Show/Hide Desktop Icons with a single click

Copper Contributor



Is there anything i can do by showing/hinding desktop icons using a hotkey.

I tried different softwares but i encounter some problems that are not on my taste. Maybe i can use powershell. If somebody knows a way please i need some help



4 Replies

Hello @lucifer224,


If you want to use only hotkey, I believe you need to use third-party software as it seems not possible natively in Windows. Though, you can create a batch script for registry change  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\NoDesktop:1


I found a PowerShell script, but unfortunately that allows only to show Desktop icons, not hide.


I highly recommend you to post to PowerShell community to get more ideas and get this resolved:  


Hope this helps!



I found a way and tested it myself on latest Windows 10

here it is:

Create a Shortcut or Hotkey to Turn the Desktop Icons On or Off (


  1. Download the tool from the website above
  2. you might have to install this too 
  3. make a shortcut of the file (.exe) on desktop
  4. pin that shortcut to start menu or taskbar depending on your preference
  5. clicking on the icon on taskbar or start menu instantly shows/hides desktop icons
  6. in that website above, it also explains how to assign a hotkey to a shortcut, which is a built-in functionality of Windows.



Late reply, but I found a solution that can be used with a keybind and doesn't require any downloads or installations.

I'm going to assume you know some basics, and won't need step by step.

If you do need step by step, let me know and I will make one. 


Create a new folder anywhere, and call it whatever you like. 

In said folder create a new .bat file called whatever you like, and edit it to read:


@echo off

PowerShell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "./scripts/ToggleShowDesktopIcons.ps1"


Save Exit.


Create another folder inside the folder you just made, call it "scripts".

In the scripts folder create a .ps1 file call it "ToggleShowDesktopIcons.ps1" and edit it to read:


$source = @'
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
namespace DesktopUtility
    class Win32Functions
        public static extern IntPtr FindWindow(string lpClassName, string lpWindowName);
        public static extern IntPtr FindWindowEx(IntPtr hwndParent, IntPtr hwndChildAfter, string lpszClass, string lpszWindow);
        public static extern IntPtr GetDesktopWindow();
        public static extern IntPtr SendMessage(IntPtr hWnd, uint Msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam);
    public class Desktop
        public static IntPtr GetHandle()
            IntPtr hDesktopWin = Win32Functions.GetDesktopWindow();
            IntPtr hProgman = Win32Functions.FindWindow("Progman", "Program Manager");
            IntPtr hWorkerW = IntPtr.Zero;
            IntPtr hShellViewWin = Win32Functions.FindWindowEx(hProgman, IntPtr.Zero, "SHELLDLL_DefView", "");
            if (hShellViewWin == IntPtr.Zero)
                    hWorkerW = Win32Functions.FindWindowEx(hDesktopWin, hWorkerW, "WorkerW", "");
                    hShellViewWin = Win32Functions.FindWindowEx(hWorkerW, IntPtr.Zero, "SHELLDLL_DefView", "");
                } while (hShellViewWin == IntPtr.Zero && hWorkerW != null);
            return hShellViewWin;
        public static void ToggleDesktopIcons()
            Win32Functions.SendMessage(Desktop.GetHandle(), 0x0111, (IntPtr)0x7402, (IntPtr)0);
Add-Type -TypeDefinition $source


Save Exit.


Now create a shotcut of the .bat file you created before. 

Open properties of the shortcut and bind a shortcut key.

Restart your PC.

The bind you chose should now toggle show/hide desktop icons.


you can also double click the .bat file for it to work, or just run the .ps1 script.


I believe the shotkey bind will only work when the shortcut is on the desktop.

To hide the shortcut place it inside:


"C:\Users\"Your Username"\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs"







@NolandC - I wonder why Microsoft haven`t added the hide-icons-feature to the presentation mode settings? 
There you can turn of the screenprotector, chose another background and chose volume level- when it`s turned on - it should have been an option to hide the icons as well.

How do we reach someone that can fix it as a built in Windows feature?