Keeping your Windows XP desktop clutter free

Magic wands do exist! With a simple Windows XP registry edit, you can clean up your desktop and prevent more from being created. Greg Shultz comes clean in this Windows XP tip.

Do you prefer a desktop that is free from the clutter of hundreds of icons? If so, you can clean it up with a simple registry edit on your Windows XP machine. This alteration essentially hides any items currently on the desktop, while preventing the creation of any new icons on the desktop.

Follow these steps to tidy up your desktop:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
  3. Right-click the Explorer subkey and select New | DWORD Value.
  4. Name the key NoDesktop and press [Enter] twice.
  5. Type 1 in the Value Data text box, and click OK.
  6. Restart Windows to enable the NoDesktop setting.

By making this registry edit, no icons will appear on the desktop, and you will not be able to create any new desktop icons.

Notes: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before saving any changes. This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

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About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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