How to Hide Desktop Icons in Windows 10

Desktop shortcuts are great, but they can cause a mess if you don’t know how to arrange them. If you’re used to a clean desktop environment, Windows can be a bit obnoxious. You’ll regularly have to clean up your desktop if you install many programs since they add their own icon. Rather than removing all your desktop icons on show, you can choose to hide them instead. This post will guide you on How to Hide Desktop Icons in Windows 10.

Furthermore, this guide will also let you restore all those hidden icons if you have an empty desktop.

Hide Desktop Icons Windows

How to Hide Desktop Icons in Windows 10

While there are some straightforward ways to hide desktop icons in Windows 10, we’ve included some other methods as well that might come in handy if the others don’t appear to work out for you.

  1. Shortcut
  2. Hide Icons via Group Policy Editor
  3. Hide Icons via Registry

The last two methods will need access to an admin account.

1] Shortcut

Hide Desktop Icons Shortcut

If you’re a person who regularly keeps switching between icons and no icons on your desktop, this shortcut is the best way to do so, instead of deleting all the icons and bringing them back each time. Here’s how you can hide all the icons on your desktop with a couple of clicks:

  • In an empty space on your desktop, right-click to pull up the menu.
  • Next, navigate to View and click on Show Desktop Icons to hide them.
  • Similarly, follow the same process to bring the icons back.

2] Hide Icons via Group Policy Editor

Hide Desktop Icons Local Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor in Windows also houses an option to show or hide icons on the desktop. Here’s how you can modify it to hide the desktop icons:

  • Open Group Policy by searching for gpedit.msc in the Start Search Box or the Run Prompt (Win + R), followed by pressing the Enter key.
  • On the page, under the left navigation pane, you’ll find two folders, named Computer Configuration and User Configuration, respectively. Expand Under User Configuration, -> Administrative Templates.
  • Under Administrative Templates, navigate, expand and select Desktop. Next, under the right panel, you’ll find a few folders and files listed.
  • From the list of files and folders, Open the policy Hide and Disable All items on Desktop by making a double click on it. Next, set the policy to Enabled and then click on Apply and then OK.

You can turn the policy back to disabled to bring back all the icons on your desktop.

If you are using Windows 10 Home, you can either use the Registry method or install Group Policy and then use this method.

3] Hide Icons via Registry

Hide Dekstop Icons Registry

This method is recommended only for users who have deep knowledge about the Windows registry and can create a system restore point before making any changes. Here’s how you can hide icons on your Windows desktop using the Windows Registry.

  • Open Registry Editor by searching for Regedit in the Start Search Box or the Run Prompt (Win + R) followed by pressing the Enter key.
  • Navigate to the below-mentioned path:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  • However, if the Explorer key doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create a new one. Next, right-click in the space next to the navigation pane under Explorer and choose New DWORD (32-bit) Value from the drop-down and name it as NoDesktop.
  • Double click the newly created NoDesktop key to open its properties; next, change the Value Data from 0 to 1 and click OK.

That said, we hope you were able to find a solution to your problem. Do let us know why and how often you shift icons from hidden to shown by dropping a comment down below.

A long-standing Windows fan, Photographer, and Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Smartphones and Technology.

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