Desktop icons are the icons for apps and programs that you have on the desktop. The desktop is what you see on the computer’s screen when you first log in to your accounts or when you don’t have anything open on the computer.

Sometimes people want to remove icons from the desktop temporarily. For example, I might have an icon on my desktop at the moment that I don’t want other people to see when I’m taking a picture. Most people would either delete the icon, so it ends up in the recycling bin, keep the icon there so everyone can see it because they can’t be bothered adding it again later or moving the icon to somewhere within File Explorer from the Start menu. The last option isn’t a bad solution really, but it does mean that you need to try to find that icon again when you want to use it, and it’s not going to be as efficient to do so as it would have been on your desktop.

Now that smart TVs are a thing, you might also not want icons being displayed there either. Being able to hide them when you want to show off your TV is definitely worth doing over removing them entirely. Smart TVs still have a long way to go before being awesome (as soon as they offer good WiFi speeds will be a good starting point), but smart TVs will soon become routine, and applications will be the future of TV. It’s only a matter of time before you will start using a smart TV and have desktop icons that you potentially want to hide as well.

Hide or Show Desktop Icons in Windows 10

The desktop icons are shown by default when you use Windows 10. To hide them, right-click the mouse anywhere on the desktop where there is a blank area and then hover over “View” and click on the “Show desktop icons” link from the secondary menu.

Since it was already turned on by default—and you knew that because it had the icons already showing on the desktop and there was a tick next to the entry in the menu—the desktop will now have nothing on it and you can enjoy that wallpaper of yours to the fullest extent.

When you want to have the desktop icons back again—if you ever want to have them back—right-click on the desktop background again, hover over the “View” link and then click on the “Show desktop icons” link from the secondary menu.

Hiding and showing the desktop icons is very easy to do, but you’ll be surprised how many people don’t know how to do it. The icons never leave the desktop when you do it this way, so you don’t have to worry about them ever being lost. They are just being taken away from view, but the data remains.

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