This is a guest post by Joel Thomas (Mr.Byte) from, where he writes How-to tips about Windows, Office and Internet Applications.

Most of us like me love to keep the icons and some files in the desktop for quick access but ironically I love a clean desktop too. But there is a simple tweak without any additional tool to get the best of both worlds, you can hide the desktop icons & files and create a custom keyboard shortcut to access those icons and files.

Step 1: Hide the desktop icons and files.

Right click on the Desktop, go to View and uncheck the option Show Desktop Icons. Now you will have a clean desktop.

Step 2: Create a Desktop shortcut to open Desktop Folder.

All the items in the desktop are stored in the folder under your user name.  Click on Start button –> (your username) –> Desktop folder.

Desktop Folder


Right click on the Desktop folder and click Send to -> Desktop (Create Shortcut). This will create a desktop shortcut to open desktop folder.

Send to Desktop

Desktop Shortcut to open desktop folder

Step 3: Assign a Custom keyboard Shortcut to open Hidden Desktop Icons and Files.

Now open the desktop folder like mentioned in step 2.

Right click the keyboard shortcut for desktop you have created just now and click Properties.

Open Shortcuts tab and click on Shortcut Key box. Now click ALT + CTRL + any letter key to create a custom shortcut and click OK. I usually use ALT + CTRL + D to open desktop folder and Win + D to show desktop.

Custom Keyboard Shortcut to Open Desktop Folder

Now you can open all the hidden icons and files in the desktop in a folder to have a quick access at the stroke of a custom keyboard shortcut.


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