Clean up your desktop

By: Scott Hendison   ·   Published: December 2000

Look at your computer screen.  How can you find anything in that mess? Aren’t all those shortcuts on your desktop confusing? How is the rest of your family supposed to use that thing? Don’t you wish is could be simpler? This month I’ll give you a quick and easy solution that will have your desktop looking like you just moved in.

Let me start by saying that Windows actually has a built in feature to add different users.

Each user can have his or her own desktop, wallpaper, shortcuts, start menu, etc. This feature though, involves logging off and signing on again every time someone else wants to use it, and that’s too cumbersome for my tastes. I find my solution a little simpler.

Find and empty spot (if you can!) on your Windows desktop. Now right click and select New – Folder. Notice that you now have a new folder on your desktop, the name of which is “new folder”, highlighted in blue. Just by typing here, you can rename that folder to be called whatever you want. Let’s type in “Games” and press enter. (To rename a folder once it’s already there and named, just right click and select “rename”)

Now you have an empty folder on your desktop. You can place all the game shortcuts on your desktop into that one folder a couple of ways, but the easiest is to click and drag. Just left click on a game icon, hold, and drag it into the folder.  Once you let go, it’s moved. You can even select multiple shortcuts to move into this folder. All you do is hold down the Ctrl key while you left click to select as many icons as you choose. You can use this Ctrl key whenever you want to select multiple anything. Once they’re selected and highlighted, just drag them into the folder. That’s it.

By clicking and dragging shortcuts into folders, they will disappear from your desktop and be moved to the folder. If you want to have the same shortcut in more than one place, that’s easy. Just create a second shortcut before you move it.  Please note that if you try to move an item that is actually a program, and not a shortcut, Windows will create a shortcut in that folder to the program you’ve chosen, leaving the original in place. A few things just have to stay on the desktop, and there is no real easy way to delete them.

You can have as many or as few folders on your desktop as you like, and organize them however you want. You can have one folder called “Kids” and have all of their games, programs etc. in one place. You can do this for each member of the family, giving each user their own folder that they can customize however they want.

To customize a folder, try this… Open one of the new folders, like “Games”. Go to the VIEW pull down menu at the top of your screen, and select “customize this folder”.

Then select the middle dot that says, “choose a background picture” and hit the “next” button. From here, you can pick a color for the background (instead of boring white), or change the color of the text for the icon titles, or even pick some special background art to use as wallpaper in that folder. By doing this, each user can have their own desktop folder to organize and use as they see fit, making your desktop as neat and clean as the day you got your computer.

Copyright 2000, All Rights Reserved



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