HideDesktopIcons: hide and unhide desktop icons with a single click

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If you’re looking for a simple, easy way to switch your desktop icons display on and off – literally at the press of a button – then check out this tiny little free app.

HideDesktopIcons emulates the “display desktop icon” command in the Windows context menu, packaged in a simple icon that can be placed anywhere (or alternately launched via a keyboard shortcut). A single click will hide the desktop icons and/or display them again; there is no user interface or any dialogs of any sort.

We do quite a bit of videoconferencing at work as well as screen sharing for presentations, and the first thing that I like to do in these situations is switch off my desktop icons (a clean desktop looks so much more professional and is so much nicer to look at).

One of the things I liked about the desktop icon organization tool Fences, which I used to have on my machine, was a secondary function whereby double clicking on any blank part of the screen would cause the desktop icons to be hidden or to re-appear. I no longer use that software but I miss the instant icon-hiding function. I therefore set out to find an app that will provide a comparable functionality, which lead me to HideDesktopIcons.

What I like about this software

  1. It is just a single, simple button: unzip and use.
  2. It can be placed anywhere: such as the Quick Launch menu in XP or on the taskbar in Windows 7. It can also be placed in your favorite launcher or pinned on the Start Menu, etc.
  3. Can be launched via keyboard shortcut: right click properties then shortcut and enter a key combination in the “shortcut” field. You might need to place it in your start menu or your desktop for the shortcut to work.
  4. It just works beautifully

Compatibility: WinAll. If you get an error when you run, make sure you have the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86) installed.

This software was found on the How-To Geek blog (scroll down for download links), and is an approx 82K download.