How to Hide Desktop Icons Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of a cluttered desktop? Want to know how to hide desktop icons on Windows 11? It’s easier than you might think, and in just a few simple steps, you can have a clean and tidy desktop that’s free of distractions. This quick guide will give you a rundown of how to accomplish this task in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial to Hide Desktop Icons on Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, it’s worth noting that hiding your desktop icons doesn’t delete them; it simply makes them invisible until you choose to show them again. This can be really useful if you want to take a screenshot, present something on your screen, or just enjoy your wallpaper without the icons getting in the way.

Step 1: Right-click on your desktop

Right-click on an empty space on your desktop to bring up the context menu.

When you right-click on the desktop, you’ll see a menu with different options. This is where you can access the settings that control your desktop icons.

Step 2: Hover over ‘View’ in the context menu

Hover your cursor over the ‘View’ option in the menu.

A sub-menu will appear when you hover over ‘View.’ This is where you’ll find the option to hide your desktop icons.

Step 3: Click on ‘Show desktop icons’ to uncheck it

Click on the ‘Show desktop icons’ option to remove the checkmark next to it.

By clicking this option, you toggle the visibility of your desktop icons. If the option is checked, your icons will show. If it’s unchecked, your icons will be hidden.

After completing these steps, your desktop icons will be hidden from view, giving you a clean and clear desktop. When you need to access your icons again, simply repeat the steps above and recheck the ‘Show desktop icons’ option.

Tips for Managing Desktop Icons in Windows 11

  • Consider grouping your icons into folders to reduce clutter and make it easier to find what you need.
  • Use the ‘Sort by’ option in the desktop context menu to organize your icons automatically.
  • If you only want to hide certain icons, you can drag them into the Recycle Bin (don’t worry, this won’t delete them unless you empty the bin).
  • Create shortcuts to your most-used apps or folders on the desktop for quick access when your icons are visible.
  • Remember, hiding your desktop icons doesn’t impact their functionality; they’re still there, just out of sight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my icons when I hide them?

When you choose to hide your desktop icons, they become invisible but remain on the desktop. They can be accessed again by re-enabling their visibility.

Can I hide only specific icons?

While the ‘Show desktop icons’ option hides all icons, you can manually drag individual icons to the Recycle Bin to temporarily remove them from sight. Just don’t empty the bin if you plan to use those icons later!

Will hiding my desktop icons affect my files?

No, hiding your desktop icons does not affect the files themselves. Your files and shortcuts will remain unaltered.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to hide desktop icons?

Unfortunately, Windows 11 does not have a built-in keyboard shortcut for this action. You’ll need to follow the steps outlined above.

Can I still access my apps if the icons are hidden?

Yes, you can still access your apps through the start menu or search function even when the icons are hidden.


  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Hover over ‘View’.
  3. Click ‘Show desktop icons’ to uncheck and hide.


Hiding desktop icons on Windows 11 is a breeze and can be done in a matter of seconds. Whether you’re after a distraction-free environment, a clean space for a presentation, or simply prefer the look of a bare desktop, this feature is incredibly handy. Remember, your icons aren’t gone for good—they’re just out of sight. Using the steps we’ve outlined, you can easily toggle their visibility whenever you please.

Beyond the aesthetic benefits, hiding your desktop icons can also be a step towards a more organized digital workspace. Combining this trick with other desktop management practices, like using folders and sorting your icons, can greatly improve your productivity and reduce the time spent searching for files.

So why not give it a try? Clean up your virtual space and enjoy the tranquility of an uncluttered desktop. And if you ever find yourself in need of those icons again, just a few clicks will bring them right back into view. Happy computing!

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