5 Enhancements To Make Your Windows Desktop Clean And Usable

windows-show-desktop.png

As Windows users, most of us love the convenience afforded to us by the Windows Desktop. We take it for granted and dump all our stuff into it. Whether it is a bunch of files, or some shortcuts, most of us don’t really bother to make our desktop anything more than what it already is. However, a desktop doesn’t HAVE to be all dirty and ugly. It doesn’t have to be useless. With the following tips at hand, you can pimp it up quite easily.

Lose The Start Button

The Start button provided by Windows is one of the first things you need to click to get across to anything you need to do. However, with the advent of Windows 7 and some of its nifty features, it has become sort of redundant. Use Start Killer to banish the Start Button from your desktop and regain some valuable pixels on the task bar for your application tiles.

windows show desktop

windows show desktop

Go Minimal

I don’t remember the number of times that I’ve reiterated the importance of having a minimalist wallpaper. A minimalist wallpaper just screams out to the user about its clean look and elegance. More importantly, it will keep you focused on the files that you need to see and use from the desktop. Get your share of minimalist wallpapers from WallBase.

Hide Those Desktop Icons

Desktop icons, while useful and quite friendly, have always been a hindrance for some users (me included). They just make the desktop look more crowded and don’t let you appreciate the effort you’ve put into creating a clean, working desktop. Banish those ugly icons by right-clicking on the desktop, and going to View > Show Desktop Icons. Repeat the same process to display the icons when you may need to. Also, if you’re on Windows 7, you can use the Ctrl + Mouse Wheel Up/Down combination to resize your icons on the fly.

windows minimalist desktop

Clean Out The Notification Tray

The notification tray eats up the most amount of pixels out of any Windows setup. It’s convenient for sure, but really kills the oomph when it comes to managing the notification icons properly. Windows 7 has addressed this issue to a large degree and you can right click on the notification area and select Customize Notification Icons to select which icons you want to show or hide. A friendly dialog box will let you achieve this.

windows minimalis desktop

windows clean desktop

Newsify Your Desktop

While the above steps help you to clean up your desktop and make it look more productive, this tip will add some value to it. You can use a small app called RSSTicker to display your favorite RSS news feeds on the desktop itself. This has the definite advantage of you receiving the latest news on your desktop, not dis-similar to the numerous RSS widgets available on an Android phone’s homescreen. RSSTicker comes as both a free and a paid version, so you can choose to your liking. The free version shows only its default list of RSS feeds, while the paid one lets you pick and choose the feeds you want.

windows clean desktop

Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that having a clean, minimalist desktop goes a long way in boosting your productivity. With lesser things vying for your attention, you can do what you need to do and think about other things letter. Do tell us about your favorite desktop hacks in the comments.

About author
Abhigyan Banerjee is a software professional with a keen eye for tech. At most times, he's hunched over a keyboard, blazing through work. At others, you'll find him hacking through his Android, reading and writing tech. Follow him on Twitter (@abhigyanb) or on Facebook.
5 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I love the idea of using a minimalist wallpaper, as it’s really proven to ease our minds and focus more on the work at hand. Been using my minimalist wallpaper for a year now… (That’s how good it is)

  2. I have decided long ago to have an ultra clean desktop with nothing else on it than a beautiful wallpaper, which is automatically changed each 30 minutes.

    For launching the softwares I use a software launcher (ASuite), the Quick Launch Bar and the Start Menu.

    I really like the fact to be able to contemplate a beautiful wallpaper whenever I want : it is very relaxing for the mind…

  3. Along the same line of thinking: Give iconoid a try..works well for me ( windows 7 64 bit )

  4. I like minimalist wallpaper so as not to distract from the icons I do have on my desktop. I use Stardoc Fences to define areas of the desktop dedicated to different file types. I have a specific area dedicated to photography that keeps all my image tools handy and another for “temporary files” for short time use that I want to keep in view so I remember to delete them.

  5. Thanks for coming in with the tips guys. Like all of you just said, minimalism does seem to boost productivity quite a bit. Coupled with the small hacks all of you have provided, you’ve got a killer workflow in place.

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