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Zen PC: Ditch Your Desktop Icons

Hi folks! I've been churning ideas in my head for useful stuff I can blog about to you guys about computers and technology and I came up with an interesting one that I hope you will like. This new series of blog posts called Zen PC will be posted every Wednesday (hopefully) and will cover different ways to simplify your computing experience. As evidenced by the Volternal logo, we try to keep things simple and stress free for our clients so why not talk about simplicity in computing as an extension of that concept? Without further ado, let's get started!

When we talk about simplifying the computing experience you may think this is a pipe dream. After all let's face it, computers can be pretty complicated sometimes which is why most people turn to computer technicians to solve complex problems. However, one way to make your life easier is actually really simple. All you have to do is remove all or most of the icons from your desktop. You may think I'm crazy but hear me out. There are a number of benefits to removing your desktop icons including:

  • Less visual clutter on the screen
  • Less strain on the hardware as it doesn't have to draw all of those icons on the screen
  • No need to hunt down a frequently used program or file

I could go on but this post wouldn't be Zen if it ran on too long! So how do you remove all of those icons? On Windows, you can simply drag all of your icons except for files to the Recycle Bin. It is possible to remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop as well but for simplicity sake, let's leave it for now. Now move any files on the desktop to your Documents folder. This can be accessed from the Start menu by clicking Documents. All icons representing programs can be safely deleted since they will still be available from your Start menu.

 A Clean Install of Windows usually starts out with just the Recycle Bin and a couple of icons on the Taskbar. Over time, program installations and saving files to the Desktop can make things pretty cluttered. Using the instructions on this blog, you can get your desktop pretty close to the way this looks. With your own wallpaper of course! :)

A Clean Install of Windows usually starts out with just the Recycle Bin and a couple of icons on the Taskbar. Over time, program installations and saving files to the Desktop can make things pretty cluttered. Using the instructions on this blog, you can get your desktop pretty close to the way this looks. With your own wallpaper of course! :)

Note to Windows 8/8.1 users: You may not have a Start menu but a Start screen instead. To access your Documents folder, just click the icon with the folders on it to open your Home folder and double-click Documents. Or you can just install Classic Shell to get a start menu.

On a Mac, you already have a minimal amount of icons or none at all. If you need quick access to a program, simply add it to your dock. If you download or add stuff to your desktop, simply drag it to your Trash or Documents folder if you want to keep the file.

 Mac OS X starts out pretty clean too. Icons only really appear on the Desktop when installing apps and attaching external drives to the computer. Moving these icons to the trash will eject the drives or close the app installers.

Mac OS X starts out pretty clean too. Icons only really appear on the Desktop when installing apps and attaching external drives to the computer. Moving these icons to the trash will eject the drives or close the app installers.

So now that there are is a minimal amount of desktop icons, how do I access the stuff I need to access the most? Most people use a Web Browser on their computer such as Google Chrome or Firefox. Chances are this will already be in your Taskbar or Dock. For pretty much anything else, you can use your Start Menu on Windows or Finder on a Mac to access anything you need. You can even search for what you want using Start Search or Spotlight respectively.

If you need quick access to any other program, simply open it from your main menu and it's icon will appear in the taskbar or dock. Simply right click that icon and choose the Pin or Keep option to keep that icon in your taskbar or dock even when you close the app. Now you have a simpler computing experience without much work on your part! Start enjoying a more Zen PC today!

If you have any questions, please send me an email or call me at (888) 978-5359. I'm always happy to help. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope to have more interesting posts like this to come.