Allow or Prevent themes from changing Desktop icons in Windows 10

The Windows operating system offers you great liberty in customizing its user interface. Users like to change themes, windows colors, icons, mouse pointers, desktop wallpapers and even tweak the Windows Registry or hack system files to give it and its built-in application a cool new look. One of the most popular customization options is changing the themes. Changing a theme in Windows 10/8/7 typically involves changing the desktop wallpaper, the window color and maybe sounds, mouse pointers, and icons. If you like your icon-set and wish to prevent the theme from changing your desktop icons, you can do so, by following this easy tutorial.

Prevent themes from changing Desktop icons

Prevent themes from changing Desktop icons

Right-click on an empty area on your Windows 10 desktop, and click on Personalize.

The Personalization settings app will open. Click on Themes in the left panel.

Under Related Settings, click on Desktop icon settings to open its configuration box.

Here, uncheck the Allow themes to change desktop icons option,

Click on Apply/OK.

Close the Personalization window and allow the changes to take effect.

Now no theme will be able to change your favorite icons automatically. This tip can also be useful if your Desktop icons rearrange and move after reboot.

There are several other interesting things you can do with your desktop icons. You can resize icons on the desktop, display the desktop icons text on the side and quickly hide or unhide them.

TIP: Go here if your Desktop Icons are not working in Windows 10.

UPDATE: MmeMoxie suggests in the comments that you download the freeware Iconoid program and use the “Save Icon Positions (relative)” and “Restore Icon Positions Now” option. They work.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

7 Comments

  1. sean_kelly

    That did not work.

  2. Karen Ehatt

    Why in the f*** would anyone want Windows to rearrange their desktop icons? I just spent half an hour putting mine back. I NEED THEM IN THE ORDER I PUT THEM IN. This is another asinine example of Windows doing something nobody wants.

  3. MmeMoxie

    Hi Andy – What you have suggested does not work with many, many icons on the desktop. From my own understanding, this is so that the icons can “fit” the Theme – Not for keeping the icons from moving about the desktop. I have tried doing this way, too – It didn’t work. When I would open Windows – The icons would be all over and not in the order I wanted them. I worked hard to keep them in position. I have a lot of icons on my desktop, most of them casual game shortcuts.

    However, I found a wonderful program by SillySot Software for both 32Bit and 64Bit Windows. They do claim that they are not sure if this program will work with Windows 10. They are also not upgrading this program anymore, meaning they are finished with improvements. I can understand why – Iconoid is working perfectly, even when Windows causes the icons to move all over your desktop. You only have to click one button labeled “Restore Icon Positions Now.” After I do that, I then click the button labeled “Save Icons Positions (relative)”, making sure the program will do what it is designed to do.

    For me, keeping my icons in the right position for me – Is like keeping my file names in my order, not anyone else’s order. }:O)

  4. Ben Arnold

    Thank God for you MmeMoxie for literally saving my life. I have heart issues and I have enough stress on my plate everyday. Being that much of my day to day work involves opening literally thousands of folders, you can image the state of my blood flow when those folders are not where I last left them. May God bless you richly!

  5. Ben Arnold

    Yes, totally, I hope that Any updates this article to show some optional fixes including your SillySot Software quick fix recommendation. And might I add what I said before, just to reiterate: “Thank God for you MmeMoxie for literally saving my life. I have heart
    issues and I have enough stress on my plate everyday. Being that much of
    my day to day work involves opening literally thousands of folders, you
    can image the state of my blood flow when those folders are not where I
    last left them. May God bless you richly!” The world needs millions of you! -Ben Arnold (ChatFellow CEO)

  6. MmeMoxie

    One other note. When I first started using Iconoid, my desktop icons were disappearing on and off. I had disabled the Peek aspect of Desktop Icons and it still happened. Then I opened Iconoid and really looked at all of the options. The 2nd tab is labelled Hiding and I opened it and saw, Icon Hiding, the first selection was “Never hide.” The moment I selected it, the icons have stayed and NO hiding. Just remember, with Microsoft’s Updates many things can change and “hiding” the icons can be one of them. When that happens, simply open Iconoid and select “Never hide”, again. Hope, this helps you further.

    I may not have a business but it is just a vital to me and lowers my own stress levels, when things stay just the way they are. }:O)

  7. MmeMoxie

    Thank you, I am humbled by your praise. I believe in sharing information, this is how we learned and grow, in my humble opinion. Knowledge should never be private. I have always strived to help others in my own way. In fact, there are many who do the same thing, thank heavens. I am a self-taught Geek and if, it wasn’t for others to share their own knowledge, I would not be the Geek I am today. Andy is one who loves to share. I always like to read his articles in The Window Club. He has a lot of knowledge and is willing to share it with others. To me that is a wonderful teacher and person. Thank Andy, for all you do.

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