Renaming and Deleting Icons

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2020)

Desktop icons can be renamed just like any other object in Windows: Right-click the icon and choose Rename from the Context menu. If you prefer, you can select the icon and press F2. Either way, the name of the icon is "activated," and you can make any changes you desire.

To delete an icon, just select it and hit the Delete key. If you prefer to use the mouse, you can right-click on the icon and choose Delete from the Context menu.

You should be careful of one thing, however: That you only delete shortcuts from the desktop. You can tell if an icon is a shortcut by looking closely at it. If a small upward-pointing arrow is in the lower-left corner of the icon, then it's a shortcut. You can delete these left and right without any real consequences—the program, folder, or file pointed to by the shortcut still remains on the computer. (You're only deleting a reference to the program, folder, or file, not the actual item.)

If no small upward-pointing arrow appears in the lower-left corner of the icon, then the icon represents the real thing. Deleting the real thing may be something you want to do, but it may not—you need to think through your action to make sure you really want to delete the item. If you do, then delete away! If you don't, then consider moving the icon to a different folder on your system so it's still accessible but doesn't clutter your desktop.

 This tip (10959) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

How to Stop a Table Row from Splitting Over Two Pages

Do you want your table rows to be split between pages? Word allows you to format the table so that rows stay together and ...

Discover More

Segregating Numbers According to Their Sign

Remember your number line from your early years in school? Some numbers can be below zero (negative numbers) and others ...

Discover More

Setting Default Options for Track Changes

The Track changes feature in Word is a great help in editing documents, particularly if you are working with others or ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding the WinX Menu

Windows provides a special menu that allows you to easily access many common tools in the operating system. Here's the ...

Discover More

Using the Device Manager

If you want granular control over all the devices on your system, getting familiar with the device manager is time well ...

Discover More

How to Choose between 32- and 64-bit Windows

Windows currently comes in two flavors: 32-bit and 64-bit. While there are typically some performance advantages ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.