Show/Hide Desktop System Icons

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Last week, I showed you how to hide system icons from the Notification area in an article called Turn System Icons On/Off. This time, I will be showing or hiding system icons from the desktop.

By default, the only system icon on the desktop is the Recycle Bin. It’s sitting there all alone, so maybe we should utilize some desktop space by adding functionality lost since Windows XP. You can add Computer (formally “My Computer”), Network (formally “My Network Places”), Control Panel, and Windows 7’s answer to XP’s “My Documents” known as User files.

Show Icons

Right-click an empty part of your desktop and select Personalize from the menu.

You’re now in the Personalization area of the Control Panel. This is where you change things related to your theme like the desktop wallpaper, system sounds, screen saver, and color. On the pane to left is a menu of shortcuts to further customize the appearance, one being “Change desktop icons.”

Once inside the “Desktop Icon Settings” window, you can check-mark each of the five system icons you’d like shown on the desktop, or un-check the ones you don’t.

Save your changes and close the window with the OK button then check your desktop.

Hide Icons

As mentioned earlier, one way to hide the icons is to un-check them from the “Desktop Icon Settings” window. Another option is to right-click the icons from your desktop and select Delete.

The Recycle bin is the only icon that cannot be deleted this way. You need to go through the Control Panel > Appearances to remove it.

Posted in: Windows



is the site owner of Computer Tech Tips and is passionate about computer technology, particularly Windows-based software, malware removal, and web development. He enjoys helping people troubleshoot computer problems and providing technical support to family, friends, and people around the net. Xps wrote 79 article(s) for Computer Tech Tips.


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