Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Can Windows Explorer hide Desktop Icons?

20 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64 Professional
Can Windows Explorer hide Desktop Icons?

Does anyone know how to hide the Desktop Icons showing up in Windows Explorer?

I'm not referring to hiding the Desktop Icons that are hidden with Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Personalization, but the icons that appear when you select Desktop in Windows Explorer's Navigation Pane ... please see attached screenshot.

Thanks much !!!

Attached Thumbnails
Can Windows Explorer hide Desktop Icons?-win-7-explorer-desktop.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #2

Seven ultimate 32bit

Are you part of a domain? Then the scripts that run on log on is just going to replace those icons.
I'm not so sure about this one but I'm on it...

And welcome to the forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 Professional

SevenForums is great, and I have a How To series of links in my Favorites ... :-)

I'm not part of an AD. The machine is a Win7 x64 Pro, clean install.

I've played around with the various HideDesktopIcons but no luck.

I navigated to my Desktop folder (the actual hidden folder), and created a shortcut that I added under the Favorites and/or Libraries in Windows Explorer. When I click on that second shortcut, inside of Windows Explorer, the Homegroup, Computer, Control Panel, etc. items show up in the main pane, (like in the original screen shot). This is making me think that these items are somehow associated with the Desktop folder itself, not really with Windows Explorer?

Besides the curiosity of it, I would like to understand how this works in case one day I would need to use AD to hide items on a user's desktop AND in Windows Explorer.

Any help or insight, I'd be very grateful !!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 May 2011   #4

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

Try this and see if it works. Be careful, this may hide the folder entirely, not just in the location you request. See if it works for you Brink's Tutorial: File and Folder - Hide or Unhide

I notice you cannot click the properties of every folder in the list, however...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2011   #5

Windows 7 x64 Professional
No go on Properties

I tried a few iterations, even looking at the handles opened by Explorer.exe in Process Explorer to get a clue as to what these really are. Unfortunately these must be virtual folders or something ... note in the attached, there is no "Properties" setting for these to hide. In the command line, (attrib "C:\Users\USER\Desktop\*"), the Libraries, Homegroup, Computer, Network, etc. don't even show up. Again, these only show up in Windows Explorer.

Well, if anyone comes up with an idea ... I'd love hearing about it.

Thanks much !!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 7 64 Bits

Hi Guys! Did you find a solution to this in the end? We are having the same problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64

It's a third party solution, but "Fences" from Stardock ( has the feature of double-clicking on the desktop to hide all icons/fences.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2014   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate X86

Hello Guys!
I know it's an old thread but I don't want to create a new one.
I found a solution for the issue (it's pretty easy way to hide all the unwanted icons from your navigation-pane's "Desktop" shortcut): simply remove that shortcut and replace with an other one which target (Right Click->Properties->Target) is "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop"! It refers to the logged-in user's desktop and only include the shortcuts, files and directories which physically there!
I hope I can help you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can Windows Explorer hide Desktop Icons?

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Desktop Icons - Hide or Show
How to Hide or Show Desktop Icons in Windows 7 and Windows 8 This will show you how to easily hide or show all icons (ex: files, folders, shortcuts) on your desktop in Windows 7 and Windows 8. Hide or Show Desktop Icons using the Desktop Context Menu 1. Right click or press and hold...
Desktop icons play hide and go seek...
I like to keep a lot of my programs on my desktop and I group similar function programs together. Occasionally my screen will blink, the icons will change to placeholders and then sequentially replace all of the placeholders with the correct icon. Sometimes -- not very often but even once is...
General Discussion
Auto Hide Desktop Icons (And Taskbar)
This is a nifty little tool. I've been using for a week or so. It auto hides the desktop icons after an amount of time you set (from 3-100 seconds). You then just click on desktop (left, center, or right, you choose) to show icons. No installation required. It sits in notification area (if you tell...
How to hide or show icons at desktop?
What kind of software do we use?
General Discussion
Windows 7 is forgetting my Hide Desktop Icons setting
I like to use the Desktop folder to save items temporarily, but I keep a clean desktop background with no icons displayed. This option is accessed by right clicking the desktop and deselecting View>Show Desktop Icons. I've been doing this since I was using Windows Vista. My problem is that now my...
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 21:30.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App