How to create, arrange, and remove Windows desktop icons

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
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Desktop icons are a great way for users to quickly access programs, files, folders, and web pages. If you're looking to create, arrange, or remove desktop icons in Windows, make your selection from the list below and follow the instructions.

How to create a desktop icon

  1. Press Windows key+D or navigate to the Windows desktop.
  2. Right-click any blank space on the desktop. If you're on a laptop, tap the trackpad with two fingers at the same time.
  3. In the drop-down menu, move your mouse cursor over New, then select Shortcut.
  4. In the window, select Browse... then navigate to the program, file, or folder which you'd like to create a shortcut, and click Ok.
  5. In the Create Shortcut window, select Next, then Finish.

How to create a desktop shortcut to a web page

  1. Press Windows key+D or navigate to the Windows desktop.
  2. Right-click any blank space on the desktop. If you're on a laptop, tap the trackpad with two fingers at the same time.
  3. In the drop-down menu, move your mouse cursor over New, then select Shortcut.
  4. In the window, type the web address, and click Next.
  5. Type a name for the shortcut, and click Finish.

How to arrange desktop icons

  1. Press Windows key+D or navigate to the Windows desktop.
  2. Right-click any blank space on the desktop. If you're on a laptop, tap the trackpad with two fingers at the same time.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Sort by. You should see another menu appear to the right.
  4. Choose how you'd like the icons arranged, either by Name, Size, Item type, or Date modified.

How to remove a desktop icon

To remove a desktop icon, single-click it and press the Del.

Tip

You may select multiple icons and remove them simultaneously by pressing Del, see: How to select or highlight multiple files and folders.