How to Hide Desktop Icons on Your Computer

Many people with computers rarely maintain a clean desktop. If it isn't "littered" with shortcuts and folders, it's cluttered with other files, from movies to music. However, some circumstances might compel you to want to keep those files and programs under wraps. That's when you may want to hide desktop icons.

This guide provides valuable insights into the reasons behind cleaning the desktop, and how you can do that on Windows and Mac.

Why you want to hide your desktop icons

Whether you're using the outdated or latest Windows 10 and Mac versions, you can hide your desktop folders easily. Various reasons compel people to conceal their desktop folders and files in the background.

Security and confidentiality

Information security is a reason a person may want to cache desktop files. A New York Post report revealed that 50% of Americans would rather clean their entire house than spend an hour or more cleaning up their desktops. Considering the average American hasn't organized their desktop for over three years, it indicates how susceptible people's information is. Hiding your desktop files mean people won't see what is on your computer, thus securing personal files.

Tidiness and organization

Your desktop is your digital desk. A clean desk has many psychological benefits, and the same applies to a computer desktop. Hiding the folders keeps the display clean and uncluttered. You can also find and open your preferred folder easily using your computer's system search (for Windows users).

How to hide your desktop icons

Since only half of the US population ever thinks of cleaning their desktop, it's true to say that only a fraction of Americans know how to hide a folder on Mac on desktop.


If you're a Mac user, you can use the Finder app to keep your desktop folders out of sight. Here's how to hide desktop icons on Mac.

  1. Click Finder from your desktop toolbar to open the dropdown menu.
  2. Choose Preferences and then click the General tab.
  3. Under the "Show these items on desktop" section, you'll see all the files on your desktop.
  4. Uncheck all boxes, and all the desktop folders will instantaneously disappear.

Windows 10 desktop

Using your computer's built-in features is a quick way to hide desktop icons on Windows 10. Follow the simple instruction below to do that in seconds.

  1. Right-click on an empty section of the desktop to access a dropdown list
  2. Hover the cursor/pointer at View
  3. Click Show Desktop Icons to hide the desktop folders immediately

How to hide your icons using Parallels Toolbox

Apart from using your Windows 10 or Mac tools, you can also use Parallels Toolbox software to cache your desktop files. It's a user-friendly, fast, and powerful application that enables you to perform computer functions with only a few clicks.

It also has a feature suite with over 30 commands, including Window Manager, World Time, Make GIF, Measure Color, Sleep Timer, Uninstall App, and Hide Desktop. Think of it as your hide desktop icons Windows 10 shortcut. Here's how you can clean up your desktop using Parallels.

  1. Click on the Parallels icon on your desktop toolbar
  2. Select Folders to access a dropdown menu
  3. Click Hide Desktop Folder, and your files will disappear from the desktop instantaneously


Whether you want to keep your personal folders away from prying eyes, protect confidential information, or clean your computer, learning how to hide desktop files on Windows 10 and Mac is critical. While you may easily use your computer's default settings to do that, performing similar commands on your device won't be as easy. That's why you need a concierge, multi-platform software, such as Parallels Toolbox, to quickly perform tasks on your computer with only a few clicks.