Windows XP: Hide All Desktop Icons

Posted by gouthro in Windows

You can temporarily hide all the icons on your desktop without having to delete them. The following tutorial describes how this is done.


Hiding your desktop icons is a simple procedure. Use the directions below:

    1. Right-click on your desktop.

    2. Select Arrange Icons By.

    3. You will see a Show Desktop Icons with a check on it. Click it to uncheck it.

    4. To return your icons to the desktop, repeat steps one through three.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

36 Responses to “Windows XP: Hide All Desktop Icons”

  1. November 08, 2008 at 2:44 am, Jthib said:

    I have lost the ability to do this for some reason. Is there a way to fix this?

    Reply

  2. February 09, 2009 at 3:17 am, Fred said:

    it also removes my wallpaper… so its totally idiot for me cuz i want to hide the icons just to see my wallpaper

    Reply

  3. February 09, 2009 at 3:57 pm, J said:

    Worked like a charm… Best thing to do on friends is take a screenshot of your friends computer while everything in minimised and then apply this as the desktop background.

    Now hide all the icons and watch and laugh as the try clicking on @icons’ and nothing happens

    Reply

  4. February 25, 2009 at 9:36 am, Anonymous said:

    One of my PC’s (XP Pro) also does NOT have that option.
    Anyone come up with a solution ?

    Reply

  5. April 19, 2009 at 4:59 am, fgsfds said:

    Well that was ridiculously simple.

    Reply

  6. May 21, 2009 at 6:44 pm, buzz said:

    there is a god.
    thank you
    buzz

    Reply

  7. June 08, 2009 at 5:19 am, Riyas said:

    many thanks!

    Reply

  8. June 13, 2009 at 6:48 am, Neil said:

    There is no such “Show Desktop Icons” option.

    Reply

  9. July 11, 2009 at 1:34 pm, Anonymous said:

    On step number 1, you say right click on your desktop. What does that mean? There is no desktop icon, just the front page where all the icons are located. Tell me specifically how and where to find the “desktop” so I can right click it

    Reply

    • January 27, 2010 at 5:40 am, shashikarg said:

      right click on the front page, in an area where there are no icons.

      Reply

  10. August 22, 2009 at 8:31 pm, Ger said:

    Hah. I have seen this option before. For whatever reason, I don’t have it now. I had it before formatting my PC. I have NO idea what makes it appear or not, lol. So strange. Oh well.

    Reply

  11. August 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm, David said:

    I don’t see “Show Desktop Icons” on my XP box

    Reply

    • September 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm, Anonymous said:

      1: just right-click on your screen and read options

      Reply

  12. November 08, 2009 at 4:31 pm, Anonymous said:

    How do I make a hide desktop items on the taskbar for shortcut method in XP (sp2)?

    Reply

  13. November 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm, Name said:

    Just found the solution.
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

    go to line 246, left hand side. right click and save link as. save it to your desktop, and make sure once its saves it doesn’t have .txt at the end. open it and say yes to merg with the registry. you should now have the show desktop icons option

    Reply

    • November 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm, Name said:

      forgot, you will also have to restart explorer.exe (if you don’t know how, a restart or log on and off will do it too)

      Reply

    • May 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm, Another Name said:

      Name, awesome. My work computer has this disappeared and I’ve been trying to get the option to show so I can hide the desktop items.

      Reply

  14. December 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm, Ritesh said:

    hi I am using Windows XP,
    but on my desktop when in press right click and go to properties,
    in properties I do not found the two tabs i.e. theme, and for wallpaper (to set center, stretch etc)
    and also in arrange by option I do not get the “hide desktop icon option”

    Please guide me.
    Thanks

    Reply

  15. December 27, 2009 at 4:49 am, Joed Kevin Ubalde said:

    me too but on my other account
    its ok

    Reply

  16. December 28, 2009 at 7:54 am, Anonymous said:

    thanks for the help!! needed to know how to do this to play a trick on my friend

    Reply

  17. March 05, 2010 at 8:03 am, Anonymous said:

    That is not for xp that is only for Vista

    Reply

  18. March 06, 2010 at 6:22 pm, Anonymous said:

    Thanks for the tip :) very useful when you want to enjoy your wallpaper instead of all your icons :)

    Reply

  19. June 07, 2010 at 10:15 am, Mkaa said:

    Um… Any one know how to do that vista hover thing on xp u no u haver over it and then it shows out if any one knows plzzzzz email me that website name where i can download it… my email is mkaa00x@gmail.com and email because i wont come back to this site…

    Reply

  20. June 29, 2010 at 4:01 am, Ghigho said:

    thank you very very much

    Reply

  21. August 25, 2010 at 6:39 am, Josh said:

    On my laptop you got to go to “Arrange icons by” then look for it on that list
    Hope that helps

    Reply

  22. October 26, 2010 at 12:26 am, n0isyneighb0r said:

    nice thanks for the quick tip!

    Reply

  23. December 20, 2010 at 11:49 pm, rem bur said:

    Great, thanks! Works like a charm!

    Reply

  24. December 30, 2010 at 10:17 am, Tksamy17 said:

    For whatever purpose you can hide all the icons on your desktop without having to delete them.

    Reply

  25. December 30, 2010 at 10:40 am, Ganeshtks17 said:

    For whatever purpose you can hide all the icons on your desktop without having to delete them.

    Reply

  26. January 07, 2011 at 11:33 am, Tahirkhan said:

    thanks

    Reply

  27. March 03, 2011 at 12:04 pm, Ummmmnoooo said:

    Is it possible to hide only the icons you want without hiding them all?
    Thanks for you help. :-)

    Reply

  28. April 04, 2011 at 10:30 pm, Danny said:

    In my Windows 7, I click VIEW and check or uncheck View Desktop Icons

    I use it for when I am doing a screen recording with Camstasia

    Reply

  29. September 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm, New Richie said:

    Many thanks for this info. I had allowed Microsoft to do an update and my icons on the desktop disappeared. This cured the problem simply. Thanks.

    Reply

  30. November 13, 2011 at 6:07 am, kwill said:

    Thanks this works -Right-click on your desktop.select arrange icons by… shows “show desktop icons”-Uncheck that in widows XP

    Reply

  31. August 30, 2012 at 7:18 am, Halong Cruise said:

    many thanks. it take me many time to find the way hide all icon

    Reply

  32. December 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm, Mick said:

    Works great and so simple.

    I watch TV on a small portion of the sreen, so it’s nice turn the rest black.

    Reply

Leave a Reply