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Windows 7: Desktop Icons Can't Be Moved - Unlike Any Other Icon Thread I've Seen

14 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Desktop Icons Can't Be Moved - Unlike Any Other Icon Thread I've Seen

Hi everybody!

I know some out there are thinking "Oh no, another 'my icons are moving' thread from someone who hasn't looked for previous posts", but this is different as far as I can tell. I have gone through every Desktop Icon related thread I can find, and this seems to be a new problem.

I will try to explain...

First off, this happened out of the blue, which is what makes me nervous. I normally keep my icons to the left, with any open projects or new things to the right, and I keep my Recycle Bin at the bottom right as well. I will often save an image temporarily on the desktop, then when I am done I will drag it to the trash. This is something that happens just about every day, usually more than once a day. A couple days ago I tried to drag a picture to the trash, and as soon as it started to move it disappeared, and I was dragging an empty cursor accross the screen. Then I noticed that the picture was now located in the upper left corner where I keep my "My Computer" icon, having pushed the My Computer icon down a notch. The whole row was moved down, with the bottom icon moved to the top of the second row. Which ever icon i try to move, it gets put at the top left. I end up having to move all the icons in the right order to get them all lined up again. What puzzles me is that I made no changes, but now I can no longer move any icon, or drag any icon to the trash.

I do have the "Align Icons to Grid" checked, as I always have. When I uncheck that and try to move an icon, it starts to stack all the icons on top of each other in the upper left corner, almost off the screen. When I re-check it, they all move back, but the same thing happens if I try to drag them. I do not have the Auto Arrange Icons feature checked, and I never have. I can right click the icon and delete it that way, but can't drag them to the trash, nor can I drag them to any other spot on the desktop.

I have looked here, and I spent a coupe hours on Google and I could not find anything with this problem being explained. I can't be the only person this has happened to, but I can't find a solution or explanation anywhere. If anyone can help I thank you sincerely!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jan 2012   #2

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer

Welcome to SF.

Okay, this weird. Does the same thing happen if you move folders?

Has your mouse been acting strangely otherwise?

Have you tried doing a system restore to a date prior to this problem?

Have you run malwarebytes?

Or rebuild icon cache?

Icon Cache - Rebuild
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Thanks Lemur (love the avater btw)

It does it with everything on the desktop. In fact, as I started to reply, I tried to move my Recycle Bin, and it shot up to the upper left corner. I have no idea how I am going to get it back!

I have done a full scan with Avast, and I have run Spybot. There are some things that Spybot says I have to be an administrator to remove, which of course I AM, but I think I know what they are, and they should just be an irritating toolbar I have never used.

I have never tried a system restore. Maybe that would be worth a shot. I will also look into Icon Cache to see if that helps. I haven't heard of that one before.

I guess you haven't ever heard of this either. I have never seen anything like it. Anything I try to move, after dragging just a few mm shoots up and takes the place of the top left icon. THe next thing I try to move will then push that one down a step as it takes that spot. They all work fine if I double click them or right click, they just can't be moved.

Thank you so much for the reply, and I will post the results as I try them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jan 2012   #4

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer

Yep, strange. It wouldn't hurt to rebuild the cache or do a system restore. Both very easy. Let us know...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Ok, just did a system restore to the oldest point available, which was the windows update on 1/10/11. I am almost positive that I have only had this problem since the 12th, so I figured that would work. Upon its first restart I got a black screen. Was able to bring up task manager, so I tried loggin off. It did bring it to the loggin screen, but at that point my mouse pointer would barely move, and was delayed about 3 seconds. Managed to shut it down completely. Fired it up again, and everything came back as it should, however, the problem persists.

One other note... When you first start up, once windows loads it used to log me in automatically. After one of the updates, I started getting the loggin screen with my name and avatar that I had to click on to log in. I haven't had to do that in a long time. So just in the last couple days I have had to click that to log in, and that seems about the same time this other thing started. I am really surprised that the system restore didn't fix it. I did notice that upon starting after the restore, my icons were in different positions, but when I tried to move them, the same thing happened.

I will move on to another solution and see what happens. Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #6


Take a look at this link...

How To Change Icon Spacing On Desktop
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
sfc /scannow

Have you restarted your PC since the problem appeared?
Has anything else weird started happening?
Weird glitches sometimes go away after a restart.

You may need to open the "Command Prompt" and execute:
sfc /scannow
SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64


I have now run AdAware as well as Spybot and Avast scans. Objects were found and removed, but nothing that changed anything. The system restore didn't work, though that may simply be because I didn't have an older restore point. I tried the Icon Cache suggested by Lemur, and I went through all the options I could find for customization/personalization, including making some other alterations just to see if they would take, which they did. I was able to change the size and spacing of the desktop icons, but once all of that was said and done I tried to move something and the problem persists! This really has me stumped.

I am off to try the System File Checker now (Thanks Lehnerus)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

sfc/scannow complete and found no errors. As far as every bit of maintenance I have (now have) is concerned, things couldn't be better! Sadly this is not the case, as the problem persists.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Oh you guys are going to love this!

So I can grab a random icon from the row on the left, and if I move it REALLY FAST and let go of the left mouse button, it will drag it out of place and leave it wherever it ended up on the desktop. However, from there if I try to adjust it, it shoots right back to the upper left corner again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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