Deleting Desktop Icons

This one comes to you from one of you guys!  My wonderful readers!  It went a little something like this…

Dear Tech4Moms,

Will I hurt anything by deleting the icons on my desktop?  I can barely see the picture underneath there are so many!


Nervous in Nashville

Well Nervous, that can really depend on what you’ve got on there!  Typically anything with a little arrow on the icon is a safe delete, as it’s only a shortcut to the actual program or file.  When it doesn’t have an arrow, there is a good chance it’s a legit file or folder.  Best bet in those cases is to open the file and see if it’s still needed.  If it’s no longer needed then go ahead.  If it is a file you’d like to keep it’s a good time to open up a window for your “My Documents” and click and drag the file or folder over to your My Documents.  Generally if it’s a file like “setup.exe” and you already have that particular program installed it’d be safe to delete the setup file.  I usually keep it in a “backups” folder in my “My Documents” in case I ever need to reinstall the files.

So go ahead and clean up that desktop!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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