How to hide and show certain desktop icons in Windows 10

How to hide and show certain desktop icons in Windows 10

You may want to hide some app icons from your Windows PC if you share them with your family or kids. You wouldn’t want anyone opening your working apps and programs and messing around. Well, just hiding app icons is a solution that seems appropriate. We will show you two ways to hide and show some desktop icons in Windows 10.


Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons by

Unfortunately, you can’t hide multiple Windows 10 desktop icons with just one click. You will need to hide or show the icons separately for each app. We also explained how to hide or show system icons from the desktop.

Let’s check two methods to hide and show some desktop icons in Windows 10.

Point: You can hide the icons by placing them in a folder on your desktop. Use a vague name for such a folder.

Method 1: remove the shortcut

The first method is simple and is just to remove the shortcut from your desktop. Removing the shortcut does not uninstall or remove the app completely. You simply remove the shortcut, thus hiding the desktop icon. You can still access it from the Start menu, Search, or its folder using File Explorer.

Go to the desk. Use the Windows key + the keyboard shortcut D to open the Windows desktop. Right click on the icon you want to hide and select Remove from the menu. A confirmation pop-up window will appear. Click Ok to confirm.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 1

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 1

How to view deleted icons on the desktop

To show or show the deleted icon again, minimize all open windows to show only the desktop. Then open the Start menu in the lower left corner. You can also press the Windows key to open the Start menu. Find the deleted icon in the list of apps. Drag and drop the app from the Start menu to the desktop. Its shortcut will be created on the desktop, displaying the icon again on the desktop.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 2

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 2

In case that doesn’t work or you have a problem, open Windows Search and type the name of the app. Right-click on it and select Open File Location.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 9

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 9

The File Explorer window opens. Right click on the hidden app icon and select Send To> Desktop (Create Shortcut).

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 10

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 10

Method 2: use a hidden property

Another way to hide desktop icons is to change their Attributes property to Hidden. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Go to your Windows 10 desktop.

Point: Tap the Show Desktop icon on the taskbar to minimize all open windows.

2nd step: Right click on the icon you want to hide and select Properties.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 13

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 13

Step 3: In the Properties window, go to the General tab. Check the box next to Hidden. Click on Apply and then on Ok.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 3

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 3

The icon will disappear from the desktop. In case the icon is still visible but appears translucent or clear compared to other icons, it means that the hidden icons are allowed to display on your computer. You will need to disable it as shown in the next step.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 4

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 4

Step 4: Open File Explorer on your Windows 10 PC. Click on the View tab at the top. Uncheck the box next to hidden items.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 6

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 6

If you now go to the desktop, you will notice that the icons for which you have enabled the Hidden attribute will no longer appear.

Point: Check Out 5 Hidden Windows 10 Features You May Have Missed.

How to show hidden icons

Since hidden icons no longer appear on the desktop, you cannot display them directly. You will need to show the hidden files first and then disable the Hidden attribute as shown below.

Step 1: Open File Explorer by pressing Windows key + E shortcut or using any other means you want. Go to the View tab at the top and check the box next to the hidden items.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 6

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 6

2nd step: Now go to the desktop. Here you will find the translucent hidden element. Right click on it and select Properties.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 7

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 7

Step 3: Click on the General tab at the top. Uncheck the box next to Hidden. Click on Apply and OK.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 8

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 8

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all the icons that you want to display on the desktop. Perform step 1 and uncheck the box next to Hidden to stop showing hidden files.

Also on Guiding Tech

How to hide or show system icons

If you want to hide or show system icons like This PC, Recycle Pin, Control Panel, etc. on the desktop, you will have to use another method.

Step 1: Open the settings on your Windows 10 PC. Go to Personalization.

2nd step: Click Themes. Click on the desktop icon settings located under Related settings present on the right side or at the bottom depending on the window size.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 11

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 11

Step 3: A pop-up window will appear. Check the box next to the icons you want to display on the desktop. To hide, uncheck the items. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 12

Windows 10 hide or show desktop icons 12

Last updated Feb 4, 2021

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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