How to Hide and Restore System Icons from the Desktop

Ben Stegner 08-12-2015

You might have a lot of icons on your desktop How to Clean Up Your Windows Desktop Once and for All Clutter is more detrimental than you realize. A tidy Windows desktop makes things easier to find, is more pleasing to look at, and reduces stress. We show you how to get your desktop in order. Read More , but did you know that you can choose whether to have the Recycle Bin, Control Panel, and other system shortcuts showing? Here’s how to make them go away (if they’re too cluttered) or how to get them back (if accidentally removed).


For Windows 10: Right-click empty space on the desktop and choose Personalize. From here, click Themes on the left sidebar and choose Desktop Icon Settings to open the dialogue. You can choose to show or hide Computer (or “This PC”), User’s Files (your user folder), Network, Recycle Bin, and the Control Panel. Click OK to show your icons.

For Windows 7 and 8.1: Right-click on your desktop and choose Personalize, then on the left sidebar choose Change Desktop Icons. You’ll get the same dialogue box with the five choices to show or hide. Click OK to save your changes and see your icons again.

If you want to keep the Recycle Bin shortcut around but don’t like clutter on your desktop, try pinning it to your Start menu. This keeps it accessible without blocking your awesome desktop wallpapers Need A New Wallpaper? These 5 Awesome Sites Will Get You There Your choice of desktop wallpaper says a lot about who you are. So, if your wallpaper is an expression of who you are, where can you find wallpapers that fit your personality? Read More .

Now that you can see it again, make your Recycle Bin even better Make a Better Recycle Bin With These Great Tools & Tricks Most of us are very familiar with the Recycle Bin. We use it regularly, and it seems like a feature we can’t do much to customize – deleted files go there, and we can permanently... Read More .

What icons do you like on your desktop? Do you prefer the convenience of showing them, or do you like to keep things clean? Let us know!

Image Credit: Yongcharoen_kittiyaporn via

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