How to sort Windows desktop icon?
September 15, 2006 6:35 AM   Subscribe

I have a lot of icons on my Windows XP desktop, I have them sorted by games in a corner, documents in other and tho.. I want to know if exists something to hide them and show when I want or organize them, without creating folders.
posted by Leech to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
I don't have a specific product suggestion, but what about a "desktop-switcher" type application? You could have multiple desktops; one for gaming, one for work...

Or you *could* create a different XP user for different usage. But that's probably too annoying.

Why don't you want to put things in folders? (Personally, I'd rather keep as few icons on the desktop as possible.)
posted by jozxyqk at 7:00 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: Virtual desktops is a nice idea.
And about folders, I don't like this bc it still is using some space in the desktop.
posted by Leech at 7:29 AM on September 15, 2006

Just reorganise your Start menu? I categorise all the program shortcuts in my Start menu into different folders: Games, Apps, Utilities, Internet, Security, Hardware. The apps I use all the time (email, Firefox, iTunes, etc) have shortcuts in the Quickstart menu, and the only icons I have on the desktop are a couple of new games.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:44 AM on September 15, 2006

If you like the mechanics of the OSX Dock, YZ Dock can be nice and unobtrusive when set to collapse entirely. You might also find this guide handy, it shows you how to add custom places to the Open/Save dialog that can save you a lot of repetetive browsing or eliminate some desktop directory shortcuts you may have.
posted by prostyle at 7:52 AM on September 15, 2006

Best answer: Powertoys for XP has a Virtual Desktop Manager which is a quick and easy way to get up to four desktops if you decide to go that route.

Also, if you just want to hide them (unless i'm misunderstanding your question), you can right-click on the desktop, go to Arrange Icons by, and unclick Show Desktop Items. This gives you a clean view of your background picture and none of the "clutter".
posted by pinksoftsoap at 8:06 AM on September 15, 2006

if you turn on active desktop, you can "hide" all your desktop icons...

right click the desktop, arrange icons by, hide desktop items...

i think thats why you're looking for? sort of?
posted by xospecialk at 8:17 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: Really like the idea of hiding icons.. fantastic..
Only I need a shortcut for that! idea?
posted by Leech at 9:02 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: well I found this little app (post by KeithI) that does that, then after that I've added a keystroke to the shortcut.
posted by Leech at 9:09 AM on September 15, 2006

When you don't want to see icons:

1. Right click in empty space on the desktop.
2. Select "Arrange Icons By->"
3. Uncheck "Show Desktop Icons."

When you want to see them again, go through the same dialog a re-check.
posted by SlyBevel at 9:25 AM on September 15, 2006


For WinXP, YMMV, a great trick for dear friends, ie: "WTF happened to all my icons!?"
posted by SlyBevel at 9:26 AM on September 15, 2006

Best answer: what I do to keep my desktop clear, but have easy access to all my shorcuts is to create custom quicklaunch toolbars.

Right-click task bar, Toolbars -> New Toolbar...

Then point it to a folder of shortcuts. I then huddle these all over on the left side of the quicklaunch bar, so just the folder name is showing with a little double arrow (>>).

Click that arrow to have access to all the shortucts, and keep your desktop clean!
posted by blind.wombat at 10:07 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: nice blind.wombat, but it uses big space in the task bar, I guess..

But it's better than the space that uses all my icons on the desktop!

posted by Leech at 10:32 AM on September 15, 2006

My low-cost solution: I have one folder on my desktop, nothing else. In that folder, I put all the mess. I guess in your case I'd have the one folder, and then in there I'd have one folder for games, one for documents, etc. But I suppose that is not exactly what you're looking for.
posted by edlundart at 3:49 PM on September 15, 2006

Best answer: I guess it depends on your resolution. "Development >>" "Games >>" for example don't take up much space on my bar (though I am running 1600x1200). The key is to shrink each new toolbar down to just big enough to display the folder name, not any of the content.
posted by blind.wombat at 6:45 PM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: oh yes, I'm added the folder to the taskbar with the name of "+" and inside the folders separated in categories.
posted by Leech at 1:41 PM on September 16, 2006

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