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How to Remove Icons From the Windows Desktop

Windows 11 and 10 desktop backgrounds.

One way to declutter your Windows desktop is to remove unwanted icons from it. You can delete the icons or temporarily hide all the icons at once if you want. We’ll show you how to perform these tasks on your Windows 10 or 11 PC.

Note: Removing the desktop icons doesn’t delete the apps for which those icons are. You’ll have to follow the app uninstallation process if you want to remove the actual apps on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

RELATED: How to Uninstall an Application on Windows 11

Table of Contents

Delete Icons From the Windows Desktop
Hide All Icons on the Windows Desktop
Restore Deleted Icons on the Windows Desktop

Delete Icons From the Windows Desktop

To remove single or multiple icons, first, open your desktop by pressing Windows+D.

On the desktop, select the icons to delete. To make multiple icon selections, click an icon, hold down the Ctrl key, and then click the additional icons.

While your icons are selected, right-click any one selected icon and choose “Delete.”

Your icons are now gone from your desktop, and you’re all set.

Another way to remove your desktop icons is to select all your icons and then drag and drop them onto the Recycle Bin on your desktop. This does the same job as the steps above.

Hide All Icons on the Windows Desktop

Windows allows you to hide all your desktop icons at once. This doesn’t delete your icons but just makes them invisible. You can then unhide all the icons with a single click. This is great if, for example, you need to give a presentation using your PC and don’t want your audience to see your clutter.

To do that, first, access your desktop using Windows+D. Then, right-click anywhere blank on the desktop and select View > Show Desktop Icons.

Your icons are now hidden and your desktop is as clean as it possibly can be.

To unhide your icons, right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose View > Show Desktop Icons.

And that’s it.

RELATED: How to Show or Hide Specific Desktop Icons on Windows 10

Restore Deleted Icons on the Windows Desktop

Have you accidentally removed a useful icon from your desktop? If so, use the Recycle Bin to restore your icon as follows.

Open the “Start” menu, search for “Recycle Bin”, and select the app in the search results.

Open Recycle Bin.

In Recycle Bin, find your deleted icon. Then, right-click this icon and select “Restore.”

Choose "Restore" in the menu.

Windows will place the icon back on your desktop, and you’re all done.

While you’re decluttering your desktop, learn a few spring cleaning tips as well as ways to better organize your Windows desktop.

RELATED: How To Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (And Keep It That Way)

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