Windows XP provides a special way to hide desktop icons.

If you are using the Windows XP Start menu, use the Registry Editor to navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartMenu.

If you are using the Classic Start menu, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\ClassicStartMenu.

For each desktop icon that you wish to hide, Add a Value Name of the Class ID, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{Class ID\}, as a REG_DWORD data type, and set the data value to 1.

Right-click the desktop and press Refresh to see the effect of your change.

NOTE: You can use the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

NOTE: Some common Class IDs are:

\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D\} My Computer
\{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103\} My Documents
\{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D\} My Network Places
\{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D\} Internet Explorer
\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E\} Recycle Bin
\{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D\} Printers and Faxes
\{D20EA4E1-3957-11D2-A40B-0C5020524153\} Administrative Tools
\{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF\} Scheduled Tasks
\{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E\} Network Connections
\{D20EA4E1-3957-11D2-A40B-0C5020524152\} Fonts

NOTE: See tip 5975 for adding Help and Support, Search, and Run functions to the Windows XP desktop.

NOTE: To hide all desktop icons, right-click a blank area of the desktop and press Arrange Icons By. On the context menu, uncheck Show Desktop Icons.