Bring back the Show Desktop icon to the Windows taskbar

Nov 9, 2018 13:23 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
Windows XP, an operating system that people still love these days
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   Windows XP, an operating system that people still love these days

I’ve seen quite a lot of people lately interested in moving from Windows XP to Windows 10, and without a doubt, this makes perfect sense.

No matter how awesome Windows XP is and how smoothly it still runs, an operating system launched in 2001 has no place in the current modern world, as it relies on old-school technology which can’t serve the purpose we’re looking for today.

Support for Windows XP came to an end in April 2014, so the platform hasn’t received any security updates in the last four years, except for an emergency patch supposed to block the WannaCry ransomware.

This makes Windows XP an operating system that everyone should leave behind, and needless to say, this is exactly what’s happening today. But as part of the transition, Windows 10 adopters wannabe try to make sure that their new OS would feel like home.

And one of the ways to do this is to make the desktop look and feel like the one in Windows XP. For some reason, not everyone is a big fan of the show desktop button in the lower right corner of the screen. Also available in Windows Vista, 7, and 8.1, this button replaces the Show Desktop icon that was previously offered in Windows XP and allows users to quickly jump to the desktop no matter what’s running on the screen.

It’s pretty clear that the whole purpose here was to save an extra spot on the taskbar, and at the same time, make it easier to go to the desktop instantly. Fortunately, however, Windows XP users can still create a show desktop icon and pin it to the taskbar in Windows 10.

The Windows XP show desktop icon in the taskbar

First and foremost, what you need to do to bring back this icon is to create a desktop shortcut that would show the desktop. Right-click the desktop and go to New > Shortcut. In the location field, paste the following code:

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

Follow the on-screen wizard and press Next whenever you’re prompted to. Choose whatever icon you want and write down a name that makes sense for the new icon – obviously, Show Desktop is the preferred name for most people. If you’re looking for a desktop icon that looks more like the original, you can browse the icon pack available in Windows 10 and located at:

C: > Windows > System32 > shell32.dll

Once you’re done here, you can simply drag and drop the new icon to the taskbar and you’re good to go. You can change the order on the taskbar with just a drag and drop, and you can move it right next to the Start button to make it feel more like in Windows XP.

Creating a new shortcut for a Show Desktop icon

On the other hand, if you want to disable the show desktop button in Windows 10, there’s a little app that helps you with this.

It’s called 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and can be downloaded from Softpedia using this link. Just get the app, run it, and look for an option called Hide the Show desktop button in the low right corner. A reboot may be necessary to make the modern show desktop icon go away.

If you follow these steps, the new icon to show the desktop placed in the taskbar should be the only way to minimize all apps, and the button in the lower part of the screen should no longer be there.

Of course, this won’t transform Windows 10 into the modern brother of Windows XP, but for many people who just want a familiar desktop, this is one major step towards achieving this goal. If only the Start menu featured the classic look...

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Windows XP, an operating system that people still love these days
The Windows XP show desktop icon in the taskbarCreating a new shortcut for a Show Desktop icon
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