What is it and how do you use the desktop on Windows?
The desktop is the main area of the screen which can be accessed directly after booting the computer and after that you have loaded Windows: it’s just like a desk in a workstation, and on it we can get the things we use most often. When you launch a program or open a folder, they are displayed on the desktop (or via the desktop), and also we can put on the desktop, objects, such as files and folders, where we want.
The lower part of the screen is occupied by the taskbar (which, if you wish, we can move on the other side of the screen): this bar we can find programs that are running, the start button (far left), which provides access to programs, folders, and settings on your computer, in addition to the notification area (at the far right) where there is also the date with the time.
How to use the icons on your desktop?
Icons are small pictures that represent files, folders, programs and other items.
When you first start Windows, we can find only the Recycle Bin icon, but you can also find the others. Here’s an example of desktop icons:
If we double-click on a desktop icon, it opens the corresponding element.
How to add and remove icons from the desktop?
On the desktop, we can choose which and how many icons to display, so that we can gain faster access to files or programs that we use more often. This can also be done via the links that have the same icon but with a small arrow at the bottom right:
If you double click on a link opens the corresponding element only that the element is right there but in another location (this is a link, in fact, if we remove a link, the original element is not removed ).
To add a shortcut on the desktop, when you find the item of interest to us, just click with the right mouse button on the item, click Send To, and then Desktop (create shortcut). After this command, the shortcut icon for that item will be displayed on the desktop.
If instead we want to add or remove common desktop icons (Computer, your personal folder, Recycle Bin, and Control Panel, Network) you have to click with the right mouse button on an empty area of the desktop and choose Personalize, and in the window that opens now you have to click on the left pane where it says Change desktop icons. Now we can select or deselect the icons we want, putting a checkmark next to the desired item and then clicking Apply and then click OK.
If we want to move a file from one folder to the desktop, we need to open the folder that contains our file and then have to drag to the desktop.
If we want to remove an icon from the desktop, we have to click with the right mouse button on the icon of our interest, and then click Delete: If the icon is a shortcut to a program or file, the original item will not be removed.
How to place icons on the desktop?
In Windows operating systems, icons are normally aligned in columns on the left side of the desktop (top-down), but if you want, we can move them where you want, simply by dragging them to another location on the desktop.
If we want to deal with both Windows and the position of the icons we have to click with the right mouse button in an empty area of the desktop, select View from the menu that appears and then automatically Arrange Icons: in this way the icons will be placed and locked in starting from the top left. In order to unlock the icons to move them freely, just repeat the procedure again and choose Arrange Icons automatically, so as to remove the tick.
Note that by default, the icons are arranged along an invisible grid, with a space between the one and the other: To turn off this grid, thus reducing the distance that separates them or put them in the position you want, Just click with the right mouse button in an empty area of the desktop and choose View, then click on the Align icons to grid in order to remove the tick (if we want to turn it back on again just run the same procedure).
How to select multiple icons at the same time?
If you want to delete or move multiple icons at the same time you just simply select: clicking with the left mouse button on an empty area of the desktop, and holding the button, you will see a rectangle. This rectangle we can enlarge until we have selected the icons of our interest, then we release the left mouse button, now you just click with the left mouse button and drag the group of icons wherever we want.
How to hide desktop icons?
If you want to temporarily hide all the icons on the desktop, without removing them, we have to click with the right mouse button on an empty area of the desktop, select View and then click Show Desktop Icons. Now on our desktop icon will not be displayed any more. If we want to make them visible again just rerun the same procedure to remove the check mark next to the item Show Desktop Icons.
How to use the trash?
When we remove a file or folder, the item is not deleted immediately, but it ends up in the trash this to allow us to recover the files, in case you change your mind, simply by opening the basket, selecting the file and clicking on a button right-click on it and then select Restore.
If we are sure that deleted items no longer serve us, we can empty the trash. This allows us to permanently delete the items and reclaim the space occupied by them. To permanently delete an item open the recycle bin, select the file and clicking with the right mouse button, choose Delete. If there are many items in the trash, rather than select them one by one, we can directly press on Empty Recycle Bin: This can be done either directly from the desktop, selecting the trash icon with the right mouse button and select Empty Trash in fact, both from inside the basket by pressing directly on Empty trash, answering Yes in both cases. Now you know what it is and how to use the Windows desktop.