Home Operating system How to Hide Desktop Icons in Windows 10 [Easy Methods]

How to Hide Desktop Icons in Windows 10 [Easy Methods]

1707 16/10/2021

Desktop shortcuts are great, but if you don’t know how to arrange them, they can cause confusion. If you are used to a clean desktop environment, Windows may be a bit annoying. If you have many programs installed, you will often need to clean up the desktop because they add their own icons. You can choose to hide them instead of deleting all displayed desktop icons. This article will guide you how to hide desktop icons in Windows 10.

Furthermore, this guide will also let you restore all those hidden icons if you have an empty desktop.

How to Hide Desktop Icons in Windows 10

While there are some straightforward ways to hide desktop icons in Windows 10, we’ve included some other methods as well that might come in handy if the others don’t appear to work out for you.


Hide Icons via Group Policy Editor

Hide Icons via Registry

1] Shortcut

If you’re a person who regularly keeps switching between icons and no icons on your desktop, this shortcut is the best way to do so, instead of deleting all the icons and bringing them back each time. Here’s how you can hide all the icons on your desktop with a couple of clicks:

In an empty space on your desktop, right-click to pull up the menu.

Next, navigate to


and click on

Show Desktop Icons

to hide them.

Similarly, follow the same process to bring the icons back.

2] Hide Icons via Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor in Windows also houses an option to show or hide icons on the desktop. Here’s how you can modify it to hide the desktop icons:

Open Group Policy

by searching for


in the

Start Search Box

or the

Run Prompt

(Win + R), followed by pressing the Enter key.

On the page, under the left navigation pane, you’ll find two folders, named

Computer Configuration


User Configuration,

respectively. Expand Under

User Configuration

, ->

Administrative Templates



Administrative Templates

, navigate, expand and select


. Next, under the right panel, you’ll find a few folders and files listed.

From the list of files and folders, Open the policy

Hide and Disable All items on Desktop

by making a double click on it. Next, set the policy to


and then click on Apply and then OK.

You can turn the policy back to disabled to bring back all the icons on your desktop.

If you are using Windows 10 Home, you can either use the Registry method or

install Group Policy

and then use this method.

3] Hide Icons via Registry

This method is recommended only for users who have deep knowledge about the Windows registry and can create a system restore point before making any changes. Here’s how you can hide icons on your Windows desktop using the Windows Registry.

Open Registry Editor

by searching for


in the

Start Search Box

or the

Run Prompt

(Win + R) followed by pressing the Enter key.

Navigate to the below-mentioned path:


However, if the Explorer key doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create a new one. Next, right-click in the space next to the navigation pane under Explorer and choose

New DWORD (32-bit) Value

from the drop-down and name it as



Double click the newly created NoDesktop key to open its properties; next, change the Value Data from




and click OK.

In other words, we hope you can find a solution to the problem. Please leave a comment below to let us know why and how often you switched the icon from hidden to displayed.

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