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.
tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

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