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This material is archived primarily from Email tips distributed to my own home computer friends here in Ocala, dated 2015-2017. Updates to this material are scheduled for CY 2018.

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Removing Windows Desktop Icons


Removing Windows Desktop Icons

Customizing and De-Cluttering Your Main Windows Screen

Virtually all Windows computers use the Desktop screen as the main "launching space" for users.

By double-clicking on an Icon you can activate a program, open your browser to look at a webpage or email, or view folders or documents that have been saved to the Desktop.

But many programs install a variety of extra Icons onto the Desktop unnecessarily.

Most Icons on the Desktop are Shortcuts. This means that the program or other resource is not actually residing on the Desktop.

If you see a small curved arrow in the lower left corner of an Icon, that means the Icon acts as a Shortcut - usually to activate a program located in one of your computer's program folders.

This means that you can delete the Icon without doing any harm to the program.

However, if you have a File, or a Folder containing Files, or a Webpage Link on your Desktop, usually these are not Shortcuts. They have no arrow in the corner.

This means that if you delete them then the File or Folder or Link will go to the Recycle Bin.

If you want to remove a non-Shortcut item from cluttering your Desktop but want to keep on your computer, you can use File Manager or Windows Manager to Move it from the Desktop into one of your User folders, such as "Documents" or "Downloads" or "Pictures" or "Videos".

Your Desktop is not the only area where you can launch programs or resources. You can use the Taskbar do do this, or on Windows 10 machines you can use the Tile area that pops up when you click on the Start button. Desktop however is the area where users most often place Icons they can use to start up programs.

To activate a program from a Desktop Icon, on most computers you "Double Click" the Icon.

To activate a program from the Taskbar, on most computers you "Single Click" the smaller Icon.

To activate a program from the Start Menu, on most computers you "Single Click" the App or Program listing or the Tile for that program.

If there are other items displaying on your Desktop besides the traditional Icons, usually those things pop up because of programs opening automatically when Windows starts up. This can be changed by Disabling that particular program using Task Manager or the MSConfig command in Run.