We have had it all. From docks to taskbar enhancements to launchers and tools that will “extend” the size of your desktop, we have presented just about any method that will help free your desktop from ugly icons that block the view of any decent wallpaper.
The disadvantage of all of these techniques is that you will have to actually remove the icons from your desktop. If that is not to your liking, here is a tool that is completely different. It lets you keep your icons where they are, yet it will take some strain off of your eyes.
Iconoid is a lightweight tool for Windows (tested on XP) that can hide all of your desktop icons and bring them back once you click onto the desktop – and it can do even more than that.
Iconoid comes with a ton of options and all of them are thoroughly explained on the Iconoid Help site. On the website you can go through every tab of the Iconoid menu and look at the various options, simply by dragging your mouse over the image representing the menu. Best of all, each possible setting is explained in a separate field on the right hand side. This is amazingly well done!
Iconoid plants an icon in the taskbar. Left-clicking the icon opens the above mentioned main menu. A right-click launches a regular small menu that is shown below.
Not only can Iconoid hide your icons and let them re-appear when you click on a random spot on your desktop, it can also save the arrangement of your icons and restore them, should something, e.g. a different screen resolution, mess them all up.
A fun feature is the Icon Dance which might be enough to freak out some people. Icons will randomly move across the desktop until the selection “Do the Icon Dance” in the taskbar menu is unchecked. Be careful though, the Icon Dance will mess up the position of your icons, so better save them first.
The small menu gives quick access to features that can be tweaked in the main menu.
For hiding the icons you can choose between ‘show always’, ‘as needed’ or ‘hide always’. I have selected to always hide my icons, so they will only appear when I deliberately click onto my desktop. They will hide again after 10 seconds, but you can choose any time between 1 up to 60 seconds.
When you choose to show icons as needed, you can let them reappear when the mouse rests on the desktop from 0 – 60 seconds and have them disappear again after the mouse has left the desktop for a certain time.
Another very cool feature to be toggled in the main menu is the “Hide all windows” option.
I set it to “Hot Corner”, clicked the top right button and selected “Lock Workstation” as the action from the drop-down menu. That means as soon as I move my mouse to the top right corner of my screen, my computer will act as if I had clicked [Windows] + [L].
Alternatively, you can hide all open windows or start the screen saver. It works flawlessly.
These were just some of the many great features the program has to offer. Taken together this is one of the coolest tools I’ve had on my desk for weeks, if not months. It’s small and it simply works. In other words, I highly recommend Iconoid. How do you like it?