Sunday, January 07, 2007

Windows "Show Desktop" Quick Launch button

One of my most frequently used icons in Windows is the Show Desktop icon in the Quick Launch area of my taskbar. You see, I keep my desktop clear and store all of my frequently used application icons in the taskbar along the bottom of the page. I'm accustomed to having immediate access to a clear desktop by clicking the Show Desktop icon down there. This is particularly handy when I've got multiple programs open and need to quickly minimize them all. (I supposed I could use the keyboard shortcut Win-M to minimize, or Win-D to show the desktop, but if I'm on the mouse, I'd like to have a mouse option as well!)

If you accidentally delete your Show Desktop icon, or (in my case) Vista doesn't seem to display it by default, here's how you can get it back. This works in both XP and Vista (Business edition, anyway):

1. Create a plain text file called "Show Desktop.scf" and paste the following text into the file:
[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop
2. Drag that text file down into the Quick Launch area of your taskbar. (If the Quick Launch area isn't available, right-click on an open space on your taskbar and choose Toolbars - Quick Launch).

Voila. Show Desktop icon appears. If only the icon wasn't so ugly in Vista. They don't seem to have updated it since XP.

4 comments:

Andrew Ball said...

Thanks, I've been wondering about that for a while. The machine I use at work lacks that handy button for minimising all windows.

Heather said...

Very helpful. Thanks very much!

Spuckler said...

Great post...any idea how to set up a hotkey combo for that button? Like ALT+Tab, except to just drop to the desktop?

brian said...

Excellent advice! That worked for me (Vista Premium).