398 Show your desktop screen with no icons

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I have a few clients who prefer a very minimalist look for their computer. If you like that idea, it’s very easy to implement.

computer desktop with no clutter


Sometimes I’ll get a “panic call” from a client because they think they’ve been “hacked” – because all of the icons on their desktop screen are gone. They weren’t actually hacked; they just accidentally activated a feature in Windows.

Can you imagine your computer desktop looking like this:

desktop screen with no icons


I have a few clients who prefer that – no clutter, just a clean, bare interface. It does look kind of nice. There’s not even a taskbar along the bottom. So this might leave you wondering, “Okay, but how do you use the computer if you have nothing to click on?” and we’ll get to that in a minute.

Here’s how you make your screen look like that (in Windows 10).

Do a right click somewhere on your desktop screen (not on any icons). In the small menu that comes up, put your cursor over “View”. Then, in the sub-menu, find “Show desktop icons” and click to UN-check that option. All your desktop icons will disappear.

show desktop icons


And here’s how to make the taskbar not show:

In an empty area of the taskbar, do a right click and choose “Taskbar settings”. In the next window, find “Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode” and slide it to the “On” position. Taskbar now disappears.

hide the taskbar

So how do you actually use your computer now?

Even though the taskbar is not displayed, if you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen, the taskbar pops up again briefly. So, you can click on any icons that are pinned to the taskbar and run that program. Or, you can click the Start button and find your programs in that list and run them from there. When you’re done with the Taskbar, after a few seconds it disappears again.

And of course, if you decide you want to have your icons and taskbar displaying all the time again, you’d go to the same settings described above and reverse the process.

For me, I like to have everything ready for quick access so I don’t mind seeing the desktop shortcuts displayed all the time. But if you like that “minimalist” look, now you know how to achieve that.

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