How to Remove Things from Desktop Without Deleting: Windows 11 Guide

Removing Things from Desktop Without Deleting in Windows 11

Removing clutter from your Windows 11 desktop without deleting important files is simple. You can easily clean up your desktop by moving files to another location like folders or external storage, or by just hiding those icons. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process to make your desktop neat and tidy without losing any data.

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Things from Desktop Without Deleting on Windows 11

By following these steps, you’ll learn how to organize and clean your desktop effectively. You won’t be deleting anything, just moving or hiding the icons.

Step 1: Select the Items

Click on the icons or files you want to remove from the desktop.

To select multiple items, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on each item. This lets you move several items at once.

Step 2: Right-click on the Selected Items

After selecting the items, right-click on one of them.

A context menu will appear with various options such as cut, copy, and delete.

Step 3: Choose the Cut Option

Select “Cut” from the context menu.

This action will temporarily store the items in your clipboard.

Step 4: Navigate to Your Desired Location

Go to the folder where you want to move your desktop items, like Documents or an external drive.

You can open File Explorer by pressing Win + E and navigate to the folder of your choice.

Step 5: Right-click and Paste

Right-click within your chosen location and select “Paste.”

Your desktop items will be moved to the new location, effectively removing them from the desktop without deleting them.

Step 6: Hide Desktop Icons

If you just want to hide all icons, right-click on the desktop, hover over "View," and uncheck "Show desktop icons."

This will hide all icons from view, giving you a clean desktop instantly with an option to show them anytime.

After you complete these actions, your selected items will be moved to the new location or hidden from view. Your desktop will be clean, and your files will remain safe and accessible.

Tips for Removing Things from Desktop Without Deleting on Windows 11

  1. Create Folders: Organize your files into folders before moving them to make it easier to find them later.
  2. Use Cloud Storage: Consider using cloud storage like OneDrive to store files off your desktop while keeping them accessible.
  3. Regular Cleanup: Make it a habit to clean your desktop regularly to prevent clutter from building up.
  4. Use Shortcuts: Create shortcuts to frequently used files instead of keeping the actual files on the desktop.
  5. Backup Files: Always back up important files before moving them, just in case something goes wrong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo the move if I change my mind?

Yes, you can use the Ctrl + Z shortcut right after moving the items to undo the action.

What if I accidentally delete an item?

Check the Recycle Bin. If it’s there, you can restore it easily.

Is it safe to use external storage?

Yes, but make sure the external storage is reliable and backed up.

Can I move system files?

It’s not recommended to move system files as they are crucial for Windows to run properly.

Will hiding icons affect performance?

No, hiding icons won’t affect your system’s performance but can make your desktop look cleaner.


  1. Select the items.
  2. Right-click on the selected items.
  3. Choose the Cut option.
  4. Navigate to your desired location.
  5. Right-click and paste.
  6. Hide desktop icons.


Clearing up your Windows 11 desktop without deleting any files is an easy and effective way to keep your workspace organized. By following the steps provided, you can move or hide items, giving your desktop a clean look without losing access to important files. Remember the tips for better organization and regularly clean your desktop to maintain a clutter-free environment.

If you have more questions or need further help, don’t hesitate to dive into the FAQs or explore other articles. Taking a few minutes to organize your desktop can save you time and make your computer usage more efficient. So, get started today and enjoy a tidier desktop!