De-clutter Your Desktop

Is your computer’s desktop getting a little messy? Are your icons all higgledy piggledy? If you’re ready to restore order and clean up your desktop you can do so.

Before you start organizing desktop icons it is important you understand what they represent. Icons with a small arrow in the bottom left of the icon image are shortcut icons and they can be safely be removed. Other icons represent programs or files and should not be removed unless you want to permanently delete that program or file. Some special Windows icons such as My Network Places, My Computer and the Recycle Bin cannot be removed.

To delete unwanted shortcut icons (they have an arrow in their bottom left corner), drag and drop the icon into the Recycle Bin. Another way to remove one is to right click on it and choose Delete from the menu. If you remove a program’s shortcut icon you can still launch it via the Start menu.

Arrange icons yourself by dragging and dropping them into different positions on the screen. If the icons won’t stay where you put them, right click the desktop and choose View and then click Auto arrange icons to disable this feature.

Restore order to your icons by right clicking an empty place on the desktop and choose View and then Auto arrange icons. As soon as you do this the icons will be arranged in columns starting at the top left corner of the screen. Right click the desktop and choose Sort by and you can sort icons in order, for example, by name.

Some users prefer not to see icons on the desktop at all. If you’d prefer they all remain hidden, right click the desktop and choose View and then click the Show desktop icons option to disable it. Your icons will be hidden until you reverse the process by right clicking the desktop, choose View, then click Show Desktop icons to display them again.