Why disable the desktop?

The reason is simple, as you install software programs or download files on your desktop, it will become cluttered and you may end up cutting and pasting the files from the desktop into some other folder, this solution is okay but not good as you will have to move the contents from the desktop to some other folder on daily basis.

A better solution is to hide and disable all the items on the desktop this will insure not a single icon appears on your desktop and whenever you need to access some file from the desktop you can just go to My-computer and press the up button to view the contents of the desktop folder. This solution gives you empty desktop where you can place nice wallpapers and the desktop will appearance will be soothing and more stylish.

How to disable and hide all the files on desktop ?

Just follow these steps:-

  • Open the run prompt: start->Run or windows key+r

  • Open the group policy editor: type gpedit.msc in the run prompt.

  • Expand to the following setting :-
    User Configuration ->Administrative templates -> Desktop

  • Then From the right window view select "Hide and disable all items on the Desktop" and right click on it and choose properties. A new properties window will appear from it change the setting from not configured to enable and press ok and exit the group policy editor (as shown in the following figure).

  • Now there will still be icons and shortcuts being displayed on the desktop, So for the changes to take effect, open the windows task manager( ctrl+alt+del) and end the task explorer.exe

  • Don't panic! if you see nothing (this happens because explorer process has been terminated). Just open the task manager and then from the file menu choose new task and type explorer.Now the windows taskbar will appear and all the files on the desktop will be disabled and hidden.

Just to show you on how this setting gives a soothing effect take a look at my desktop. (Don't freak out ! it's just windows xp with the wallpaper designed for windows7).