A bunch of application shortcuts, files and folders easily make a beautiful desktop look cluttered. Creating a new folder on desktop and moving all program shortcuts and other stuffs on the desktop to this new folder is one of the ways to clean up the desktop without actually cleaning up the stuff.
A lot of computer users prefer hiding desktop icons whenever possible. Although we can quickly hide all icons on the desktop by right-clicking desktop, clicking View, and then unchecking Show desktop icons option, a keyboard shortcut to quickly show or hide desktop icons would have been awesome.
Keyboard shortcut to show/hide desktop icons
As you likely know, Windows operating system doesn’t offer a native keyboard shortcut to show or hide desktop icons. Although most websites out there recommend using HideDesktopIcons program, the fact is that it doesn’t work all the time.
Luckily, there is a working program available to show or hide icons on the desktop with a keyboard shortcut. Actual Hide Desktop Icons is a free program designed to help you quickly show or hide desktop icons. The program is portable and compatible all versions of Windows from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
To assign a keyboard shortcut to show or hide desktop icons, you just need to pin Actual Hide Desktop Icons program to taskbar. For example, if you have pinned Actual Hide Desktop to extreme left of the taskbar (next to the Start button), you can use Windows+1 hotkey to quickly show/hide desktop icons.
Creating keyboard shortcut to show or hide icons on desktop
And if you like to assign a special hotkey without pinning the program to the taskbar, please follow the given below instructions:
Step 1: Click here to download Actual Hide Desktop Icons program.
Step 2: Right-click on ActualHideDesktopIcons.exe, click Send to, and then click Desktop (create shortcut) to create a shortcut of Actual Hide Desktop Icons program shortcut on your desktop.
Step 3: Now, right-click on Actual Hide Desktop Icons shortcut and click Properties option to open its Properties dialog.
Step 4: Here, under Shortcut tab, click the box next to Shortcut Key (see picture), assign a keyboard shortcut by pressing Ctrl+Alt+any key, and finally, click Apply button to save the shortcut.
Hotkey to show/hide desktop icons using AutoHotKey
If you’re really interested in creating a keyboard shortcut to show or hide desktop icons with the help of AutoHotKey, here is how to do it.
NOTE: This method is applicable to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
Step 1: Go to this page and download the latest version of AutoHotKey. After downloading it, install the same on your PC.
Step 2: Run AutoHotKey program.
Step 3: Next, click here to download ShowHide.zip file.
Step 4: Extract the downloaded zip file to get ShowHide.ahk (AutoHotKey script).
Step 5: Double-click on the ShowHide.ahk file to run the AutoHotKey script. That’s it!
From now onwards, you can use Windows+Z hotkey to quickly show or hide icons on the desktop. If you like this idea, you can simply put a shortcut of AutoHotKey in the Startup folder to automatically load AutoHotKey with Windows.
Friends, do let us know if there is a better way to quickly show or hide desktop icons with the help of a keyboard shortcut.