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Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcut to Hide & Unhide Desktop Icons

To quickly unhide and hide desktop icons in Windows 10, you can create your own custom keyboard shortcut. Here are the exact steps to follow.

To keep the desktop squeaky clean, you can not only set a gorgeous wallpaper but also hide all the desktop icons. The best thing about hiding the desktop icons is that it lets you organize the desktop with all the shortcuts you need all the while having the flexibility to hide them when not needed. It gives you best of the both worlds. Usually, you can hide the desktop icons from the right-click context menu. More specifically, you have to uncheck the “Show desktop icons” option in the View menu.

If you are frequently hiding and unhiding the desktop icons, using the right-click menu can be a bit cumbersome. To deal with that, you can create a keyboard shortcut to hide desktop icons and show desktop icons.

To get you started, here are the exact steps you should follow to create a keyboard shortcut to show or hide desktop icons.

Steps to Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Show or Hide Desktop Icons

We are using an AutoHotKey script to create a shortcut to hide or unhide desktop icons. Here’re the steps you should follow.

  1. Get the AutoHotKey software from here and install it.
  2. Now, right-click on the desktop and select “New → Text Document“.
  3. Name the new file as “HideUnhideIcons.ahk“. You can name the file anything you want. However, it is important that you replace the .txt extension with .ahk.
  4. After renaming the file, right-click on the file and select the “Edit script” option.
  5. The file will be opened in the Notepad. Here, copy and paste the below script.
    ;Press F12 to hide or unhide desktop icons
    ControlGet, HWND, Hwnd,, SysListView321, ahk_class Progman
    If HWND =
    ControlGet, HWND, Hwnd,, SysListView321, ahk_class WorkerW
    If DllCall("IsWindowVisible", UInt, HWND)
    WinHide, ahk_id %HWND%
    WinShow, ahk_id %HWND%
  6. Press “Ctrl + S” to save the file.
  7. Close the file.
  8. After closing the file, double-click on the .ahk file you just created.
  9. The above action will run the file. You will see the AutoHotKey icon on the taskbar while it is running.

That is it. As long as the file is running in the background, you can hide or unhide desktop using the keyboard shortcut F12. Think of the keyboard shortcut as a toggle to hide or unhide desktop icons.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

4 thoughts on “Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcut to Hide & Unhide Desktop Icons”

  1. Avatar for karl sheridan

    Absolotely simple and very useful. Thank you – and do you have any other shortcuts to share using this method?

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