desktop – Windows Blog by Brink

desktop

Allow or Prevent Themes to Change Desktop Icons in Windows 11

Windows includes the common¬†This PC¬†(aka: Computer),¬†User’s Files,¬†Network,¬†Recycle Bin, and¬†Control Panel¬†shortcuts that you can add or remove as icons on your desktop.

Changing your¬†theme¬†can also change your¬†desktop icons¬†to what’s included in the theme.

This tutorial will show you how to allow or prevent themes to change desktop icons for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Move or Restore Default Location of Desktop Folder in Windows 11

The¬†Desktop¬†folder (shell:Desktop) is a component of the user profile that is used as a unified location for storing personal data. By default, the Desktop folder is a shell folder in the user’s profile (%UserProfile%) that is used as a default storage location items on your desktop.

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc…) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

If you like, you can move the Desktop folder and its content to a location you want it at instead.

If the current Desktop folder path is incorrect or is no longer available, you can use the Restore Default option to restore the default path.

This tutorial will show you how to move or restore the default location of the Desktop folder for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Peek in Windows 11

Peek (aka: Aero Peek) is the feature responsible for Peek at desktop and taskbar thumbnail live previews.

Peek at desktop has been removed from the Show Desktop button on the taskbar in Windows 11, but you can still press the Win+, (comma) keys to temporarily peek at the desktop.

When you hover the pointer over an icon on the taskbar with an open window, you will see a thumbnail preview of the open window. When you hover the pointer on the taskbar thumbnail preview, you will see a live preview (peek) of the open window on your desktop. This is a taskbar thumbnail live preview.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Peek for your account in Windows 11.

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Refresh Desktop in Windows 11

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc…) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

The desktop is basically just a folder that shows the contents of your %UserProfile%\Desktop folder and the C:\Users\Public\Desktop folder.

Normally when the contents of the desktop changes, it will auto-refresh by default. Sometimes, the desktop does not auto-refresh though, and you may need to manually refresh the desktop.

You may need to manually refresh your desktop if:

  • The desktop does not display files or folders you just created, moved, deleted, renamed, or saved on it.
  • You need to re-align your desktop icons.
  • Contents of the desktop or the folder do not change when expected to.

This tutorial will show you how to manually refresh the desktop for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add or Remove “Add or edit stickers” Desktop context menu in Windows 11

Desktop Stickers is a hidden feature in Windows 11 that allows you to choose and edit stickers for your wallpaper when using Windows Spotlight or a picture with Fill as your desktop background image.

Using the new sticker editor you can pick, place, and resize stickers as you like. It can be accessed through Settings or by right-clicking your desktop.

If you enabled Desktop Stickers, you can remove Add or edit stickers from the desktop context menu if wanted and still have access through Settings.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Add or edit stickers desktop context menu for all users in Windows 11.

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Edit Stickers on Desktop in Windows 11

Desktop Stickers is a hidden feature in Windows 11 that allows you to choose and edit stickers for your wallpaper when using Windows Spotlight or a picture with Fill as your desktop background image.

Using the new sticker editor you can pick, place, and resize stickers as you like. It can be accessed through Settings or by right-clicking your desktop.

When you change your desktop background picture, your stickers will still remain.

This tutorial will show you how to edit stickers added to the desktop to resize and move them where you like on the desktop for your account in Windows 11.

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Remove Stickers from Desktop in Windows 11

Desktop Stickers is a hidden feature in Windows 11 that allows you to choose and edit stickers for your wallpaper when using Windows Spotlight or a picture with Fill as your desktop background image.

Using the new sticker editor you can pick, place, and resize stickers as you like. It can be accessed through Settings or by right-clicking your desktop.

When you change your desktop background picture, your stickers will still remain.

The Desktop Stickers feature is currently not officially released to Windows 11 yet, but if you would like to give Desktop Stickers a play with now, you can enable Desktop Stickers in Windows 11 version 22H2 build 22621 and higher now.

This tutorial will show you how to remove stickers from the desktop for your account in Windows 11.

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Add Stickers to Desktop in Windows 11

Desktop Stickers is a hidden feature in Windows 11 that allows you to choose and edit stickers for your wallpaper when using Windows Spotlight or a picture with Fill as your desktop background image.

Using the new sticker editor you can pick, place, and resize stickers as you like. It can be accessed through Settings or by right-clicking your desktop.

When you change your desktop background picture, your stickers will still remain.

The Desktop Stickers feature is currently not officially released to Windows 11 yet, but if you would like to give Desktop Stickers a play with now, you can enable Desktop Stickers in Windows 11 version 22H2 build 22621 and higher now.

This tutorial will show you how to add stickers to the desktop for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Desktop Search Box in Windows 11

Starting with Windows 11 build 25120, Microsoft has added a search box displayed on the desktop that enables you to search the web.

The desktop search box is currently only a conceptual feature that only some Insiders may have available.

If you have the desktop search box available, you can add and remove it on demand.

This tutorial will show you how to add and remove the desktop search box for your account in Windows 11.

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Switch to Next Windows Spotlight Picture in Windows 11

Windows Spotlight is an option for the lock screen and desktop background that displays different Bing daily background images, and occasionally offers fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on the lock screen.

If you don’t like the current Windows Spotlight picture on your lock screen or desktop, you can switch to the next picture on demand to change it.

This tutorial will show you how to switch to the next Windows Spotlight picture on the desktop and/or lock screen for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove “Learn more about this picture” Desktop icon in Windows 11

When you choose to have Windows Spotlight as your desktop background, it will add a Learn more about this picture icon on your desktop by default. The Learn more about this picture icon can be dragged to any location you want on your desktop.

You can hover over the Learn more about this picture desktop icon to see information about the current Windows Spotlight picture.

You can right click on the Learn more about this picture desktop icon to Open in Bing, Switch to next picture, rate I like this picture, or rate Not a fan of this picture.

If you choose a picture, solid color, or slideshow instead of Windows Spotlight as your desktop background, it will remove the Learn more about this picture icon on your desktop.

If you like, you can remove the Learn more about this picture desktop icon while still using Windows Spotlight as your desktop background.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Learn more about this picture desktop icon when using Windows Spotlight as your desktop background for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Desktop Stickers in Windows 11

Desktop Stickers is a feature in Windows 11 that allows you to choose and edit stickers for your wallpaper when using a picture and choose Fill for your desktop background image.

Using the new sticker editor you can pick, place, and resize stickers as you like. It can be accessed through Settings or by right-clicking your desktop.

The Desktop Stickers feature is currently not officially released to Windows 11 yet, but if you would like to give Desktop Stickers a play with now, you can enable Desktop Stickers in Windows 11 version 22H2 build 22621 and higher now.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Desktop Stickers for all users in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Drop Shadows for Icon Labels on Desktop in Windows 11

Windows uses drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop by default.

Depending on if your desktop background is light or dark, using drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop may make reading the icon label easier or harder.

If harder, then you can turn off use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop to remove the drop shadows.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable using drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Translucent Selection Rectangle on Desktop in Windows 11

The translucent selection rectangle is the box you see when you left click and hold, and then drag the pointer over items to select them when you release the left click.

If you like, you can turn off showing the translucent selection rectangle on your desktop.

When the translucent selection rectangle is turned off for the desktop, you will only see an outline selection rectangle on the desktop instead.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off show translucent selection rectangle on the desktop for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Align Icons to Grid on Desktop in Windows 11

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc…) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

If you turn on Align icons to grid, your desktop icons will automatically be snapped into place on an invisible grid on your screen. The grid keeps the icons aligned with each other to prevent them from overlapping.

If you turn off Align icons to grid, your desktop icons will no longer be snapped into place by grid.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off align desktop icons to grid for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Auto Arrange Icons on Desktop in Windows 11

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc…) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

If you turn on Auto arrange icons, your desktop icons will automatically be arranged in columns starting along the left side of your screen.

If you turn off Auto arrange icons, you can arrange your desktop icons how and where you like on the desktop.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off auto arrange desktop icons for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Reset and Re-register Windows Spotlight in Windows 11

In Windows 11, you can have Windows Spotlight display different background images on your desktop and lock screen, and occasionally offers suggestions on the lock screen.

If Windows Spotlights stops working and/or stops changing the background image, you can reset and re-register Windows Spotlight to fix it.

This tutorial will show you how to reset and re-register Windows Spotlight for your account in Windows 11.

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Remove “System requirements not met” Watermark on Windows 11 Desktop

Starting with Windows 11 Insider Beta and Release Preview channels build 22000.588 and Windows Insider Dev channel build 22557, you will see a System requirements not met watermark on your desktop as a reminder you are running Windows 11 on an unsupported system.

Windows 11 Insider Beta and Release Preview channels¬†build 22000.588¬†adds¬†Go to Settings to learn more¬†to the “System requirements not met” watermark.

This tutorial will show you how to remove the “System requirements not met” watermark on the desktop for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Desktop Icons in Windows 11

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc…) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

Windows includes the common¬†This PC¬†(aka: Computer),¬†User’s Files,¬†Network,¬†Recycle Bin, and¬†Control Panel¬†shortcuts that you can add or remove as icons on your desktop.

This tutorial will how you to add or remove common desktop icons for your account in Windows 11.

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Hide or Show Desktop Icons in Windows 11

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc…) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

This tutorial will show you how to hide or show all desktop icons for your account, specific users, or all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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