How to Lock Image in Microsoft Word

Image 037 How to Lock Image in Microsoft Word

Images in Word documents can sometimes move around unintentionally when you edit the text. This can be frustrating if you have carefully placed an image in a certain position. Fortunately, Word provides several methods to lock images in place so they don’t move.

Why Lock Images

Here are some reasons you may want to lock an image in Word:

  • Maintain layout and positioning of images when editing text
  • Prevent images from being accidentally deleted
  • Stop images from being moved within the document
  • Ensure images stay with associated text or paragraphs

Locking images helps keep your Word documents organized and preserves your desired formatting.

Methods to Lock Images

There are a few different ways to lock images in Word documents:

Use Layout Options

  1. Click on the image you want to lock
  2. Go to the Layout tab > Click the Layout Options icon
  3. Check the box for Lock Anchor

This locks the image to its current paragraph and prevents it from moving with text. However, you can still manually move the locked image within the same page.

Set Image Positioning

  1. Double click on the image
  2. Go to the Layout tab > Click Advanced
  3. In the Picture Position tab:
    • Set Horizontal and Vertical positioning to Absolute Position
    • Choose Page from the drop-down menu
    • Check the box for Lock anchor
  4. Click OK

This method completely locks the image in place on the page so it won’t move at all.

Use Developer Tab

  1. Make sure the Developer tab is enabled in the Ribbon
  2. Click on the image
  3. Go to Developer > Click Picture Content Control

The image is now locked and can’t be selected or moved accidentally.

Insert in Header/Footer

  1. Double click header/footer to edit it
  2. Insert your image
  3. Right click the image > Format Picture
  4. Go to Layout > Click the Layout Options icon
  5. Check Lock anchor

Since headers/footers repeat on every page, the image is effectively locked.

Tips for Locking Images

  • Lock images after finalizing positioning and layout
  • Lock images inserted inline with text using Layout Options
  • Use Developer tab or Positioning for floating images
  • Unlock images if you need to make adjustments later

Additional Formatting Options

You can format locked images the same as unlocked images:

  • Resize: Drag the sizing handles on the edges and corners
  • Re-position: Click and drag the image (unless fully locked)
  • Change text wrapping, colors, effects, etc.

The lock prevents accidental changes, but doesn’t limit purposeful formatting.


Learning how to lock images in Microsoft Word is a useful skill for anyone working with documents containing images. It helps maintain a professional document layout and prevents frustration from images jumping around.

Experiment with the different locking methods to find which works best for your purposes. Just remember to unlock images first if you need to make intentional changes later.