Customizing Your Computer Desktop Your Way

Did you know that you can change the way things are arranged on your desktop?

There are probably several "icons" or picture shortcuts on your desktop that you can click on to open a program without going to your Start Menu. These are very helpful if you use them, but there may be a few on your desktop that you never use, and you may want to get rid of them.

A few icons must stay on the desktop, however, such as the recycle bin. Shortcut icons for other programs, such as your internet browser, email program, calendar, etc., are worth keeping on the desktop, along with anything else you use regularly.

Often, when new programs or software are installed on your computer, they automatically put icons on your desktop. These don’t have to stay there. You can delete a shortcut icon without deleting the program from your computer. To be sure that it is only a shortcut, look for the arrow in the bottom left corner of an icon.

To Delete unwanted Shortcut Icons:

First, be sure that it is a shortcut – look for the arrow on the lower left. RIGHT CLICK on the icon, move the mouse to the word "Delete" and LEFT CLICK. The Pop-Up Dialog Box will say that you are not removing the program, just the icon. Click on the "Delete the Shortcut" button to agree.

To Arrange Icons:

You may have found that you can drag your icons around the desktop and put them where you want, only to find that they don’t stay where you put them when you turn the computer off and on again. To make your changes permanent, put your pointer on an empty space on the screen and RIGHT CLICK. This will give you a pop-up menu with options for arranging the icons. "Auto Arrange" puts them where Microsoft wants them. No matter where you move them, they will pop back. To change that, click on "Auto Arrange" to Un-check it, then choose what is best for you. If you click on "Align to Grid” a check mark will show, and your icons will still be lined up neatly, but more or less in the order and place that YOU choose.


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