How to Hide or Unhide Desktop Icons on Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to hide or unhide all desktop icons when using Windows 11. If you like a clean desktop, Windows allows you to hide all icons so that the desktop is completely clean of icons. This can be done with few simple clicks.

Many applications will automatically install their icons on the desktop. Some are kind enough to ask if you’d want icons placed on the desktop. If you have too many of these icons and simply want to hide them all, then follow the steps below to do that.

Or if you’re wondering where all the desktop icons went, the same steps will bring them back so they’re not hidden.

The new Windows 11 comes with many new features with new user desktop, including centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors that will make any Windows look and feel modern.

If you’re exited about Windows 11, keep reading our posts on it.

To get started with hiding all desktop icons, follow the steps below.

How to hide all desktop icons on Windows 11

As mentioned above, hiding all desktop icons can be done with few clicks. To do that, right-click on your desktop, and select “View,” then click “Show Desktop Icons.”

This option toggles desktop icons on and off.

That’s it!

How show desktop icons on Windows 11

Windows 11 allows you to add some built-in icons to your desktop so you can easily access File Explorer, Control Panel and the Recycle Bin. These special icons like Computer, User, and Control Panel to the desktop are useful in some cases, and below is how to add them.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings app. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from the System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Personalization, select Themes on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

On the Themes settings pane, under Related settings, click Desktop icon settings.

There, you can choose to show the Computer, User’s Files, Network, Recycle Bin and Control Panel on the desktop.

The icons select above should be shown on the desktop. These are useful icons and should help user get to essential settings quickly.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to hide or unhide desktop icons on Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.