Is your desktop in Windows 11 messy and out of control? Do you have too many icons and apps displayed in your taskbar and system tray? In this video, Scott Friesen shows you how to clean up your Windows desktop screen so you can be more productive and effective.
Is your desktop in Windows 11 getting out of control? Are you tired of seeing all of these files, shortcuts and way too many things down here on your task bar? Well, I'm going to show you how to turn this into this, and it's only going to take you just a few minutes. Let's get started with all of the files and shortcuts, and even the recycle bin. Everything else that tends to hang out on our desktop. Now, if you have a particular way in which you like to group or organize all of your files or shortcuts on your desktop, go ahead and do so. But for many people, including myself, I never really make use of this area unless I want to put something there temporarily. So you could group things together either manually by dragging them together. We could right click and we could say sort by name or size. For example, let's say sort by name and everything's going to be vertical over here on the side, but over time, it's going to start to creep over. Well, did you know you can right click, hover over view, and come down to the bottom and uncheck show desktop icons. And in just a second, they are all gone. Well, they're all gone visually. They're still there. If I open up my desktop folder, here you can see all of those same files and shortcuts exist. I still have access to all of them, but they will never appear, nor will anything else appear here on my desktop. It will stay completely clean. If I want to go back, I can right click and then check that box. And then of course, everything else will return. But if you want a super clean desktop and never have anything appear, you want to make use of that option. And don't forget that you can personalize this image if you want something a bit brighter or a different image altogether. I'm going to choose this secondary theme just to sort of brighten up my screen a little bit. Next up, let's take a look at how we can clean up our very messy and busy task bar down below. I've got a lot of things going on and I never really make use of this search bar. Well, what you can do is right click anywhere on the task bar and select task bar settings, and this is going to give us a lot of additional options and really clean up this mess down below. First off, as I mentioned, I don't use that search box, so if you want to hide it completely or change how it appears, you can do so. Now that search bar is gone, and if you have any other default windows items you'd like to hide, such as the task view, widgets or chat, you can toggle them off here as well. But down at the very bottom, there's a section called task bar behaviors. If we expand this, this gives us probably one of my favorite features when it comes to cleaning up our task bar. At the very bottom, there's an option called combine task bar buttons and hide labels. I currently have this set as never, but if I select this dropdown and say always, suddenly everything is minimized and centered on my task bar. It hasn't closed any of my files. You can see here, I still have two PowerPoint files open. It will give me a preview if I hover over that application. The same with any other application here as well. And if I want to just hover over the two previews here, I can quickly see which one I want to deal with next. But this makes everything so much cleaner, so much easier to get to. And if you want quicker access to your favorite applications, this is a much better area to include the shortcuts. Let's say, for example, that I use the calculator application on a frequent basis. I don't want to have to go searching for it or create some other quick key. I'd rather have it always available here within my task bar. If I right click on this application or any application, I can select pin to the task bar. And now even when I close this application, I'm only one click away from reopening it. So think of your favorite applications, think what you would like to have access to most often, and you can pin them right here to your task bar. Next, let's make sure that we clean up any unnecessary icons that are visible here on the right hand side. Here within your system tray, there's probably a number of things that you are using, but you don't need to have access to. Well, the easiest way to minimize them is to put them here in this collection of hidden icons. Well, all you have to do is select that icon, and drag it over the arrow and then release. And as you can see, I can quickly drag them over top, leaving only the one or two icons that I want to have direct access to. Now, I'd love to hear from you next. What are some of your favorite tips for keeping your desktop and your workspace clear and focused so you can work at your productive best? Be sure to let me know in the comments down below. Thank you so much for watching this video. And remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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