Desktop icons are just like the icons on the Start menu. Each icon represents a closed object that you can open by double-clicking the icon. Most desktop icons are shortcuts to files and folders. They’re shortcuts in the sense that they duplicate icons available elsewhere. They just save you the extra clicks required to get to the same icon through the Start menu or All Programs menu.
Rules always have exceptions. When it comes to desktop icons, the Recycle Bin is the exception. The Recycle Bin icon exists only on the desktop, and you won’t find it anywhere else. The role of the Recycle Bin is that of a safety net. Whenever you delete a file or folder from your hard drive, the item is actually just moved to the Recycle Bin. You can restore an accidentally deleted item from the Recycle Bin back to its original location.
In addition to the Recycle Bin, you have other built-in desktop icons from which to choose. If you want to take a shot at adding icons, you have to get to the Personalization page and make some selections. You can use either of the following techniques to get to the Personalization page:
- Click the Start button, type pers, and click Personalization.
- Right-click the desktop and choose Personalize.
The Personalization Control Panel applet opens. In its left column, click Change Desktop Icons. You see a dialog box like the one in picture It’s called a dialog box because you carry on a sort of dialog with it. It shows you options from which you can pick and choose. You make your choices and click OK. You’ll see menu dialog boxes throughout this book.
To make an icon visible on your desktop, select (click to put a checkmark in) the check box next to the icon’s name. To prevent an icon from appearing on the desktop, click the check box to the left of its name to deselect it (remove the checkmark). In the?gure,I’veopted to see all icons except the Network and Control Panel icons. You can choose a different picture for any icon you’ve opted to show on the desktop. Click the icon’s picture in the middle of the dialog box. Then click the Change Icon button. Click the icon you want to show and then click OK. If you change your mind after the fact, click Restore Default. Click OK after making your selections. The dialog box closes and the icons you choose appear on the desktop. However, you might not see them if that part of the desktop is covered by something that’s open. Don’t worry about that. You learn about how you open, close, move, and size things on the desktop a little later in this chapter.
If nothing is covering the desktop, but you still don’t see any desktop icons, they might just be switched off. I cover this topic in the next section.