How To Auto Hide Icons On Your Desktop

I am real particular when it comes to the organization of icons (if any) on the desktop of my computers. What I have found over the years from assisting others (especially at home) is that people do not remove the icons on their desktop; thus, disorganization and clutter results. I truly believe, for most folks, it is out of fear of not knowing what is OK to delete and what is not OK to delete. Typically, most icons are shortcuts and are safe to delete; however, there are those occasions where you may have saved an important file to the desktop (which I would not do); where if you delete it, it will go to the recycle bin (for future permanent removal). Usually in that case, you need to move the file to another folder on your computer (such as your document folder).  If you want to learn what is safe to delete and what is not I encourage you to read this article from Microsoft — CLICK HERE — titled “Add or Remove Icons From Your Desktop…

If you are someone that adamant about not removing the icons from your desktop or you use the desktop as a launching point for the programs that you use on a regular basis, I encourage you to look at the small utility called AutoHideDesktopIcons.

AutoHideDesktopIcons

This utility, after a period of time it will auto-hide the icons on your desktop so that you have full view of your wallpaper. If you want the icons to show, all you have to do is left mouse click on the desktop and icons will reappear. I typically use AutoHideDesktopIcons on my notebook computer to make launching of my programs easier when using the touchpad. Another feature in the program is that you can set the program to auto-hide the taskbar with the exception of the start button…

AutoHideDesktopIcons is a Windows based program that works on all Windows OS platforms from Windows 98 to Windows 10.

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Free Icon Resources For Graphic Editing Purposes, Blogging, Program Launchers, etc…

I really get into program launchers and avoid the Windows Start menu altogether. Right now, my program launcher of choice is XLaunchPad. What I like about XLaunchPad is that it gives me the ability to customize and change the program icons that are used to launch my programs. As a result, this leads me to looking for good quality icon resources…

As the title of this post suggests, icons can be used for a variety of purposes including graphic editing, desktop publishing, PowerPoint presentations, blog articles, etc… Choosing the right icon can make all the difference in the world in the final product.

There are currently four sources that I use to find that special icon and I thought I would share those sources with you…

SoftIcons

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IconArchive

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Free Icons Web

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Icon Finder

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If You Love Icons…

If you love icons, then you need to add We Love Icons to your collection. An icon is typically used to serve as a quick, intuitive visual representation to identify a software program or web site. We usually click on icons on our desktop or menus to launch programs or to get to a web site. Icons can also be used for presentations, blogging, desktop publishing, etc…

Approximately a year ago I featured an article, An Icon Search Engine That Helps You Find FREE Icons. Recently, I did some follow-up to determine if there was anything new out there and this is how I came across We Love Icons.

We Love Icons

The sole purpose of We Love Icons is to provide you with ONE place to go to find links to the BEST freeware desktop icons on earth. Not only does the site feature icons, it also features a How To section which is a collection of articles and apps to help you work with and learn about icons.

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FREE Software to Organize and Cheer Up Your Desktop

The computer desktop, the main graphical user interface that we see when we start our PC’s… The desktop is harbor for icons, windows, toolbars, folders, files, wallpapers and the occasional widget. I have found that many people keep numerous icons on their desktops as a convenient launching point for their favorite programs. Personally I like to keep my desktop completely clean (no icons).

If you are a desktop junkie, currently with 15 or more icons on your desktop, and you want to add some pizazz to your desktop, then take a look at MyCoolDeskTop. As I mentioned, I maintain a clean desktop interface; however, I ran across MyCoolDeskTop, installed it, loaded my desktop up with icons, tested it and found it does work; therefore, I thought let me put it out there for somebody’s use.  My conclusion on this was, use a small icon setting and you should have more than 15 icons on your desktop in order to get the full effect of the shapes.

MyCoolDesktop

What is cool about this FREE application is that it will automatically take your icons and arrange them in many different shapes and styles.  As a matter of fact you can select from 27 different shapes in 5 categories with the ability to save and restore your selected layouts at the click of the mouse.

MyCoolDesktop

My Cool Desktop key features :

  • 27 different shapes grouped in 5 categories
  • save and restore multiple desktop layouts, save and load with 1-click

Full control of your desktop layout :

  • set height and width of selected shape
  • set space between desktop icons
  • move your icons layout anywhere on the screen – includes auto-centering
  • increase/decrease the size of your shape
  • minimization to system tray
  • opening on system Start Up (starts with Windows)

Important: You have to Disable Align to Grid and Auto arrange for Desktop icons in order to let My Cool Desktop control your desktop items position :

For Windows XP users: Right click on Desktop, select Arrange by and uncheck Align to Grid and Auto arrange, if they are checked

For Windows Vista/7 users: Right click on Desktop, select View and uncheck Align to Grid and Auto arrange, if they are checked

System requirements

IMPORTANT: At least 15 icons on desktop required, more than 25 recommended

Windows 2000/ME/XP/Vista or 7 operating systems

400 Mhz processor

64 MB of RAM

5 MB of Disk Space

1024 X 768 or higher resolution

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An Icon Search Engine That Helps You Find FREE Icons

No it is not National Icon Week… I know this is my second article about icons within 2 days but a really nice icon search engine was brought to my attention as a result of yesterday’s article (titled: How To Find Icons Hidden Inside of Files) that I want to share with you. Following yesterday’s article the author of the blog, Word Dreams pointed me to another source for icons called FindIcons.com. I initially thought I had done a review on this site; however, I discovered FindIcons.com was a new one to me.

Find Icons

FindIcons.com has a largest free icon collections, a better search filtering & matching system and more output options. Also, we track every search query and manually adjust the results according to the average ratings set by the search results from other users. And we understand that by searching you can’t categorize every icon you found. So we created a handy User Set tool to allow you group frequently used icons in your personal Favorites box which can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere. Now you will have an alternative option to having to put favorite icons into folders on your hard drive.

Another nice feature that I have not seen at the other icon sites is the ability to browse icon packs (batches of icons designed with a specific interest in mind).

Icon Packs

Some other features are a converter, ability to upload icons, search by tag and an “Excite” me link that will surprise you with a random listing of icons. Findicons.com claims to maintain a database of close to 300,000 icons. A BIG THANK YOU to Word Dreams for this one!

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How To Find Icons Hidden Inside of Files

image Icons are like eye candy… Without icons we would have a difficult time navigating our computers. Icons provide us with the ability to relate a function with a small graphic. Once that “function to graphic” relationship is established and stored (in our brains) we can quickly carry out the function by mouse clicking on the icon without having to read any text. Whomever came up with the icon concept on computers should be applauded.

When we start up our computers, icons are visible everywhere; on the Start Menu, on the Desktop, in the System Tray, etc… Did you know there are icons on your computer that are not visible and are actually packed inside file types such as EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL (to name a few). For whatever reason, this always fascinated me and I actually know of ways to pull those icons out of these files to use for other purposes. I am not going to go into those “ways” due the explanation would be quite lengthy and boring; HOWEVER, I will tell you of a very small program that you can run that will do all of the work for you. The program is called IconsExtract.

IconsExtract

The IconsExtract utility scans the files and folders on your computer, and extract the icons and cursors stored in EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL, and in other file types. You can save the extracted icons to ICO files (or CUR files for cursors), or copy the image of a single icon into the clipboard.

To use this puppy, and I mean puppy (only 52K) in size, just download and run. No install is required and it is completely portable. IconsExtract will do all of the work for you. Just point the app to a folder and this puppy will hunt. Once it locates icons, they will be displayed in a nice order where the icons can be saved to your computer (or copied to the Windows clipboard).

IconsExtract

When performing the hunt for icons, there are other options available in IconsExtract such as: Include only icons with specific image size and Include only icons with specific color depth.

Nice little app. Useful. Fun to play with. Oh, I failed to mention, IconsExtract will find and extract cursors as well.

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