Everyone knows at least one person who’s had that horrible Windows 10 desktop, where literally every document ever is stored on the desktop and the icons take up the whole screen. It’s a usability nightmare and when you’ve gone to the trouble of setting a nice desktop background, it just gets in the way.
You could just move your documents to another directory and delete the desktop shortcuts to the applications you have installed. But there’s another easier way to hide everything all at once.
How to Hide All Desktop Icons
If you right-click on the desktop (not on an icon), mouse over “View” and then untick the “Show desktop icons” option, all desktop icons will be hidden.
So, whether you just want to hide some clutter or get a better view of your background picture, you can hide your icons with just a few clicks. If you want to hide only a few of your icons, you can do that too, but it’s a little more complicated. There are two types of icons there, and they need to be hidden in different ways.
How to Hide System Icons
For default system icons like “This PC”, “Recycle Bin” and similar ones, you need to go through your Themes to get rid of them. Right click anywhere on your desktop and select the bottom option of the menu – Personalize. In the window that opens up, click on the Themes option on the right.
On the right-hand side, you have an option that reads “Desktop Icon Settings”. If it isn’t on the right, it may be at the bottom – depending on how big your window is, it may show further down the page, rather than on the right. Click on it to open up another window where you can see a list of your system icons.
Hiding or unhiding them is as simple as ticking or unticking a box and then clicking Apply. You can also swap out icons for something else if you want – click on the Icon you want to change (and make sure it shows on your desktop or you won’t see a difference) and then on “Change Icon”. Select the one you want to use and click “Ok” – it’s as simple as that!
How to Hide User Created Icons
For user-created icons such as the ones that are created when you install a program, there is no way to just hide them easily, but there are two ways to have them not displayed. In the case of shortcuts, you can delete them without affecting the program – this would be the case for, say, a program you installed. Even without the shortcut, it will work perfectly fine – the actual software is stored somewhere else.
In the case of actual files that are stored on the desktop though, deleting them would get rid of the file entirely, so your best option is to move the ones you don’t want to somewhere else – a folder, somewhere. To create one, open your file explorer in a location of your choosing, right-click, then select “New” at the bottom and click on Folder.
You have to name your new folder, but once that’s done, you can simply drag the files you don’t want on your Desktop in there. Of course, you can also drag and drop them into an existing folder if you don’t want to make a new one. You can also drag shortcuts to programs into folders like that if you don’t want to delete them – they will still work for launching the program they belong to.