How to Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (and Keep It That Way) (2023)

How to Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (and Keep It That Way) (1)

The desktop is a convenient place to store files and program shortcuts, but it can quickly become cluttered. Here's how to clean up your desk so you can quickly find what you're looking for and make sure your desk is well organized.

Hide all desktop icons

If you don't use your desktop much, but programs keep creating shortcuts, here's a quick fix: Hide everything for a perfectly clean desktop.

ForEnable or disable desktop icons, right-click the desktop, and select View > Show Desktop Icons. Your desktop appears blank.

To show the desktop icons again, click the Show Desktop Icons option again. Or you can open a File Explorer or Windows Explorer window and click the Desktop folder to view the contents of your desktop in a standard File Explorer window.

That, of course, is the nuclear option. If you like to store files and program shortcuts on your desktop, you don't want to hide them all.

How to Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (and Keep It That Way) (2)

Quickly tidy up your desktop icons

For quick sorting, you can right-click on the desktop and choose an option from the Sort By menu. For example, select "Name" to sort the files alphabetically or "Date Modified" to sort them chronologically. This makes it easier to find what you're looking for when your desktop is too cluttered.

(Video) how to make your desktop pretty for once.

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You can also use the View menu options to choose the size of the desktop icons and whether they are aligned with the grid. If you turn off "Automatically arrange icons", you can drag and drop icons where you want. If this option is activated, the symbols are always grouped one after the other.

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These options can be helpful, but they are not a substitute for true clutter control.

Organize your files and shortcuts into folders

Consider using folders to organize your desktop. To create a folder, right-click on the desktop, select New > Folder, and give the folder a name. Drag and drop items from your desktop into the folder. You can double-click a folder on your desktop to open it, so it takes a few more clicks to open your files, but they're still easy to find.

For example, you can have separate folders for your photos and documents, or keep files related to a single project in their own folder. And yes, you can also drag and drop program shortcuts into folders.

If you want to quickly clean up your desktop, you can select everything on your desktop and drag and drop it into a folder. You can move items back to the desktop as needed.

How to Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (and Keep It That Way) (5)

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Use the desktop as a temporary desktop

The desktop works well as a workspace and provides a convenient place to store the files you're working on. For example, you can save spreadsheets you're working on, scanned documents, photos you just took, or things you just downloaded to your desktop.

To keep your desktop usable for this task and not too cluttered, try to keep files on your desktop for only as long as necessary. When you're done with a project or task, move your files to another folder, like your main Documents or Photos folder, or even put them in a folder on your desktop.

In other words, treat your desk like a physical table or counter: place things on it while you use it, and tidy it up afterwards instead of piling it up.

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Place shortcuts in the start menu and taskbar

Programs often add shortcuts to your desktop when you install them, making your desktop cluttered over time.

Try placing the program shortcuts somewhere else, e.g. B. on the taskbar or start menu. To pin a shortcut to a programyour taskbar, right click and select "Pin to taskbar". It always appears as an icon on the taskbar, and you can drag the icon left or right to position it.

To get more space for the icons on the taskbar, you can remove some things to free up space. for example forHide the Cortana search box in Windows 10, right-click the taskbar, and select Cortana > Hidden. You can also click Cortana > Show Cortana Icon, which will make Cortana a default icon on the taskbar instead of a large search box.

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You can also insert linksyour menu begins. To do this, right-click a shortcut and select Pin to Start. In Windows 10, it appears as a tile on the right side of the Start menu. In Windows 7, it appears as a shortcut on the left side of the Start menu.

You can also pin apps directly to the Start menu: right-click a shortcut in the list of all Start menu apps and choose Pin to Start, or drag the icon to the pinned apps area.

In Windows 10, you can drag and drop pinned app shortcuts to the Start menu to organize them into groups, and click the heading at the top of the group to give it a name. For example, you can create a work group with shortcuts to the apps you use at work, or a gaming group with shortcuts to your games.

If you're using Windows 10, you can also unpin any pinned apps Microsoft has put there to customize the Start menu. Feel free to unlink any shortcuts you don't use.

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RELATED: 10 ways to customize the Windows 10 Start menu

Once you've moved all the shortcuts you want to the taskbar and start menu, you can remove them from the desktop just like you would delete any file or move it to a folder.

If you accidentally deleted a shortcut and want to put it back on your desktop, open the Start menu and find the shortcut in the list of all installed apps. Drag and drop the shortcut to your desktop.

(Video) How to Organize Desktop Icons - ft. Jordan Peterson

install fences

If you want to save files and app shortcuts to your desktop, typestardock fencesa shot. This utility creates rectangles ("fences") on your desktop. You can create as many fences as you want, name them and give them different colors. Drag and drop files, folders, and shortcuts in and out of these fences. You can also change its size. If you create a fence that is too small for everything you put in it, that fence will have a scroll bar that you can use to scroll through its content. You can even "unroll" a fence to temporarily hide all of its content.

Fences adds much-needed organizational features to the Windows desktop. You also canSet up fence rules to automatically place fileson appropriate billboards if you put them on your desk. For example, you can create a rule that automatically places image files on a photo fence. This works similar tothe Stacks feature that Apple is adding to macOS Mojave.

The billboards are $10, but there is a 30-day free trial you can play around with. If you find Fences useful after those 30 days, it's worth buying.

How to Organize Your Messy Windows Desktop (and Keep It That Way) (9)

The fences also add two other cool little features. First of all, you can double-click any empty space on your desktop to hide all the billboards and the icons they contain. A quick double-click brings them all back, so it's a great balance between a clean desktop and one with all the icons you love to have there.

The other cool thing is that fences always remember their position on your desktop. If you've ever played a game (or remotely connected to your PC) and changed your monitor resolution, you know it can mess up your desktop icons. With your symbols on the fences, you don't have to worry about that. They stay where you put them.

RELATED: Here's how to get macOS Mojave-style desktop stacks on Windows

Some people don't agree with storing files on the desktop, but there's no shame in using the desktop if that works for you. After all, that's what it's there for. Just make sure your desk is a bit tidy, or you'll have trouble finding everything you need.

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