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

Hiding desktop icons on Windows 11 can be easily done with a few simple steps. This can help you maintain a clean and organized desktop, free from clutter. Whether you want to temporarily remove icons for a presentation or just prefer a minimalist look, the process is straightforward. Let’s dive into how to make those icons disappear.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Hide Desktop Icons Windows 11

Before we begin, know that hiding your desktop icons won’t delete them; it simply makes them invisible until you choose to show them again. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Right-click on Your Desktop

Right-click on an empty space on your desktop. This will bring up a context menu with various options.

When you right-click on the desktop, make sure you’re not clicking on an icon. You’ll know you’ve clicked the right spot when you see options like "View" and "Sort by" in the menu.

Step 2: Navigate to the ‘View’ Option

Hover over the ‘View’ option in the context menu to reveal a submenu.

The ‘View’ submenu has several options that control how your icons look. Options like ‘Large icons’, ‘Small icons’, and ‘Auto arrange icons’ appear here.

Step 3: Click on ‘Show Desktop Icons’ to Uncheck it

In the ‘View’ submenu, find and click on ‘Show Desktop Icons’ to remove the checkmark next to it.

When ‘Show Desktop Icons’ is unchecked, all the icons on your desktop will instantly vanish. Don’t worry; they’re not gone forever.

After you’ve completed these steps, your desktop will be icon-free, giving you a clean slate. This can make your desktop look neater and can even help your computer run a little faster if it’s low on resources. When you want your icons back, simply repeat the steps and recheck ‘Show Desktop Icons’.

Tips: How to Hide Desktop Icons Windows 11

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when hiding your desktop icons:

  • Remember, this doesn’t delete your icons; it just hides them.
  • If you want to access your icons while they are hidden, you can still find them through the File Explorer.
  • You can create keyboard shortcuts to hide or show your desktop icons more quickly.
  • If you’re hiding icons for a presentation, make sure to also hide any taskbar items for a completely clean screen.
  • Consider organizing your files into folders before hiding icons to keep your desktop tidy when you choose to show them again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hide specific icons instead of all of them?

To hide specific icons, you’ll need to drag them into a folder or customize your desktop icon settings through the ‘Personalization’ settings in Windows 11.

Can I hide desktop icons without using the ‘View’ menu?

Yes, you can use third-party applications or create keyboard shortcuts to hide and show your desktop icons.

Will hiding my desktop icons affect their functionality?

No, hiding your desktop icons does not affect the functionality of the programs or files they represent. You can still access them through the File Explorer.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to hide desktop icons?

Windows 11 doesn’t have a built-in keyboard shortcut, but you can create one using third-party applications or through scripting.

Can I still access my desktop files when the icons are hidden?

Absolutely! Your files are still available in the desktop folder located within the File Explorer, even if the icons are hidden on the actual desktop.


  1. Right-click on an empty space on your desktop.
  2. Hover over the ‘View’ option.
  3. Click on ‘Show Desktop Icons’ to uncheck it.


Hiding desktop icons in Windows 11 is a quick and easy way to clean up your workspace. Whether you’re looking to reduce distractions, speed up your system, or prepare for a screen-sharing session, this simple task can make a world of difference. Remember, your icons aren’t gone; they’re just out of sight. Plus, with the added tips and FAQs, you can tailor your desktop to suit your personal preferences and work style. If you ever need to find a file or program while the icons are hidden, the trusty File Explorer has got your back. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the serenity of a clutter-free desktop.

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