How to remove unused icons from the Windows desktop
You may have many icons on your Windows desktop that came from different sources. Some were placed there after installing Windows, some appear when a program is installed, and others may have been created by you. The method of removing Windows desktop icons varies based on how they were made. To proceed, identify the type of icon you're trying to remove and follow the steps in the appropriate section.
Deleting a shortcut does not uninstall a program.
General program icons and shortcuts
To delete an icon created by saving a file, the installation of a software program, or user-created shortcuts:
- Click the icon with your left mouse button once so that it is highlighted.
- Press the Delete key on your keyboard.
If the shortcut is needed again in the future, you can create the shortcut icon again and place it on the desktop. See: How to create a Windows shortcut.
Built-in Windows utilities
Windows 8 and 10 users
- Right-click a blank area on the Windows desktop.
- Select Personalize in the pop-up menu.
- In the left navigation menu, click Themes.
- Under Related Settings, click the Desktop icon settings option.
- Uncheck the box next to the icon(s) you want to remove, click Apply, and then OK.