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

Hiding specific desktop icons in Windows 11 isn’t as daunting as it sounds. In essence, it’s as simple as accessing the right settings menu and selecting which icons you’d like to disappear from your desktop view. After reading this brief overview, you should be able to declutter your desktop in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial to Hide Specific Desktop Icons in Windows 11

Before diving into the how, let’s talk about the why. Having a cluttered desktop can be overwhelming and counterproductive. When you hide icons, your workspace feels more organized and you can focus better on the task at hand. Now, let’s get to it.

Step 1: Right-click on the desktop

Right-click on an empty space on your desktop.

The right-click menu is your gateway to customizing your desktop. It’s where you’ll find settings for your display, refresh options, and the personalization menu which is where you need to go next.

Step 2: Select ‘Personalize’

Click on ‘Personalize’ from the menu that appears.

This will take you to the settings where you can adjust your background, colors, lock screen, and most importantly, the themes and related settings where you can manage your desktop icons.

Step 3: Click on ‘Themes’

From the left sidebar in the Personalize menu, select ‘Themes’.

The Themes section is not just about changing the look of your Windows interface; it also allows you to adjust which icons show up on your desktop.

Step 4: Scroll down to ‘Desktop icon settings’

Under the ‘Related settings’ section, find and click on ‘Desktop icon settings’.

This is where you can toggle which of the main system icons (like ‘This PC’, ‘Recycle Bin’, etc.) you want to be visible on your desktop.

Step 5: Uncheck the boxes next to the icons you want to hide

In the Desktop Icon Settings window, you will see a list of icons. Simply uncheck the icons you wish to hide.

This action won’t delete the icons; it simply hides them from your view. You can always come back and re-check them if you need them visible again.

After you complete these steps, the selected icons will no longer be visible on your desktop. Your desktop will look more streamlined, and you can still access everything you need through the start menu or search function.

Tips for Hiding Specific Desktop Icons in Windows 11

  • Make sure you only hide icons that you do not frequently use, as hiding commonly used icons can make it harder to navigate your computer.
  • Remember that hiding an icon does not delete the program or file it represents, so you can still access it through the search bar or file explorer.
  • If you want to temporarily hide all desktop icons, you can right-click on the desktop, select ‘View’, and uncheck ‘Show desktop icons’.
  • Consider grouping frequently used icons into folders to reduce desktop clutter without hiding anything.
  • Use the search function in the taskbar to quickly find and open programs or files, even if their icons are hidden.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I undo hiding a desktop icon?

To undo hiding a desktop icon, repeat the steps above and re-check the box next to the icon you want to show again.

Can I hide icons of installed programs?

Yes, you can drag the icon to the Recycle Bin to remove it from the desktop, or you can right-click and choose ‘Delete’. This will only remove the shortcut, not the program itself.

Will hiding desktop icons affect the performance of my computer?

No, hiding desktop icons does not affect your computer’s performance. It merely changes how your desktop looks.

Is there a way to hide all desktop icons at once?

Yes, you can right-click on the desktop, go to ‘View’, and uncheck ‘Show desktop icons’ to hide all at once.

Can I hide icons for specific users on the same computer?

Yes, desktop icon settings are user-specific, so changes made in one user account will not affect other user accounts.


  1. Right-click on the desktop
  2. Select ‘Personalize’
  3. Click on ‘Themes’
  4. Scroll down to ‘Desktop icon settings’
  5. Uncheck the boxes next to the icons you want to hide


In conclusion, tidying up your digital workspace by hiding specific desktop icons in Windows 11 is a breeze. With a few simple clicks, you can select which icons to display and which to tuck away, out of sight but not out of reach. This not only helps in keeping your desktop uncluttered but also aids in improving your concentration and efficiency.

Remember, the key is not to overdo it. Hide only those icons that are not essential to your daily tasks. And if you ever need them back, you know exactly where to find them. At the end of the day, customizing your desktop should work for you, making your computing experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Whether you’re a power user or just someone who appreciates a clean and organized space, understanding how to manage desktop icons is a valuable skill. So go ahead, give it a try and enjoy your newly decluttered desktop. And hey, why stop there? Explore other customization options in Windows 11 and make your computer truly yours. Happy organizing!

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