How to Remove Icons From Desktop

How to Remove Icons From Desktop – You may have many icons on your Windows desktop that came from different sources. Some were placed there after installing Windows, some appear when a program is installed, and others may have been created by you. The method of removing Windows desktop icons varies based on how they were made. To proceed, identify the type of icon you’re trying to remove and follow the steps in the appropriate section. Tip

Deleting a shortcut does not uninstall a program.

General program icons and shortcuts

To delete an icon created by saving a file, the installation of a software program, or user-created shortcuts:

  1. Right-click the icon you’d like to delete.
  2. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Delete.

Option 2:

  1. Click the icon with your left mouse button once so that it is highlighted.
  2. Press the Delete key on your keyboard.


If the shortcut is needed again in the future, you can create the shortcut icon again and place it on the desktop. See: How to create a Windows shortcut.

Built-in Windows utilities

To remove the icons for Windows utilities, such as My Computer, Recycle Bin, or Control Panel, locate your version of Windows below and follow the steps.

Windows 8 and 10 users

  1. Right-click a blank area on the Windows desktop.
  2. Select Personalize in the pop-up menu.
  3. In the left navigation menu, click Themes.
  4. Under Related Settings, click the Desktop icon settings option.
  5. Uncheck the box next to the icon(s) you want to remove, click Apply, and then OK.

Microsoft Windows Vista and 7 users

  1. Right-click a blank area of the Windows desktop.
  2. Select Personalize in the pop-up menu.
  3. In the Personalize appearance and sounds window, click the Change desktop icons link on the left side.
  4. Uncheck the box next to the icon(s) you want to remove, click Apply, and then OK.

Steps on how to remove Desktop Icons from Windows 10 without Deleting it

In case you want to move the icons from the desktop without wanting to delete them, there are ways for that too. To begin with, you can hide the icon just by pressing the right-click button on your desktop, by selecting View and unchecking the Show desktop icons. Another option is to move the icon to another location on your device. One can do this by simply dragging the icon from Windows 10 desktop to another folder location. You can also do this by right-clicking the icons and selecting cut, followed by pasting it in your target folder.

Difference between Desktop Files and Shortcut Icons

Desktop Files on Windows 10 are the actual files while the shortcut icons are links to files that are located in other folders on your system. Although the desktop shortcuts and files appear similar on the desktop, one can easily differentiate between the two by looking for a small arrow that would be located on the lower-left corner of the icon. In case the icon doesn’t have an arrow, it is a full file. If you have happened to delete the shortcut icon from your system, you have only deleted the icon and not the whole file. PROMOTED CONTENT By Tooth scaling without going to the dentist is now possible Dental Clean Merry Christmas -Discounts Up to 35% Off Meet the fabric of NAP and the Story Behind the Brand.

How to undo the deletion of Windows 10 Desktop Icon

In case you have deleted an entire file accidentally and want it back, you could retrieve data only if you haven’t emptied your system recycle bin. To do so, go to Recycle Bin, select the files you want to restore and move them back to their original destination.

Delete Using Desktop Folder

The University of South Florida explains you can use Windows Explorer to delete items such as folders and desktop icons. Press your “Windows” key and “E” to open Windows Explorer and paste “%userprofile%\desktop” (without the quotes) into the Address bar at the top of the Windows Explore window. After you press “Enter,” Windows Explorer displays the contents of your desktop where you’ll be able to easily delete multiple icons if needed.

Click the “More Options” drop-down button in the window’s upper-right corner and click “View” to find an option switch to Details view. This view allows you to see your icons in a table that contains columns, and the Name column displays the names of the icons. Right-click the “Name” column and select “Type” if the table does not already contain a column named Type.

The “Type” column: contains the file types of the icons. If “Shortcut” appears in the Type column, you know that the icon is a shortcut. If you do not see “Shortcut” in the type column, the icon is a files, folder or program.

Right-click an icon you would like to delete and click “Delete” to delete the icon. To delete multiple icons at once, click one icon, hold down your “Ctrl” key and click additional icons to select them. After selecting the ones you wish to delete, right-click any of the icons you selected and select “Delete” to delete them all.

Delete System Icons From Desktop

To remove icons from the desktop for system items, Microsoft says you’ll right-click an empty area on your desktop and then click “Personalize.” Select the “Themes” tab and then click the link for “Desktop icon settings” to see the system icons you can add or remove from the desktop. This window contains a list of special system icons such as Computer, Network, Control Panel, Recycle Bin and User’s Files. Remove the check marks from the icons that you want to remove from your desktop and click “OK.”

Tips for Deleting Desktop Icons

If you view icons in Windows Explorer, you can click the “Type” column to sort them by file type. This allows you to see all the shortcut icons in one group and all the other types of icons in another. You may find it easier to identify the ones you’d like to delete this way. You can also sort them by name by clicking the “Name” column.


When you install new programs on your computers, they may display a message asking if you like them to store an icon on your desktop. If you move through your installation screens quickly, you may miss this message. Over time, your desktop may contain dozens of icons that make it difficult to work efficiently. When the time comes to clean up your work area and clear the clutter, check out these methods to remove icons from the desktop.

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