Is your office starting to get too crowded? If you hesitate to remove shortcuts, know that you can hide them, to make them reappear later when you want. This will allow your wallpaper to appear in all its glory and prevent you from starting a program by accidentally clicking on one of the many icons that litter your desktop. In this article, you are going to learn how to hide these desktop icons in various operating systems.
Method 1 of 4: Windows
Step 1. Right click on the wallpaper on your desktop
Windows allows you to hide all desktop icons with just a few clicks. If you right-click on an icon, you bring up another menu that does not allow you to hide the icons.
Step 2. Place the mouse cursor over the Display line
A sub-menu appears which contains the line “Display desktop items” on which you will have to click.
Step 3. Click the Show Desktop Items line
The box at the start of this line is then unchecked and the icons instantly disappear from the desktop. To make the icons reappear, all you have to do is repeat the previous operations to check the box next to the "Show Desktop Items" line.
Step 4. Install a program designed to hide desktop icons
A desktop management program like Fences allows you to hide icons with a single double-click and also gives you the option of choosing which icons should remain visible during this maneuver.
Fences is paid software, but you can find free programs that offer the same functionality
Method 2 of 4: Mac OS X
Step 1. Hide the system icons
Hiding desktop icons is a bit trickier in OS X than in Windows. The simplest maneuver should start by hiding all the icons of the operating system such as those contained on the hard drive, inserted CDs and server spaces. Thus, they will not appear on the desktop.
- Click on Finder and select Preferences. You may need to open a Finder window to bring up the menu Finder.
- Click on the "General" tab.
- Uncheck the boxes that correspond to the icons you want to hide.
Step 2. Hide all other icons using Terminal
You just need to type a few commands in the Terminal. To open the Terminal, click Go, select Utilities, then double-click Terminal.
Step 3. Turn off the desktop
To do this, enter the following command which will hide all desktop icons:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false; killall Finder
Step 4. Make the icons reappear
To do this, enter the following command:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true; killall Finder
Step 5. Create an automation script
If you often have to hide desktop icons, you can create a script that will let you hide them with just a few mouse clicks. Open the "Automator" program located in the "Applications" folder, then choose the "Service" template. Set the right drop-down menu to "Finder" and the left drop-down menu to "No entry". Look for the “Run AppleScript” action on the left side of Automator, then drag and drop this action to the right side. Paste the code below in the “Run AppleScript” field to replace anything that may already be there:
try set toggle to do shell script "defaults read com.apple.finder CreateDesktop" if toggle = "true" then do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop false" else if toggle = "false" then do shell script " defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop true "end if end try do shell script" killall Finder "delay 0.5 activate application" Finder "
- Save the new service with an easy-to-remember name like “Hide / Show Desktop”, for example
- You can access your new script by clicking on Finder → Services
- You will need to run the Terminal commands from the previous steps at least once for the script to work
Step 6. Download an icon hiding program
If you want to avoid the hassle of creating a script, you can find software that will allow you to set up your desktop with just a few mouse clicks. Some programs specialize in hiding icons while others allow multiple settings to be made for more advanced customization. Here are two particularly popular programs:
- Hide Desktop
Method 3 of 4: GNOME or Linux MATE
Step 1. Open Configuration Editor
Simultaneously press Alt + F2 and type gconf-editor. Press "Enter". If the Configuration Editor does not open, try the mateconf-editor command.
Step 2. Navigate to the Desktop section
Use the folder tree on the left side, following the path “apps” → “nautilus” → “desktop”.
Step 3. Hide the system icons
Uncheck the box in front of each icon you want to hide. You can hide any system icon that represents an item that you rarely use. For example, you can hide the “My Computer”, “Personal Folder”, “Recycle Bin” and “Drive” icons.
Step 4. Hide all desktop icons
In the folder tree, follow the path “apps” → “nautilus” → “preferences”. In the right panel, find the “show_desktop” item. Uncheck the box in front of it to hide all desktop icons. If you are using the MATE environment, follow the path “apps” → “caja” → “preferences”.
Step 5. Download Ubuntu Tweak
If you are in an Ubuntu environment, you can hide all desktop icons from the Tweak menu with a few mouse clicks. You can download and install the Ubuntu Tweak program from the Ubuntu Package Manager.
Method 4 of 4: Linux Mint Cinnamon
Step 1. Open the System Settings menu
You can hide all desktop icons, but you can also choose to hide only system icons. To perform this last maneuver, open the System Parameters panel by clicking on the Menu button and selecting "Preferences" then "System Parameters",
Step 2. Open the Desktop Control Panel
To do this, go to the section Preferences.
Step 3. Uncheck the boxes that correspond to the icons you want to hide
For example, you can hide the “Computer”, “Home”, “Recycle Bin”, “Mounted Volumes” and “Network Servers” icons. Changes are made instantly.