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

Want to clean up your desktop by hiding some icons on Windows 11? It’s easier than you think! In this article, we’ll walk you through a simple process to quickly hide specific desktop icons in your Windows 11 operating system. Let’s dive in and get that desktop looking clean and clutter-free.

Step by Step Tutorial to Hide Specific Desktop Icons Windows 11

Before we start hiding icons left and right, let’s understand what we’re doing here. We’ll be customizing the Windows 11 desktop to display only the icons we want to see. This way, we can keep things organized and minimize distractions.

Step 1: Right-click on your desktop

By right-clicking on your desktop, you’ll open a menu that allows you to customize various settings.

When you right-click on the desktop, a context menu will pop up with several options. Look for ‘View’ or ‘Personalize,’ as these will lead you to the settings you need.

Step 2: Select ‘Personalize’ from the menu

The ‘Personalize’ option will direct you to the settings where you can choose which icons to show or hide.

After clicking ‘Personalize,’ Windows 11 will take you to a new window. Here, you’ll see different settings related to your desktop background, colors, and more.

Step 3: Click on ‘Themes’ and then ‘Desktop icon settings’

In ‘Themes,’ you will find the ‘Desktop icon settings’ option which lets you manage your desktop icons.

‘Desktop icon settings’ is where the magic happens. Here, you can choose which default system icons, like ‘This PC’ or ‘Recycle Bin,’ are displayed on your desktop.

Step 4: Uncheck the icons you want to hide

In the ‘Desktop Icon Settings’ window, you’ll see a list of icons. Simply uncheck the boxes next to the icons you don’t want to appear on your desktop.

Be sure you only uncheck the icons you truly want to hide. If you change your mind, you can always come back and recheck them.

Step 5: Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ to save your changes

After you’ve made your selections, click ‘Apply’ to see the changes take effect, and then ‘OK’ to close the window.

Once you click ‘Apply,’ the icons you’ve unchecked will immediately disappear from your desktop. If you’re happy with the changes, hit ‘OK,’ and you’re all set!

After completing these steps, the icons you’ve chosen to hide will no longer be visible on your desktop. If you ever want to bring them back, just repeat the process and recheck the boxes next to the icons you want to see.

Tips for Hiding Specific Desktop Icons Windows 11

  • Right-clicking on the desktop can sometimes bring up different menus depending on where you click. Aim for an empty space to get the options you need.
  • If you use a desktop icon often, consider pinning it to the taskbar instead of keeping it on the desktop for quicker access.
  • Remember that hiding desktop icons doesn’t delete them; it just removes them from view.
  • For an even cleaner desktop, consider hiding all your icons by right-clicking on the desktop, selecting ‘View,’ and unchecking ‘Show desktop icons.’
  • Organize your files into folders so that when you choose to display your icons again, your desktop doesn’t become instantly cluttered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will hiding desktop icons delete them?

No, hiding desktop icons will not delete them. It simply removes them from view on the desktop. The files or shortcuts are still safely stored on your computer.

Can I hide icons that are not listed in the ‘Desktop Icon Settings’?

Yes, you can hide any icon on your desktop, not just the system icons listed in the ‘Desktop Icon Settings.’ Just right-click on the icon you want to hide, select ‘Properties,’ and in the ‘General’ tab, check the ‘Hidden’ option.

How do I hide all desktop icons at once?

To hide all desktop icons, right-click on an empty space on the desktop, hover over ‘View,’ and uncheck ‘Show desktop icons.’ This will hide all icons, but you can still access everything through the File Explorer.

Can I still access hidden icons?

Yes, even if an icon is hidden from the desktop, you can still access it through the File Explorer or by using the search function on your taskbar.

Is it possible to hide only certain types of icons, like shortcuts?

Yes, you can choose to hide only specific types of icons, such as shortcuts or files. For shortcuts, you can right-click and change the properties to hidden, just like any other icon.


  1. Right-click on the desktop and select ‘Personalize.’
  2. Click on ‘Themes’ and then ‘Desktop icon settings.’
  3. Uncheck the icons you want to hide.
  4. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ to save changes.


Cleaning up your Windows 11 desktop by hiding specific icons is a quick and easy way to reduce clutter and maintain focus on what’s important. With the step-by-step guide provided, you can customize your desktop to your liking without any hassle. Plus, our tips and FAQs should cover any additional questions or concerns you might have about the process.

Whether you’re a minimalist who loves a clean workspace or someone who needs to hide a few icons for better organization, understanding how to hide specific desktop icons in Windows 11 is a useful skill to have in your tech-savvy toolkit. Don’t be afraid to personalize your desktop to suit your workflow and aesthetic preferences. After all, your computer should be a reflection of your needs and style. Now, go forth and enjoy that neat, icon-free desktop view!

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