Why are my Windows desktop icons locked up?

lynette September 1, 2011

Can anyone help! When I click on desktop icons they seem to be locked and can’t use. Have to go to Start Menu. It’s driving me mad, tried everything.

  1. rR MADDOX
    April 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

    i can't use my desktop icons

  2. Anon
    November 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    worked for me!

  3. Aibek
    September 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm


    Were you able to figure out using suggestions provided above? Let us know.


  4. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

    1. Ctrl-Shift-Escape to bring up task manager

    2. Go to processes tab
    Find the Explorer process, select it, and hit the "end process" button
    4. Go
    to File >> New Task (Run) and enter, "explorer.exe" and hit "OK
    go to msconfig and see if there are unknow items like lock1.exe and disable then delete the reg entrie, do a scan with security soft

    • Jeffery Fabish
      September 2, 2011 at 9:04 am

      Explorer is not responsible for the desktop icons, only the window management.

      • Edmund Haave
        November 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        That's not correct. Explorer is responsible for all folders and the desktop is actually a folder as well. I have resolved the problem mentioned above several times using the same procedure as ha14 recommends. It works!

        • Jeff Fabish
          November 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

          It is not responsible for the icons present on the desktop. If you open up explorer and browse to the desktop, yes. You will have icons if explorer is not running. 

    • Zoro
      June 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      This is brilliant it just solved my problem

  5. Jeffery Fabish
    September 2, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Well, if you tried everything the problem would be fixed (:

    It's a common prank to replace someone's desktop icons with an image of the desktop (therefore only looking like the icons exist). When you select them, do they highlight? I.e by selecting multiple icons

    Make sure "align to grid" and "auto arrange" are disabled, by right clicking on a blank area on the desktop and unchecking them from the menu.

    The desktop (overview) (Microsoft)

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