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How do I lock icons on desktop in Android?!

I'm getting tired of having apps disappear without my knowledge, because it's way too easy to wipe an app off the phone, or its icon. But I don't want another launcher, because they completely take over the place, disabling my beautiful MIUI themes, widgets, lockscreens, etc. Is there not a way, app, whatever, to simply LOCK icons & widgets on the desktop screens??

Really?! After this many years Android has been out?! I'm finding that hard to believe, that with 60 billion apps that can do everything but make you breakfast, no one has come out with a single one that just locks your apps to prevent accidental deletion! Even though its very much doable.



#1 SkinJob, Nov 15, 2012
? Deleting the icon doesn't delete the app.

I will generally see an icon disappear after it has been updated ... I think this is a function of the app itself, not an inherent flaw in Android OS.
#2 pwalt, Nov 15, 2012
Also, locking apps into place on the homescreen isn't an Android feature, its launcher dependent. And each manufacturer uses a different launcher. It won't matter if Android does indeed put the feature into the OS's stock launcher if HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz launchers don't support such a feature.
#3 chanchan05, Nov 15, 2012
Yeah. It does in MIUI. And I'm not talking about icons disappearing after updates. I'm talking about icons and apps disappearing from the phone during routine handling of the phone. It happens to a lot of people, I know that for a fact. And yeah, I consider this an inherent flaw in the design of the Android OS, because it's a no-brainer -- you don't make it silly easy to delete applications or their icons off of your system, with no easy way to prevent that!

Still looking for a viable solution guys.....
#4 SkinJob, Nov 15, 2012
Apps disappearing in routine handling? I'm sorry but that doesn't make sense. I gave an Galaxy Y (my carrier gave to me as part of a reward program for staying with them so long) to a technologically challened uncle of mine and that doesn't happen to him. Although it may depend on the ROM you are using. Samsung made it pretty much more difficult to accidentally uninstall apps on their TouchWiz interface. You either have to manually go into app edit mode or to specifically drag the icon into the uninstall bin. And even so, you have to actually confirm the uninstall. On every device I've seen, before an uninstall happens, the device asks you if you really want to uninstall. You'd have to be an idiot to click on OK when you are being asked if you want to uninstall.
#5 chanchan05, Nov 15, 2012
If its that easy to delete apps in miui use another ROM, it isn't an inherent android fault, it doesn't happen by itself if your phone isn't rooted. Its the rom at fault not the android system.
#6 annebrooks64, Nov 15, 2012
I don't know why you guys are getting into a debate about how hard it is to delete apps on an Android phone. I told you it's a problem, and that I'm looking for a solution. I'm not looking to be told I'm imagining things or that it's not a problem for me or anyone else, when it is. I'm just looking for a solution; ie. an app that can lock down apps (but does not take over the system like a launcher).

It doesn't matter if it's not a problem for you in particular. That's great for you. But it's a problem for me, it's a problem for my GF, it's a problem for a number of people I've spoken to, on and off Android forums. It's especially a problem when I don't know what app has been accidentally deleted.

And btw, I don't have a Samsung "TouchWiz", I have an HTC Desire. And if all you have to do is drag an icon to the bottom or top of a screen, then walla, that is the problem. My experience is that it takes very little effort to do that unknowingly. It has bupkis to do with the ROM you are using or whether it's rooted, and more to do with what I said - routine handling of the phone due to the poor design of Android. It's obviously not that difficult to wipe an app or its icon off of my phone, because like I said, it happens on a regular basis. It happened when I was on stock 2.1 Android, it happened on stock Froyo, it happened on Lee Droid ROM, it happens on MIUI, etc ETC ETC!!

Once again: does anyone know of an app that locks desktop icons prevention their deletion, that is not a dock/launcher? It would help a number of us Android users experiencing this same problem.
#7 SkinJob, Nov 15, 2012
Not possible without changing launchers as far as I know, because its an inherent launcher feature, not something a third party app can control. An app cannot modify the settings or capabilities of another app as part of security and sandboxing, especially one that is built in and system level like Sense. A system level app can access and use third party apps, but a third party app cannot affect system level apps unless the system level app was specifically designed to be able to do so. For example, Sense Widgets are exclusive to Sense launcher, and is restricted for use to that launcher ONLY. But the Sense gallery can be accessed via Facebook or whatever photo sharing app because it was designed to allow it.

And to reiterate, no it is not due to the poor design of Android, because HTC Sense has nothing to do with Android, in fact HTC Sense was developed first for Windows Mobile. If it was an Android problem, it would affect ALL phones, including Samsung with TouchWiz. Also, from what you describe, you are simply describing removing the app from the homescreen, and not actually uninstalling the app (which means you can easily return the app to the screen from the app drawer). Unless this is a language barrier sort of thing, I haven't heard of anyone accidentally UNINSTALLING the way you described it (because, as I again already said, you should get an uninstall prompt), but I have heard of people accidentally DELETING SHORTCUTS that way. If what I described in the latter is a problem, then yes, it MAY be an Android problem, but one that is easily rectified.

TLDR: The problem you are having is a Sense issue, not an Android one. And the only fix is to simply, replace Sense with another launcher.
#8 chanchan05, Nov 15, 2012
If you change your mind about not wanting a new launcher, you might try Holo launcher.
Simple, flexible, and has ability to lock the desktop.
#9 electricpete, Nov 15, 2012
Ok, that makes more "sense" to me, if its actually not possible to lock apps without using a launcher. Except, your reasoning doesn't apply here. For one, I am not using HTC Sense on my Desire (it's MIUI XJ, based on CM). You say a 3rd party app can't affect system level apps, but Go Launcher can lock any and all icons and widgets on any desktop screen. And its really not system level apps we are affecting here, it's simply preventing deletion of icons on the screen - we're not getting into the app at all. The icons could belong to 3rd party or system apps or widgets or anything.

default launcher on any android OS that I know of can do this. I've tried many and they're all swimmingly easy to delete icons off the home screen. Yet any of them could lock apps, if a 3rd party app like ADW or GO can do it. Hence, why I say its a problem with Android OS design. Yes, even your "TouchWiz", if like HTC, there is no way to lock icons from being dragged to the trash can. It's not difficult to fix, either. If you can have a lockscreen require you to enter a password to get into the main screen, you can have a stock launcher require you to enter a password to delete an icon or app. (I don't know how, but even with GO Launcher, there are some apps my GF managed to unknowingly delete from the locked home screen! Even though you have to go through a few menus to unlock the screen in Go!).

I would be ok with using a stock launcher just to lock apps, but no matter how customizable they are, they make it impossible to use my MIUI themes, impossible to use MIUI widgets, lockscreens... they change too many design elements that I don't want changed, and there is no way to fix this. I've looked at alternative widgets and apps that will work with 3rd party launchers and I don't like them as much, that's why I opted for MIUI in the first place.
Unless this is a language barrier sort of thing, I haven't heard of anyone accidentally UNINSTALLING the way you described it
Then I take it you're not familiar with MIUI. You can easily drag an icon to the top of the screen, and it will uninstall the app, not just delete the icon. Nor will it bother to ask you politely if you want it to wipe your app off the phone. :rolleyes:
#10 SkinJob, Nov 15, 2012
Thanks, but I rather like GO Launcher, if I were to replace the MIUI system with a 3rd party launcher. It has everything I could ask for in a launcher. Highly customizable, Apple-style icon badge notifications on the 3 basics (SMS, Phone, Email) and even more. Excellent themes, locks apps, great app drawer organization, to name a few. All of the GO apps are exemplary. The SMS is good, the the Contacts too, the keyboard is one of the best I've tried. Best of all, it's free!
#11 SkinJob, Nov 15, 2012
You mentioned "Sense", so I had assumed you installed a ROM which runs Sense as its default launcher. Actually, it's your reasoning that does not apply for the following reasons:

1. Whether Go Launcher can lock the icons, its because its a third party launcher. Basically, the screens it makes are made by the app Go Launcher itself. Which means, Go is locking itself. Let me explain by telling you what a launcher is in the most basic terms: A launcher is an app or program that creates the UI you see when you open the phone. The homescreen, the app drawer, etc, that is all part of the launcher. So basically, when you run Go Launcher, the desktop you see IS Go Launcher, and it's feature of locking the desktop is just Go Launcher locking itself. If you for example run two launchers at the same time, Go and stock HTC Sense, you will see if you switch between them, Sense homescreens aren't locked. Which goes to show you that Go Launcher is not affecting the system level Sense homescreens. Its just LOCKING ITSELF. So your argument of Go's capability to lock the homescreens is pointless. Go is a launcher, and as such if you want to lock the screen, again, its just another example of all you have to do is just get a launcher that can. The launcher itself, the screen itself, is a system level app.

I don't know how to explain it better. Go Launcher makes it's own screens, separate from the screens that the stock launcher creates, thats why it can lock them.

2. We ARE talking about affecting system level apps. You are asking to modify the system launcher, which is installed at system level to prevent accidental deletion without root. And even then if its not a system level app, launchers are locked so as to not interfere with each other.

1. Its simply a reason of the manufacturers not wanting to add it to their OS. Stock Android will not include it, for various reasons. Stock Android leaves many features untouched so devs can explore what they can do with the phone. So its not exactly an Android problem, as I said, its simpy a problem of the developer of the ROM adding it in.

2. Yes it is easy to delete an app from the homescreen, but its not easy to uninstall an app. You still have to go through the uninstall menu, and hitting cancel is easy. You're original gripe was how easy it was to uninstall an app on MIUI. Its not on other ROMs, so your problem is with the specific MIUI ROM you are using, not Android.

3. Some Android builds by CM if I remember correctly is using Go, Apex or Nova as default launchers, so they are stock launchers that can lock screens.

One look at the MIUI screenshots and I knew it wasn't my type, so I deferred from trying it. As such, your problem is MIUI, and not Android or any other launcher. Just email the MIUI devs to add the feature you are asking for. As it stands, the only option you have to lock the screen is use another app, or try to practice your routine usage more, as many people also do not have the problem of accidental dragging, despite using the phones on a regular basis.
#12 chanchan05, Nov 16, 2012
I am not sure if a satisfactory answer really exists out there for you. Based off everything you've described (and my brief stint with MIUI last year), you've decided that a feature of MIUI is actually a potential dealbreaker for you. Now, don't take that personally - I felt the exact same way, and that's the reason I stopped using it. I found a lot of these "features" to be terribly annoying, and I later found that most of the things I particularly liked about MIUI were available as standalone apps, widgets, etc.

This review cites the feature you are describing:

So, this is why you can do it. If you know people that this is happening to and they are not using MIUI, we'd need to know more about their situation to correctly diagnose the situation, but from everything you've said this pins your issue.

However - and unfortunately - as far as I can tell, you're either going to have to a) find a way to disable this feature within MIUI itself, b) request from the MIUI developers that this feature be removed/toggle-able, or c) find some third-party app specific to MIUI which disables this feature. If I were you, I would find some forums dedicated to MIUI use and ask around on there. It's very unlikely that you're the only one driven nuts by this (again, too many MIUI "features" drove me nuts, too, so I nixed it).

I hope this helps. To take a quick stroll down memory lane, this reminds me of an old MMO I used to play which had constant back and forth between the players and the developers; the players insisted that certain bugs existed within the game, and the developers would constantly come back with, "Working as intended." :p
#13 PathToEternity, Nov 16, 2012
Ok, thanks, I understand the problem now, and why in two years or so, I've never found a solution to apps randomly disappearing and uninstalling from the screens. It doesn't really matter to me whether the fault lies with the design of the Android OS in general or not, but the fact that neither you nor I have heard of a stock Android OS that features an app lock does suggest that it's a problem with Android OS's (not a problem that can't be fixed, obviously, just one the developers don't care to fix).

For some reason, it's never seemed to happen on my iPhone, even though it too doesn't come with an app lock. I'll reiterate though, that it is *not* simply a problem with MIUI. MIUI just makes it even easier by uninstalling the apps with one wrong flick of the thumb. (It occurred again twice yesterday! I was poking a bit of empty space in a clock widget to get to settings and poof! The entire widget instantly disappeared from the screen). With other Android OS's, you can still easily trash the icon, and not even notice a particular app is no longer there. For many this might not be a problem, but for many others, it is. e.g. I just read a comment on an app at the Play store today, where someone said they had accientally deleted the app off their screen. Theoretically, someone could easily have half the apps off their phone trashed if their young kids get their mitts on it. I know I'm not the only person who requires an app lock!
#14 SkinJob, Nov 16, 2012
I know why they make it easy to delete apps off the screen or from the phone - convenience. Why I don't get for the life of me, is why they don't add a feature that does not make it easy to delete apps off the screen! I've been thru this before when I tried to get this feature in on a developer's forum, and I don't see the point in people arguing over whether this is good or not. Just add an option to lock apps, so you make life better for everybody! If OS developers are going to go to the trouble to make an option that gives you 65 different ways of scrolling the screen, they can certainly throw in an app lock! Might even be possible for a smart developer to offer this in an app to root users.

I tried to get the developer of LauncherPro to add an app lock two years ago. He didn't, so I went with another launcher. I'll bet LP still doesn't have it! You can't do it in MIUI, and I don't speak Chinese. If I can't get the LP developer to fix it, I very much doubt I can convince MIUI developers to add the lock.

If people knew how their apps disappeared off the screen, they probably wouldn't do it! Alls I know is, I give the phone to my GF for a few weeks, I take a look at it after, and I see that all my hard work is for naught. Apps and widgets have been deleted, and I have no idea how. And trust me, she is not doing it on purpose. She does not even know how to delete an app if she wanted to! It happened to me 2 or 3 times in the last couple of days, where I accidentally deleted/uninstalled an app or widget I did not intend to, while working on my HTC. There is nothing to correctly diagnose, really. Regardless of the OS, for at least some and maybe many, an app lock is needed (as in GO launcher). I'd prefer it have a password lock! Somehow, my GF managed to unknowingly delete apps even after I installed GO Launcher and locked its screen, for the express purpose of stopping her from deleting the apps I installed! (I presume her thumbs manage to unlock the screen).

Much as I love the look of the MIUI home screen, I realize I can not keep it. Because this is my GF's phone, and by the time I see it again, the home screen will probably be pitch black, after all the apps and its wallpaper has been accidentally deleted. I am now experimenting with using GO Launcher on top of MIUI. I found it can "transparentize" the status bar, and though it does not look as nice, I can at least get it to look, if not work, fairly similar to the MIUI launcher.

That's assuming I manage to succeed in getting it to stick as the default launcher after a reboot....
#15 SkinJob, Nov 16, 2012
I wonder if there is a way to increase the longpress timeout to like five seconds or something. Sounds like that would work for you, too.
#16 PathToEternity, Nov 16, 2012
Sorry, late to this thread.

I think the problem is that it's a launcher feature by definition - the Miui desktop, HTC Sense and even the desktop of a Nexus's vanilla android are actually launcher apps. I've seen a few people remove a stock launcher from a phone because they use a third party one, then do a factory reset and find themselves with no desktop or app drawer!

So if this was added to the default android launcher that would only affect Miui if the Miui devs decided it was worth adding that feature to their launcher. How apps are added or removed from the desktop is a property of the app that manages the desktop.
#17 Hadron, Nov 17, 2012
I even made a video for you how difficult it is to "accidentally" swipe your apps into the trash bin using a standard launcher (using ADW). You have to press and hold a shortcut for 1 second before it even pops out for editing. I even purposely swiped from an app shortcut to the top area where the the delete shortcut area was and nada, nothing happened.

And yes as said above, while I have heard of a few people accidentally launching apps, its very rare for anyone to be accidentally removing the apps from the screen. Unless it was a kid. Although I have heard of a very few.

So most likely this is a MIUI problem, like maybe they decreased the time frame for the edit pop out too much (less than 500ms). So your choice is to just ditch MIUI.

Random flinging and swiping at the homescreen - YouTube
#18 chanchan05, Nov 17, 2012
Could it be that your girlfriend never locks the phone? Putting an unlocked phone in your pocket or purse can have unintended consequences.

GO Launcher has backup/restore so you can restore homescreens.
#19 bberryhill0, Nov 17, 2012
I might also recommend that as you explore options and search around the internet for help you articulate the difference between removing an app from your homescreen and deleting an app from your phone. Even though these are evidently synonymous in MIUI (which seems like terrible design to me), most people are going to differentiate the two; I don't really care if apps are removed from my homescreen, because I can add it right back in about five seconds. On the other hand deleting apps should be more involved and incidentally is on my phone.

Please also try to be understanding of the fact that the majority of users aren't struggling with this or interested in something like it (if they were, there would be demand for apps like you are requesting). I wouldn't want anything about my homescreens locked - the longpress requirement is sufficient to prevent me from accidental movement/removal of apps.

I'd still like to know more about how you are accomplishing this, though bberryhill0 posits a theory better than any I've come up with.
#20 PathToEternity, Nov 18, 2012
OK, guys. Stop arguing, please. I totally agree with SkinJob since I am having the exact same problem. I know many of you don't have this problem and you will say something similar to "... you are not supposed to do that..." or "you should do this blah blah blah..." (very similar to my work where many developers won't see why their apps behave differently/unexpectedly when the end users are using them in production environment).

If users have a problem (I am talking in the context of shortcuts are SO easy to be moved or deleted against users' will), then it is an issue that should be addressed. Maybe it isn't a big deal for many of you, but for others, it may. I, for one, have been in this situation and always wish that there is an option to lock icons where they are on the screen to prevent accidental deletion, especially after I spend time arrange them into folders and/or put them in specific order and location.

Maybe the way I work or the way I swipe the icons makes the OS (or TouchWiz or Sense) think that I want to delete the icons or move them, and it reacts accordingly (or maybe my son just doesn't know the significance of his action yet). But since deletion isn't my intention and I can't change the way my fingers move (I am weird, you know), I would like to have a built-in option to lock icons. It might not be too complicated to implement: First if the option is on, then the "trash bin" or "recycle bin" shouldn't be displayed, thus preventing the deletion all together. Second when I (accidentally) move and then release an icon, just put the icon back to its original location. If I want to arrange or move or delete icons, I must first turn off the lock option.

Instead of dismissing this idea as crazy, lets just give users an option, then everybody is happy: it won't get in your way since you the people-who-always-do-proper-things will never turn it on. It won't make me cringe since there will be no icons moved without me telling them to. And it will make Android (or the launcher) a better product.
#21 vbcomer, May 29, 2013
We're not dismissing the problem. We're giving him the solution to his problem (use a different launcher) but he refuses to accept. Necropost though.
#22 chanchan05, May 29, 2013
I know what you meen It happins to me all the time we just get to doing things and don't realize we just push an Icon over to the next window or to the delet. I hope someone figers it out so we can luck or Icon ware we want them Thanks
#23 Tenca Design, Sep 12, 2013
Hi, I don't believe android does not have this app.

I used iPhone previously and we have "AppLocker". It does lock icons from move and uninstall accidentally, lock with password, very simple.

I mean, when we enter the wiggle mode (shaking icons), it prompts for password at first and if we want to click "X" on the icons, it prompts for password again.

Android must have similar app, I don't believe Android does not have the app.

Please help!
#24 atutatut, Nov 28, 2013
It's dependent on the launcher you use. For example, I use Nova launcher which has that option. My mom used Holo launcher which also has that option.
#25 chanchan05, Nov 28, 2013
Some of you (e.g. @chanchan05 ) mocking people that have this problem, are borderline trolling. You just love arguing over the internet, huh? How macho.

I do have this problem. I often accidentally move, create folders, and remove icons from my screen (Galaxy S7 Edge).

I realize why this is happening to me even more with this phone:
  1. The edge alloys my fingers to "roll over the screen" accidentally when holding my phone, and,
  2. When I press of power button, the screen doesn't immediately lock. That is, I 'lock' my screen with the power button and go about my way or put it in my pocket. But then, the Home button inadvertently ready for my wandering fingers or tights to do their damage.
My solution to minimize this from happening (because I don't want to install a 3rd party app:
  1. Change the lock setting to lock automatically (Settings-> Lock screen and security -> Secure lock settings -> Select "Lock instantly with power key". Also, set "Lock automatically" to "Immediately")
  2. If you don't want to have your screen lock immediately when it turns off, if available to you, select "Keep screen turned off" in dark places, like your pocket, under "Display and wallpaper" settings.
  3. Someone (@weazy ) already suggested this here: 'Touch and hold delay' setting from 0.5 seconds (short) to 1.5 seconds (long) under 'Settings-Accessibility-Dexterity and interaction'
I hope this helps you out. For those of you cynical haters that enjoy putting people down on the internet, do yourself a favor and go outside and breathe some fresh air.
#59 tono80, Aug 6, 2016