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Now take a look at the screenshot below showing the icons in list view, thus maximizing the desktop area.
It is one of those small tools which does one thing best and makes us wonder why it was not implemented in Windows 7 by default. I remember using a registry hack in XP that did the same thing & it did help with cleaning up the desktop somewhat.
Not only will it allow you to gain more real estate on your desktop, but it will allow you to organize your icons into subjects as well as hide them when needed. Deskview that has been working for 8 months on my 64bit Pro 7 suddenly stopped working today.
AddictiveTips is a tech blog focused on helping users find simple solutions to their everyday problems. I’ve been dreaming about a new computer monitor for a while, but the sad reality is that there’s no way I can afford it for a while yet, so I have to make do with my smaller screen. As regular readers know, I’ve been experimenting with an ASUS EeePC 1000HA, a cute little mini-laptop that has lots to like about it (tiny, light) but the 13″ screen just doesn’t have much resolution.
Needless to say, I feel your pain even as I probably operate at a lower resolution than you do. HOW-TO GEEK BOOKSRead our first book, the HTG Guide to Windows 8, or check our upcoming books. Enter your email below to get exclusive access to our best articles and tips before everybody else. To set the transparent background on the icons, we’ll need to open System Properties in Control Panel (or right-click on My Computer and select Properties). In this dialog, click the Advanced tab, and then the Settings button under the Performance section.
If the above does not work, you might want to also check these additional settings suggested by readers in the comments. You need to make sure that High Contrast is not selected under Accessibility \ Display Options in your Control Panel. Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. This has been driving me nuts on several (but not all) otherwise identical systems in our company.
I had this same problem and the only thing that worked for me was this: In Display Properties, click the Desktop tab and then Customize Desktop. If you still can’t get it to work, like myself, check the file type of your background image.
I’m really getting frustrated, none of the above suggestions have worked for me, de-seclting web pages, lock desktop icons, checking the drop down menu box, none of them, but a few of you said that when you unlock the desktop icons it allows you to modify icon properties, how do i get to icon properties? I just went through this guide, and the tips in the comments but i still could not get the icons to be transparent. I don’t know why I had to do this extra step since deselecting desktop web pages should have done it, but it worked for me.
Enabling drop shadows is fine and dandy unless you have a light colored background then it becomes difficult to read the captions. Microsoft provides no way to change the font color so you have to turn to a third party tool. I have tried each and evrything what u ppl have said but none worked for me ….plz help !!!
I have tryed everything listed here and STILL have shadows the same color as my backgorund, and I would like to see no shadows and just the picture and icons, this is really irritating and I feel like breaking something now, is there ANYTHING else I can do? I have to say that this problem occurred after I downloaded some virul program and after having them removed by (AVG 8.0), all the backgrould colour of the icons appeared.
The idea of TABOO TONGUE in converting the background to jpg and after this following the stepsof the How to Geek was fantastic. You made my day :) i been searching across the web for solution, finally spotted here the best result. I tried everything I could (bearing in mind that some settings didn’t seem to exist on my computer, and others were restricted to admin).

In the end all that was needed was for IT to take remote control again, and then close their session properly without even doing anything.
Keeping icons on the Windows desktop can be more convenient than using the Start menu, but an overabundance of icons can reduce efficiency.
During my years of supporting Windows users, I've noticed that even though the Start menu provides an excellent place to keep application shortcuts, many people prefer to store the application shortcuts as icons on the desktop—this is true even in Windows XP, with its new and improved Start menu.
On my example system, I had 25 icons on the desktop, which I was able to arrange into six logical categories, each containing four desktop icons, as shown in Figure B. As you can see, having a smaller and even number of icons on the desktop makes it very easy to come up with neatly arranged logical categories.
Have you ever wished that you could make your desktop icons sort themselves like they do in windows explorer? In the event that a computer crashes, if automatic desktop icons placement is selected or if the screen resolution is changed there is the possibility that the icons shortcuts position on the Windows desktop becomes scrambled; IconRestorer has been designed to remember the icon setup to avoid the boring job of manual restoring for the right icons position on desktop after these events. IconRestorer can be used to place the icons back to their original location on the Windows screen when needed, or even to manage two (or more) profiles of icon position.
The icons position on desktop (layout) can be saved manually when wanted (every screen resolution will be saved separately) and can be restored at any time. Whether your need requires fast on-site help so you can get going again and meet that all-important deadline or you want extended computing and networking service, we are prepared to offer our assistance. What happens when the desktop gets cluttered and there is no more space to add files, shortcuts, and applications? If you have a 64 bit system then Deskview will not work for you but this does… IconRestorer and it just so happens to have a list-view option which still gives you control over the size of the icons on your desktop!
I have been spending days to find something that works for 64 bit systems and all i keep stumbling upon is deskview.
We review the best desktop, mobile and web apps and services out there, in addition to useful tips and guides for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Under the Web tab, make sure that none of the web page checkboxes are selected to display on your desktop.
I didn’t have this issue until this morning when one of our IT people logged into my PC remotely, after that was when the background color appeared and not being able to get it back to transparent is driving me CRAZY. If you are nervous about running that Registry program, then you can just go into the registry and delete those values. I remembered that an IT person had fixed a problem by taking remote control of my machine recently, and that the transparency problem stemmed from this point.
Of course, having a larger number of icons can make arranging the icons into categories a bit more difficult. You’ll begin by taking a screen shot of your desktop and pasting the image into your graphics program. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.
One solution is to use Ctrl+ Mouse Wheel method to make icons smaller (read the tip here) but there is another way which is equally (or better) effective. Select Customize desktop on the Desktop tab, then select the Web tab on the desktop items window and deselect any web pages that are shown.
I do have a brico pack installed on my system to make XP look like vista, would that have anything to do with it? I guess been thru a lot forums that really don’t give you any soution does that to you. Also all credit to The Geek and others, I followed all the steps up to Mike’s suggestion. Now once again today out of nowhere the all changed BACK to having the same backgronud color as whatever the desktop background color is set to. It turns out that if someone takes remote control using LANdesk (don’t know about other apps), the desktop settings change. Couldn’t figure out why it happened but realized that I copied a picture from email and made it part of the active desktop.
Therefore, I suggest that you take a look at reducing the number of icons on your desktop to those that you use most frequently.

I would even take it a step further and say that I essentially want detail view on my desktop, complete with dates, sizes, and scrollbars. Moreover, I was trying Icon Restorer as a last ditch effort and the author’s site was down for a long time. Getting it to sort alphabetically is an interesting prospect, and much of the time your wishes will be ignored, regardless of auto-arrange and auto-sort. We can’t always work miracles but some of our customers have actually begun to believe in them. DeskView is a small portable tool that will change the Windows desktop icons into Windows Explorer list view in just one click. I guess Christoffer might also be on the ball with his BMP suggestion, because following Mike’s advice only allow BMP as background image.
Provided the remote controller closes their session correctly, your own settings are restored (including transparency). And that definitely reduces productivity.In these situations, my first instinct is to play up the virtues of the Start menu and encourage people to use it as the main application-launching platform rather than the desktop. While you can use any graphics program you want, Windows’ native Paint program will do just fine. But my IT fix required a reboot, which meant that the remote control session was not closed properly. The second suggestion of going into Customize Desktop and clicking on the Web tab allowed me to find it and delete it.
To take a screen shot of your desktop, close all open applications and press the [Print Screen] key to place an image of your desktop on the clipboard. Installed, and within moment had the beautiful setup that you see below (filled with a bunch of random stuff to show what it looks like when you have a lot going on). In fact, back in the days of Windows 3.x, the main application-launching platform, Program Manager, was basically a bunch of icons on the desktop. Next, launch Paint, maximize the window, and then press [Ctrl]V to paste the image of your desktop in Paint’s workspace. Before you begin editing the image, I suggest that you save the image file twice—once as a backup and once as a working template. The result is a technique I call virtual program groups.Essentially, the virtual program groups technique is an organizational system in which you use a graphics application to create a wallpaper image that displays grouping structure on the desktop. You can then arrange icons on the desktop according to the grouping structure displayed on the wallpaper.I'll show you how to create virtual program groups and use them to organize icons on the desktop.
You can then teach this technique to the people you support, who in turn will benefit from a more organized approach to launching their applications.The planning stageThe first step in implementing the virtual program groups technique is to plan the desktop layout. To begin, you’ll want to remove any existing wallpaper and set the background to a solid color. To do so, select and use the Pick Color tool to add the background color of your image to Paint’s color box.
Next, you’ll simply drag the icons around on the desktop and arrange them into categories. When you finish, your image will contain only your virtual program group frames, as shown in Figure D. If you’re using Windows XP, right-click the desktop, open the Arrange Icons By submenu, and make sure that the Align To Grid option is enabled. To do so from within Paint, pull down the File menu and select the Set As Wallpaper (Centered) command. IconSaver is shareware and costs $5 to register.As its name implies, IconSaver will memorize the positions of all the icons on your desktop and allow you to easily restore them to their original position if they get moved. Then, if the icons are accidentally moved, you just right-click the IconSaver icon and select the Restore Icons command. Here, you can configure the Shortcut Overlay setting to adjust the way the arrow appears on shortcut icons, as shown in Figure F.

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