There’s a lot to love about the Windows 10 desktop, but some of its best options remain largely unknown among everyday users. In an effort to shed light on these features, Microsoft support specialist, Carl Fransen with CTECH Consulting Group highlights the best desktop tools and techniques below:
Unclutter Your Desktop By Hiding Icons
It’s only a matter of time before excessive icons take over your Windows 10 desktop. Thankfully, this needs no longer remains a permanent state of affairs — nor should the decluttering process require a lot of work.
A simple right-click on any area of the desktop will lead to a pop-up menu, from which icons can be temporarily hidden. Select the menu’s View option. Another menu will appear, with an option for showing desktop items. This can be checked or unchecked based on personal preferences.
Alter Desktop Icon Size
Another great opportunity for managing desktop icons: making them larger or smaller. This can be accomplished while scrolling the mouse wheel. Press Ctrl while scrolling to change the icon sizing. Depending on the scrolling direction, they may grow or shrink. Keep in mind that, depending on the preferred sizes, icon location may change slightly while scrolling.
Add a Show Desktop Icon to the Quick Launch Area
There’s no need to click out of browsers in hopes of returning to the desktop page. Instead, click the small line on the taskbar’s far right side. This unobtrusive button can be difficult to spot — but once it becomes part of the Windows 10 repertoire, it’s tough to go back.
While the aforementioned button is helpful, it’s by no means the only option for quickly returning to the desktop when desired. Another method: restoring Quick Launch, which was a big hit with Windows XP. This approach includes a command for showing the desktop, which is far easier to spot than the hidden button offered for Windows 10.
To implement Quick Launch, right-click on the taskbar and select the Toolbars option. Scroll to the bottom of the new menu that appears to select New Toolbar. From there, the following path can be copied and pasted into the box that appears by the label New Toolbar — Choose a Folder:
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Finally, click Select Folder. The Quick Launch option will initially appear on the right side but can be moved to the left if preferred.
Create an Invisible Folder
It’s possible to create invisible folders for the Windows 10 desktop. These can hide in plain sight, leaving files accessible to select users while remaining obscured for others. While this is by no means the most secure means of hiding files, it can be a useful option at times.
To begin, right-click an empty area on the desktop. Click New, followed by Folder. This folder will appear on the screen, offering the ability to change its name. While renaming, hold down the Alt key and type ‘255.’ Be sure to use the numeric pad, rather than the keys situated near the top of the keyboard. At this point, the name will become invisible — but not the folder itself.
To complete the transformation, right-click the folder and choose the option for Properties. Click Customize, followed by Change Icon. This icon option can be found in the Folder Icons area. Select the invisible option and click OK. Upon closing out of the properties window, the folder icon will vanish.
From icon sizes to invisible folders, a variety of options make it possible to adjust the Windows 10 desktop as you see fit. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these opportunities. They can streamline the entire process of navigating Windows 10, making the operating system that much more convenient.