How to Hide Desktop Icons on Windows

A cluttered desktop can make it harder for you to get things done. Having a cleaner desktop with just a high-quality wallpaper is a treat to the eyes. Windows allows you to hide all the desktop icons or select icons so that you can declutter your desktop and focus on what’s important. In this article, we will tell you how to hide desktop icons in Windows.

Hide Desktop Icons on Windows

How to Hide Desktop Icons In Windows

Hiding desktop icons in Windows is a simple process and can be done right from the desktop itself in a few simple clicks:

  • Right-click space on the Desktop.
  • From the context menu, expand the View option.
  • Now, uncheck the Show Desktop icons option.

Hide all desktop icons in Windows

So that’s how you quickly hide icons on Windows from the Desktop.

How to Hide Specific Icons Or Files From Desktop

This section will look at ways to hide specific icons or files from the desktop. Here’s all that’s covered:

  1. Double-Click to Hide Icons
  2. Hide Non-System Files And Icons From Desktop
  3. Hide System Icons From Desktop
  4. Make Icons And Folders Invisible From Desktop

Let’s dive in!

1] Double-click to Hide Icons

The easiest way to hide icons is by double-clicking. However, this method is not natively supported, and you need to use a PowerShell script to execute it.

Copy the code below in Notepad and save it on the desktop as a PS1 file. When you’re done, assign a shortcut to the file to execute it. Check out the source of the code, and discuss it in the forum if it doesn’t work.

$source = @"
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace DesktopUtility
    class Win32Functions
        public static extern IntPtr FindWindow(string lpClassName, string lpWindowName);
        public static extern IntPtr FindWindowEx(IntPtr hwndParent, IntPtr hwndChildAfter, string lpszClass, string lpszWindow);
        public static extern IntPtr GetDesktopWindow();
        public static extern IntPtr SendMessage(IntPtr hWnd, uint Msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam);

    public class Desktop
        public static IntPtr GetHandle()
            IntPtr hDesktopWin = Win32Functions.GetDesktopWindow();
            IntPtr hProgman = Win32Functions.FindWindow("Progman", "Program Manager");
            IntPtr hWorkerW = IntPtr.Zero;

            IntPtr hShellViewWin = Win32Functions.FindWindowEx(hProgman, IntPtr.Zero, "SHELLDLL_DefView", "");
            if (hShellViewWin == IntPtr.Zero)
                    hWorkerW = Win32Functions.FindWindowEx(hDesktopWin, hWorkerW, "WorkerW", "");
                    hShellViewWin = Win32Functions.FindWindowEx(hWorkerW, IntPtr.Zero, "SHELLDLL_DefView", "");
                } while (hShellViewWin == IntPtr.Zero && hWorkerW != null);
            return hShellViewWin;

        public static void ToggleDesktopIcons()
            Win32Functions.SendMessage(Desktop.GetHandle(), 0x0111, (IntPtr)0x7402, (IntPtr)0);

Add-Type -TypeDefinition $source


1] Hide Non-System Files And Icons From Desktop

You can also hide specific non-system icons or files from the Desktop using the hidden attribute. Here’s how:

  • Right-click a file or icon from the Desktop.
  • From the context menu, open Properties.

Opening Icon properties from Desktop

  • In properties, open the General Tab.
  • Now, in the Attributes section, select Hidden, click Apply, and click OK.

Enabling the hidden attribute for files and icons on Desktop

This hides the files and icons from the desktop; however, the icons don’t become entirely invisible but are faded and can still be seen on the desktop.

2] Hide System Icons From the Desktop

Hiding System icons, unlike regular icons, cannot be done from the Desktop itself but from Settings, here’s how to do it:

  • Open Windows Settings
  • Head to the Personalization section from the left pane, then open Themes.
  • In Themes, click on Desktop Icon Settings. Opening Desktop Icon Settings In Windows
  • This will open a window showing all the system Desktop icons. Unselect the ones you wish to hide.

Hiding System Icons In Windows Desktop

  • Click Apply, and then click OK.

Read: How to Unhide Desktop Icons

3] Make Icons And Folders Invisible From Desktop

While the hidden attribute only partially hides the nonsystem icons, what if you could make the icons and folders utterly invisible while on the desktop? Yes, this can be done with a little workaround.

  • Right-click an icon or folder on the Desktop and open properties from the context menu.
  • For a folder, go to the Customize tab. For an icon, go to the Shortcut tab.
  • Click on the Change icon.
  • In the window that opens, paste the following directory:
  • Now, scroll right till you find the empty icons, and select it.

Making desktop icon invisible in Windows

  • Now, click OK and Apply.
  • This will make the icon for the respective folder or icon invisible.
  • To make the name also invisible, click on the icon and then press F2.
  • In the name field, type Alt+255 (not as a shortcut, but as Alt, +, 255).
  • This inserts an invisible character in place of the name, making the name invisible.

Read: Shortcut Tab missing in Properties window in Windows

We hope the article was easy to follow and that you could hide desktop icons in Windows.

Does Deleting From Desktop Uninstall The App?

No, deleting an app from the desktop does not uninstall it from your PC. It only removes the quick access link from the Desktop. The app remains accessible through the Windows Start menu. To uninstall the app, you must go to Settings > Apps > Installed Apps.

What Is The Shortcut Key For Show Or Hide Desktop?

The shortcut for showing or hiding a desktop from any app or location in Windows is Windows+D. Click the shortcut once to open the desktop, and tap it once more to return to the previous screen.


  1. hey, this works perfectly on my old acer with vista, but not on my new asus with 7. my friends new MSI has 7 on it and it works fine too. SAD FACE!!!!


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