How to Remove Shortcuts from Desktop Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to remove shortcuts from desktop windows 11

Getting rid of unwanted shortcuts from your Windows 11 desktop is a straightforward process. Within just a few clicks, you can declutter your screen and improve your workspace efficiency. Follow these easy steps to clean up your desktop in no time. Here’s how:

How to Remove Shortcuts from Desktop Windows 11

This tutorial will guide you through the simple steps to remove shortcuts from your Windows 11 desktop, helping you create a cleaner and more organized workspace.

Step 1: Locate the Shortcut on Your Desktop

Find the shortcut icon you wish to remove from your desktop.

When you have a cluttered desktop, spotting the right shortcut can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Take a moment to identify the exact shortcut you want to delete.

Step 2: Right-Click on the Shortcut

Right-click on the shortcut icon.

A context menu will appear with several options. This menu is your gateway to various actions you can perform on the shortcut.

Step 3: Select "Delete" from the Menu

Choose the "Delete" option from the context menu.

Upon clicking "Delete," a confirmation dialog box might pop up asking if you’re sure you want to move the shortcut to the Recycle Bin. Confirm your action to proceed.

Step 4: Confirm Deletion

Click "Yes" to confirm that you want to delete the shortcut.

This step ensures you don’t accidentally delete important shortcuts. Once you confirm, the shortcut will be moved to the Recycle Bin, making your desktop less cluttered.

Step 5: Empty the Recycle Bin (Optional)

If you want to permanently remove the shortcut, right-click the Recycle Bin and select "Empty Recycle Bin."

By emptying the Recycle Bin, you ensure that the shortcut is permanently deleted from your computer. However, this step is optional if you think you might need to restore the shortcut later.

Once you’ve followed these steps, your desktop should look cleaner and more organized without the unnecessary shortcuts.

Tips for Removing Shortcuts from Desktop Windows 11

  • Organize Regularly: Make it a habit to organize and clean your desktop weekly.
  • Use Folders: Group related shortcuts into folders to save space.
  • Utilize Taskbar: Pin frequently used applications to the taskbar instead of creating desktop shortcuts.
  • Consider Shortcuts’ Necessity: Evaluate whether you really need a shortcut before creating one.
  • Backup Important Shortcuts: Before deletion, ensure important shortcuts are backed up in case you need them later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover a deleted shortcut?

Yes, you can. If you haven’t emptied the Recycle Bin, you can restore the shortcut by right-clicking it in the Recycle Bin and selecting "Restore."

Does deleting a shortcut uninstall the application?

No, deleting a shortcut only removes the link to the application, not the application itself.

How can I restore the default desktop icons?

Go to "Settings," then "Personalization," and select "Themes." From there, click "Desktop icon settings" and choose the icons you want to restore.

Can I delete multiple shortcuts at once?

Absolutely. Simply hold down the "Ctrl" key and click each shortcut you want to delete. Then, right-click any of the selected icons and choose "Delete."

What if I accidentally delete an important file shortcut?

Check the Recycle Bin first. If it’s still there, you can restore it. To avoid accidental deletions, consider backing up crucial shortcuts.


  1. Locate the Shortcut on Your Desktop
  2. Right-Click on the Shortcut
  3. Select "Delete" from the Menu
  4. Confirm Deletion
  5. Empty the Recycle Bin (Optional)


Removing shortcuts from your Windows 11 desktop is a breeze when you follow these simple steps. A clean desktop not only looks better but also helps you work more efficiently. Remember, you can always restore deleted shortcuts from the Recycle Bin if you make a mistake. By regularly tidying up your desktop, using folders, and pinning frequently-used applications to the taskbar, you can maintain an organized workspace. For more tips and tricks on managing your Windows 11 desktop, stay tuned for future articles. Happy cleaning!