Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #382 6/14/2017

Question: How do I remove icons or tiles from my desktop?


Many of us discover our desktop in Windows becoming cluttered and wonder what do I remove and how do I remove them.

When you install programs (or updates to programs) the process will often install a shortcut to the program on the desktop and also in the taskbar (the bar at the bottom of the screen). We may or may not want them installed there. In addition if we were not watching carefully as we answered questions in the installation they have installed things you do not want.

If it is a program you do not want go to Control panel and remove the program/application/app (they used to mean different things but Windows treats as same now).

If it is just the icons need cleaning up then some icons/tiles (the pictures for programs /files) you can remove.

If the icon/tile has an arrow in it then you know it is just a shortcut to the real program and those can be removed. To remove them click once on them and click the delete key and click ok and the icon/tile is removed. You can also right click on the icon/tile and click delete option and confirm ok. If you delete one by accident you wanted open the recycle bin and right click it to restore the icon/tile.

If it does not have an arrow in it then it is probably actually the file or program. To determine for sure, right click on it and choose properties. If that says shortcut, it is a shortcut, if it does not say shortcut it is a file, program or folder. These are removed same way as the shortcuts but if you delete these and empty the recycle bin (sometimes emptied automatically) basically the file/program is gone (there are some programs like Recuva that may recover them). Be careful; in removing these

Once you remove a number of items you may want to rearrange the desktop and you can click and drag icons or you can right click in a clear area and choose rearrange to do automatically.

Items on the taskbar are all shortcuts so you can delete those as you like. To remove these right click the item and choose unpin from taskbar. If you want to add something, find it on the desktop or in the start menu and right click it and choose pin to taskbar.