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Windows 7: Desktop Icons - Hide or Show

Desktop Icons - Hide or Show

How to Hide or Show Desktop Icons in Windows 7 in Windows 8
Published by Brink
07 Feb 2009
Published by

How to Hide or Show Desktop Icons in Windows 7 and Windows 8

information   Information
This will show you how to easily hide or show all icons (ex: files, folders, shortcuts) on your desktop in Windows 7and Windows 8.






OPTION ONE
Hide or Show Desktop Icons using the Desktop Context Menu
1. Right click or press and hold on a empty area of your desktop, then do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.

2. To Show All Desktop Icons
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Click/tap on Show Desktop Icons to check it. (See screenshot below step 3)
3. To Hide All Desktop Icons
A) Click/tap on Show Desktop Icons to uncheck it. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Icons.jpg
Views: 57309
Size:  51.6 KB
B) Save your current theme in Windows 7 or Windows 8 to help prevent these settings from being reset after you log off and on, or restart the computer.



OPTION TWO
Hide or Show Desktop Icons using a BAT File Download
1. To Show All Desktop Icons
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 3 below.
Show_Desktop_Icons.bat

download
2. To Hide All Desktop Icons
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 3 below.
Hide_Desktop_Icons.bat
download
3. Save the .bat file to another location other than your desktop, and run it.
NOTE: It would be hard to see the .bat file on your desktop if already set to hide.

4. If prompted, click/tap on Run.
NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Run prompt by unblocking the downloaded .bat file.

5. You will now notice a command prompt quickly open and close, and your screen flash while applying the changes to your registry and restarting explorer.

6. When finished, you can delete the downloaded .bat file(s) if you like.
That's it,
Shawn








20 Dec 2009   #1
docachmed

Windows 7 x86 ultimate
 
 

when my computer restarts, the icons come back. why? i want them out of my screen in and out windows.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Doc Achmed,

Did you make any changes to the theme?

Try setting the icons how you want them as hidden, then save your current theme to see if that may stop this.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #3
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 
Hide Desktop Icons - via Regsitry

information   Information
Ever wanted to wonder off and not needing to lockscreen? Or using multiple monitors, but want to show your beautiful wallpaper but can't when you lockscreen? You're want is now realised with this simple registry add-on.

Note   Note
Remember this tutorial, if you want to get things back to normal again


Steps:

1) Click Start > type regedit in the search box and hit Enter to bring up the registry editor.

2) Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > Explorer
Desktop Icons - Hide or Show-noname.jpg
3) On the right hand pane, right-click and New > Binary Value. Name the key as "NoDesktop" and add in the value of "01 00 00 00". See attachements.
Name:  Noname1.jpg
Views: 53391
Size:  15.4 KB
4) No need to restart pc, logoff and on again is fine, for it to take effect.

Note   Note
You may need to auto-hide your taskbar also to have that total stealth look. To do this just right-click taskbar > Properties > and tick "Auto-Hide the taskbar", like so.


information   Information
If you want to revert this effect, just go back and delete this registry key.


Happy stealthing.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Jan 2010   #4
Zardoc

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Doc Achmed,

Did you make any changes to the theme?

Try setting the icons how you want them as hidden, then save your current theme to see if that may stop this.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Hit it on the nose Brink.

I disabled the feature in registry and the icons came back. Saved the theme and it worked.


Laptops, full of useless toys
Nice going bro.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2010   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

That's great news Zardoc. I'll add a note in the tutorial for this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2010   #6
bratboy1

Vista
 
 

Is there a way to make an icon/shortcut to hide/show gadgets? Like way you can make one to call 3D Flip? C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe DwmApi #105
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #7
Zardoc

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
That's great news Zardoc. I'll add a note in the tutorial for this.
Hey Brink,

It isn't as great as I thought. After 2 or 3 reboots, the icons come back. This seems to be a common problem with laptops and I have also seen this happen with PGP shortcuts to desktop that vanish after a few reboots.

It's hard to repro since it doesn't happen every time.

I can't get my hand on what would cause a reg hack to re-activate itself.

I'll keep looking.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Do you have any included OEM software (ex: dock or toggle key pop-ups) common to laptops running that may be interfering with it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #9
Zardoc

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

No Brink, none of that (at least that I have seen)


OK I've tried a fix and it works.

Brink, if you want to modify your tutorial on desktop icons and add (force hide of desktop icons)

One thing that doesn't work (well not like one would want) is to use the Local Group Policy Editor. If you go to user configuration/Administrative Tasks/Desktop and enable ''Hide and disable all items on desktop'' it will keep icons hidden (won't affect Gadgets) but you will loose right click menu on desktop. So that's a no go.

Here is the fix based on 2 different registry commands. One exits (the one that will change the reg key when you right click on desktop and disable desktop icons) and the other you may need to create (it's the one that Aem talks about above to unlock double screen saver but gives the same result for hiding icons also). One won't work without the other.

Here is the simple way. First hide desktop icons (as shown in basic tutorial)

Open Notepad and paste this command and save as HideDesktopIcons.reg

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"HideIcons"=dword:00000001
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"NoDesktop"=dword:00000001
Double click to activate. Log off and back on. Should be fine.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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