Access Windows Desktop icons without minimizing anything

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

If you keep your most frequently used files and shortcuts on the Desktop, you can quickly access those icons by adding a Desktop Toolbar to your Windows Taskbar by following the steps below.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Taskbar.
  2. Select the Properties option.
  3. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties Window, as shown below, click the Toolbars tab.
  4. In the Toolbars tab, check the Desktop checkbox and click the Apply button.
  5. Once the above steps have been completed, you should have a Desktop option by the Windows Notification Area of your Taskbar, which is also shown at the bottom of the picture below.

Windows Desktop on the Taskbar

After the above steps have been completed, clicking the chevron arrows next to Desktop displays all shortcuts and files stored on the Desktop.

Additional information

  • See our Desktop and icon definitions for further information and related links on these terms.