Over the years, I have assisted people with their computers and have found that their Windows desktop becomes a haven for icons. Some folks are organized about it; but, most folks are not. Myself, I try to keep my desktop organized and the icons to a minimum. In addition, I use a portable app called “AutoHideDesktopIcons” to auto hide the icons after a set period of time. To simply reinstate the icons (make them appear again), I simply left mouse click the desktop.
AutoHideDesktopIcons also has an option to the hide the taskbar and an option to autostart with Windows (which I recommend in order to take full advantage of this app). AutoHideDesktop Icons is very small in size (<60K) and is fully compatible with all versions of Windows.