This is a discussion on Controlling Desktop Icons In Windows XP within the Operating systems forums, part of the Tutorials category; Controlling Desktop Icons In Windows XP The desktop icons that show by default depend on your choice of Start menu. ...
Controlling Desktop Icons In Windows XP
The desktop icons that show by default depend on your choice of Start menu. Through the default menu, you get simply a Recycle Bin icon. Switching to the classic menu adds icons for My Documents, My Computer, My Network Places, and Internet Explorer. (If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows or transferred from other computer using the File And Settings Transfer Wizard, your desktop may contain additional icons.)
To control which of these system icons appear on your desktop, follow these steps:
1. Right-click a vacant area of the desktop and select Properties. Otherwise, open Display (in the Appearance And Themes category) in Control Panel. Or action opens the Display Properties dialog box.
2. In Display Properties, click the Desktop tab and then click Customize Desktop.
3. In the Desktop Icons section of the General tab, select the items you want to appear.
While youíve got the Desktop Items dialog box open, you might want to examine its other features:
● If youíre really into customization, you can change the icon used for any of the system folders displayed in the center of the dialog box. If you upgraded from Windows 98, youíll find an interesting collection of icons in your %ProgramFiles%\Plus!\Themes folder. A clean installation of Windows XP doesnít have too many interesting alternatives (you might, however, want to check the hodgepodge of icons in %SystemRoot%\ System32\Shell32.dll), but the capability exists nonetheless.
● A more interesting option is the Desktop Cleanup Wizard. This wizard, which you invoke by clicking Clean Desktop Now, displays a list of all the shortcuts on your desktop, along with the date each shortcut was last used, as shown in Figure 1. You select the items you no longer need to have on your desktop, and the wizard moves the selected items to a desktop folder it creates named Unused Desktop Shortcuts. Your seldom-used shortcuts are still available; you just need to dig into the folder to use them instead of searching for them on the desktop. (You should delete shortcuts youíll never need again. Thatís a task youíll need to do manually; Windows doesnít presume to know which ones can be safely deleted altogether.)
Figure 1. The wizard selects shortcuts that havenít been used in a long time (or ever), but you can override its choices on this page.
After youíve populated your desktop with icons, you might want to control the arrangement of those icons. Right-clicking the desktop and choosing Arrange Icons By produces a submenu with a number of useful commands. The Name, Size, Type, Modified, Auto Arrange, and Align To Grid commands work just as they do in Windows Explorer to sort and lay out your icons. Show Desktop Icons hides or displays all desktop icons. The last two commands on the menuóLock Web Items On The Desktop and Run Desktop Cleanup Wizardóprovide handy shortcuts to options in the Desktop Items dialog box. Lock Web Items On The Desktop prevents you (or others) from moving Web content that youíve displayed on your desktop.
As an ordinary folder, the desktop can store much more than system icons and program shortcuts. If youíre not careful, it can become a repository for all manner of documents, downloaded files, shortcuts, and so on. Although itís nice to have some of these items in this convenient location, youíll probably want to avoid the clutter created by injudicious use of the desktop as a storage depot. Instead, use My Documents and its subfolders, which provide a good way to organize your documents and, in fact, are just as accessible.