Unlock position of KDE4 desktop items

I’m running openSUSE 11.1 KDE4 version 4.1.3 standard

Desktop Settings are Type= Folder View

Folder View settings are:

  • Location = show the desktop folder
  • Display = Align Icons and Lock Icons are Unticked

The Gold widget top right hand corner has widgets Unlocked

Today all the icons and other items on my Desktop became locked in place. I’ve rebooted to see if they unlock.

If I move an item it springs back to the place it is locked to / pinned to.

How do I unlock/unpin everything.


Seems like a curious case. I’m two releases ahead of you (kde 4.3) and I’ve tried messing around with some things.

First, if you’re in folderview as your desktop, the unlock and lock widgets only applies to your panel and any widgets you add manually. The files inside the folder view can move even if widgets are set to locked.

Second, your placement of files gets reset when you change from the folderview desktop activity to regular Desktop then back to folderview. Have you tried switching the desktop activity type to desktop then back to folderview? Perhaps this could reset the whole not-being-able-to-move-things problem.

Sorry that that’s all I can come up with aside from doing the whole rename or delete the .kde4 folder.

Good Luck,


Another thing you could try is to click on the cashew looking menu on the top right and clicking zoom out. Then choose Add Activity. This will open another Desktop activity. Press the magnifying glass with the plus sign on it to zoom into the new activity. Set the activity to Folder View and see if the problem still persists with the new activity.

Good Luck,


A variation on your ideas finally worked for me:
R-click desktop → select Folder View Settings → Location. The radio button for “Show the desktop folder” was enabled. I moved it to “Show a custom folder” and selected the folder /home/john/Desktop. That works and back to how I want it.

Curiously, if I show the Desktop using the original (default) method, they’re all still locked.

But with KDE4 my motto is: whatever works, works.

Thanks for the advice.

This behavior appeared recently on my desktop as well and I’m extremely annoyed by it.

It worked as expected until the latest round of updates, then all heck broke loose. It seems the developers decided to introduce a new bug into the icon position functions.

Specifically in my case:

Until yesterday - “Desktop Folder” widget icon arrangement worked perfectly. Now - all Icons are sorted alphabetically and in a fixed position, regardless of the fact that I have “Unsorted” selected and “Align to grid” and “Lock in Place” un-ticked.

Just to add insult to injury, after I tried to “fix” it following the suggestion in the above post, my desktop “toolbox” widget disappeared and won’t come back.


toolbox widget reappeared after kwin crash…

oshunluvr adjusted his/her AFB on Sunday 10 May 2009 16:46 to write:

> toolbox widget reappeared after kwin crash…

Quick, write a how-to



Nullus in verba
Nil illigitimi carborundum

lol – good one!

Thanks a lot swerdna, that helped me too!


Anybody posted a bug report about this?

Yep, I did so today. Look here.

  • Hardy

Well done, thanks from all of us.