How to Lock an Object’s Position in Microsoft PowerPoint

Have you ever accidentally moved an item in your slide and then had to spend time putting it where it was? In Microsoft PowerPoint, you can lock an object in position. This prevents those mistaken moves and wasted time.

Note: As of this writing in January 2022, The Lock object feature is only available in PowerPoint for Windows.

How to Lock an Object in PowerPoint

You have two easy ways to lock an object on your PowerPoint slide. The first is handy if you only have a small number of items on your slide while the second works best for multiple items.

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To quickly lock an object, right-click it and choose “Lock” from the shortcut menu.

If you have many items, it can be beneficial to use the Selection Pane. This lets you view, lock, and unlock items from a list.

Open this sidebar by going to the Home tab and Drawing section of the ribbon. Click the Arrange drop-down arrow and pick “Selection Pane” at the bottom of the list.

Choose Selection Pane to open it


When the pane opens, you’ll see all of your slide items listed. To lock one, simply click the Padlock icon to the right of it. You can lock multiple items which is convenient if you want to make sure nothing moves while you work on one specific object.

Selection Pane with locked items

And, you’ll notice each item has the lock option, from images and videos to icons and title boxes.

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Depending on the type of item you lock, you may see a more distinctive border around it once it’s locked. As an example, you can see below that the title text box has a prominent border when you lock and select it.

Locked title box border

You cannot move a locked object, but you can still make changes to it using the ribbon, shortcut menu, or format sidebar. Below you can see our title is locked, but we can still change the font color.

Changed font in locked title box

Unlock an Object

You can unlock an item on your slide just as easily as you can lock one. Either right-click the object and select “Unlock” or click the Padlock in the Selection Pane to unlock it.

Select Unlock in the shortcut menu

Keep your slide objects and items save from accidental moves with the Lock feature in PowerPoint. For more, learn how to make a PowerPoint presentation read-only to prevent other types of changes.

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