change. Follow the same procedure, but when you click the Change Icon button, browse to the location of the source file from the different icon.

NOTE: Third-party tools are available that enable you to change icons.

For additional information about changing icon pictures, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

253689 Cannot Change the Default Folder Icons in Windows Explorer