Add Or Remove Desktop Icons – Tips & Tricks

Do you want to add or remove desktop icons in Windows 10? Well, desktop shortcuts or icons are essential, knowing how to remove or add them helps you avoid clutter and keep your PC screen tidy. Displaying only one icon by default, Windows 10 encourages a “clean” desktop, but you can also add lots of shortcuts if you want to. This guide explains to you how to remove or add desktop icons or shortcuts, helping you instantly access whatever you want on your Windows 10 PC or device:

Desktop Icons:

Desktop Icons

Desktop shortcuts or icons are one the best ways to access your favorite place on your Windows 10 PC or device. They can also save your time you would spend “digging” through your folders or files. On top of the regular shortcuts, you can also create to reach applications, folders, files, and web pages. However, Windows also provides a predefined set of desktop icons. Some of these standard icons were displayed by default on your PC on an earlier model of Windows, but, initiating with Windows 7, only one icon was shown: the Recycle Bin.

Before moving further on how to personalize your desktop by adding many standard shortcuts, let’s check over what each of them does.

  • This PC – enables you to browse your PC and the shared contents of other PCs on your network: folders, partitions, files, libraries, and much more; corresponds to the PC entry from the given Desktop icons.
  • Network – display a list of PCs connected to your network and the folders or devices they share with the network.
  • Recycle Bin – It stores remove folders or files temporarily until they are permanently deleted.
  • Control Panel – it is the classic way to access necessary system settings.
  • User’s Files (Username folder) – provides instant access to folders or files linked with your particular user account: Downloads, DocumentsMusicPictures, and others.

Add Or Remove Desktop Icons:

Desktop Shortcuts

How To Add Icons On Desktop

It depends on the type of desktop icons or shortcuts you like to add, the process is quite different. We discussed how to Create icons for apps, folders, files, and web pages in Windows 10, but things are not similar when it comes to the predefined set of desktop icons. If you like to add many standard Windows shortcuts, you first want to access the “Desktop Icon Settings. Right-tap or press-and-hold on a blank area on your screen, and then tap or click on Personalize.

  1. It opens the Personalization settings window. Now from the left column, just tap or click on Themes.
  2. Move down to the bottom of the Themes tab and, in the section known as Related Settings. Then click on “Desktop icon settings.
  3. After this, the“Desktop Icon Settings” window opens, showing at the top a list of default icons that you can turn on or off. Mark the boxes to select the icons you like to display on the desktop.
  4. Then hit OK or Apply, and the shortcuts are shown on the desktop.
  5. If you can’t view any shortcuts or icons on your display screen. Then you might want to recover them.

How To Remove Desktop Icons:

After you install them on your Windows 10 PC or device. Some programs and apps are added, by default, a shortcut to your desktop for instant access. Over time, having lots of items on your screen can make it difficult to find what you’re searching for. So it’s best to know how to delete desktop shortcuts. Rather than Recycle Bin, you can remove any shortcut from your desktop in the same way you would any other file. One method is to right-tap or hit-and-hold on it. Just to open a contextual menu and then tap or click on Delete.

An alternative way is to choose the shortcut you like to erase. Then hit the Delete key on your keyboard. You can also grab the icon, by either tapping and holding or hitting and holding on it, and then dropping or dragging it to the Recycle Bin. Then release when the message “Move to Recycle Bin” is shown.

If you like to delete the Recycle Bin and other standard icons, you can then access the “Desktop Icon Settings. Follow the instructions in the earlier section. Then unmark the boxes corresponding to the icons you don’t like on your desktop.

Hit OK or Apply to save your changes.

TIP: When you remove a desktop icon for a program or an application. You don’t erase the program from your device, just the icon helping you access it.


Knowing how to add more desktop shortcuts or icons helps you to get easy access to your favorite items. Knowing how to delete shortcuts can be essential to manage things depending on your preferences or current focus. How many icons do you have on your desktop? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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