A. You can perform the following steps to hide all icons, including any shortcuts. This procedure doesn’t stop their functionality but only hides them from the desktop.

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Move to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, then DWORD value.
  4. Enter the name NoDesktop, and press Enter.
  5. Double-click New Value, and set the value to 1. Click OK.
  6. Close the registry editor.
  7. Log off and log on again for the change to take effect.

You can also perform this procedure with a Group Policy Object (GPO) by selecting User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Desktop, then Hide all icons on Desktop.

Note that after you enable Hide all icons Desktop, you can’t right-click on the desktop to get a context menu.