Fix “jumping icons” on the Windows 10 desktop

The most recent versions of Windows 10 — including the upcoming Fall Creators Update version — have a bug that impacts the moving of icons on the desktop.

When you try to move an icon to the very left side of the desktop, you may notice that it jumps right back to its original location when you try to do so.

This does not happen all the time but it is annoying when it happens. This means effectively that it is difficult to reorder icons on the Windows 10 desktop, and to place individual icons on the left side on the desktop.

You have two main options to fix the issue.

Fix “jumping icons” on the Windows 10 desktop

align icons to grid

The first option that you have is to enable the “align icons to grid” option which takes care of that. Right-click on a free location on the desktop and select View > Align icons to grid to activate the feature. You may repeat the process to disable it again in the future.

This takes care of the jumping icon issue, but it may display large gaps between individual files and shortcuts.

While there is no option to change the icon spacing in the Windows 10 Settings, you may change the spacing using the Windows Registry:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit the Enter-key to launch the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. Accept the UAC prompt that is displayed.
  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktopWindowMetrics.
  4. IconSpacing defines the horizontal spacing. The default value is -1725, and you can set it to a value between -480 and-2730. Windows 8.1 had a default value of -1125 which meant that icons were closer horizontally.
  5. IconVerticalSpacing defines the vertical spacing. The default value is -1725 as well, and it has the same minimum and maximum values as IconSpacing.

iconspacing windows desktop

Note that you need to restart the PC, or kill and restart the Explorer process, to see the changes.

The Deskmodder team found a second option to avoid the jumping icons issue when moving icons on the Windows 10 desktop.

They found out that it depends largely where the mouse cursor is when you drag icons. If you place the mouse cursor on the leftmost side of the icon when you start dragging it, you should notice that the moving of the icon is successful more often.


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