Windows Quick Tip – How to hide desktop icons

I first learned Windows could hide desktop icons after answering Help Desk tickets. I would get calls and emails from people saying, ALL OF MY FILES ARE GONE!!! When I would get to their desk, sure enough, their desktop would be empty. Completely empty.

Now there are some people who keep a clean desktop, but even they have a couple of icons there. A folder or shortcut to something they often use. Or they’ve got a shortcut they’re unable to remove due to the lack of admin rights.

There are also uses for hiding the desktop’s icons. When I want to record a screen cast or capture screenshots without the clutter of my desktop, I will hide the icons to give it a much cleaner look.

Whether you’re trying to answer a help desk ticket, or simply want a clean desktop, it’s very simple to hide them.

Hide desktop icons

  1. Right click on your Desktop.
  2. Select View
  3. Under the drop down menu, uncheck Show desktop icons
  4. Enjoy an empty desktop.

To bring them back, repeat the first two steps and click Show desktop icons so there is a check mark next to them.

And now you know how to hide Windows desktop icons.