Don Trauger – Kennett
Over the past years I’ve written how important it is to maintain your computer to keep it in top shape. This article deals with another area
of the computer called the Desktop. The Desktop is the screen on the monitor that is finally presented to you when you start up your computer.
Over time it gets cluttered with icons, most of which you’ll never use. Deleting unused icons is easy and safe with only one precaution.
Icons are often referred to as religious works of art. However with computers, Desktop icons generally represent a program or web site. They
are also known as “shortcuts”. They can be identified as having a small arrow located in the lower left portion of the icon. An unused icon
that has an arrow can be safely deleted. You are not deleting the program only the graphical representation of the program. Simply right click
the icon and in the pop-up menu left click delete. This action will move the icon from the Desktop to the Recycle Bin. If you make a mistake
and want the icon back double left click the Recycle bin icon and right click the previously deleted icon and then left click on Restore. It
should now reappear back on the Desktop. Continue deleting the unwanted icons from your Desktop until it’s cleaned to your satisfaction. Now
for the precaution, don’t delete anything that doesn’t have an arrow. You may have a folder on your Desktop which will not have an arrow. If
you delete that folder, any file contained in that folder also gets moved to the Recycle bin. You can double left click the folder to open it
to see what files it may contain. After inspection you can decide to leave it alone or delete it.
Now that you have cleaned your Desktop here are some other tips to consider. Right click a blank area of the Desktop. In the pop-up menu on
a Windows XP computer, move the mouse pointer to “Arrange Icons By” and left click Name and Auto Arrange. This will alphabetically arrange your
remaining icons on the left side of the screen. If you have a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer choose “Sort By” and then left click Name. If
you click View in the menu you can also choose “Auto Arrange”.
Desktop icons and folders can also be renamed. If you have a misnamed icon or folder such as “New folder” (Windows default), just right click it
and in the pop-up window left click on Rename. Type your new name and press the Enter key.
If you would like to create a new icon on the Desktop for a program installed on your computer, click on Start then go to the All Programs menu,
right click the actual program and move the mouse to “Send to” and left click Desktop (create shortcut). The new icon should appear on the Desktop.
Cleaning up the Desktop will not make your computer run any better; however it will make it easier to see the remaining useful icons. Even a
new computer will have unwanted icons. Here’s your chance to help it look the way it should!