How to add a "Show Desktop" icon to the taskbar in Windows 10 (or 7, 8)

How to add a "Show Desktop" icon to the taskbar in Windows 10 (or 7, 8)

by Mihai Neacsu on 14 October 2014 · 145556 views

Windows 7 introduced Peek / Show Desktop and the following editions of Windows, namely 8, 8.1, and 10, kept this feature. By default, the option is located at the far bottom-right end of the taskbar. If you find that location inconvenient and you would rather have a Show Desktop icon located near the Start, like in Windows XP or Vista, we'll show you below an easy method to create one. This method works for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

Tip: Pressing Win + D on your keyboard also toggles Show Desktop / Show Open Windows.

The default far-right bottom option to show the desktop looks like this:

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We are aiming for something like:

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or

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Here are the steps.

1. Go to the desktop. You can do this faster by pressing Win+D.

2. Right-click an empty area and choose New > Shortcut.

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3. Copy / Paste the line of text below into the location field:

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

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4. Click Next, pick a name for your shortcut and click Finish.

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5. At this point, the shortcut is working and you could add it to the taskbar, but it will show the explorer icon. You can easily fix this by changing the icon:

a) Right-click the shortcut on the desktop and choose Properties.

b) By default it opens the Shortcut tab in the Properties window. Click on Change icon.

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c) You'll notice the shortcut gets its icon from explorer.exe which does not offer too many options. You could pick the old 'show desktop' icon.

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d) Or copy/paste %SystemRoot%\system32\imageres.dll, then press Enter in the field under Look for icons in this file.

e) This will open imageres.dll which has a larger variety of icons to choose from. The blue one highlighted below looks appropriate.

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Select it and click OK.

6. With the proper icon set, you can now right-click the Show Desktop shortcut and choose Pin to taskbar. You can drag the icon around to left or right in the taskbar.

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7. You can now delete the shortcut on your desktop if you wish. The Show Desktop icon pinned to taskbar will continue to work properly.

That's it. Leave a comment below if you run into trouble.

Comments (14)
darfus on 17 Jul 2017
Very good, work perfectely!!!!!
anilahlawat2311 on 10 Mar 2016
thanks its works
kshu on 5 Dec 2015
Very glad to hear that, bobart and mc4bbs :).
mc4bbs on 5 Dec 2015
So obvious... not! Thanks so much for this -- WIN+D was a pain when you're in "mouse mode" ;-)
bobart on 27 Sep 2015
Woohoo..easy. I use 2 monitors, so instructions on one screen and work on the other. And the desktop frequently.
Thanks!
Show more comments
kshu on 21 Sep 2015
I'm glad it worked. This is one of my favorite shortcuts that I use a lot daily :). Sometimes pressing Ctrl+D is more convenient, but other times I prefer clicking on the 'Show Desktop' shortcut instead.
venice on 21 Sep 2015
Thanks for your reply. I tried it four times, each time simply copying and pasting what you showed above. After I got your response, I tried it yet one more time...and this time it worked. Have no idea what was happening the first 4 times, but it doesn't matter now. Thanks for your help!
kshu on 21 Sep 2015
Hi venice! Make sure the target of the shortcut is correct and you did not miss any chars (letter, number, space, etc) from the line on step 3:

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}
venice on 21 Sep 2015
Everything was going great - shortcut appeared in my task bar just like I wanted. Unfortunately, when I click on it, it opens the File Explorer window, not the desktop. What can I do?
hanebo on 12 Sep 2015
Thank you very much for this! I find that when I have the Edge browser window open, and I click on the new Show Desktop icon I pinned to the Taskbar, I have to click the icon twice (not a double click, but two clicks in slow succession) to get the desktop to open. This does not happen with other applications, like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. Has anyone else noticed this, or had this issue?
kshu on 27 Aug 2015
You're welcome, rxyz. I know most people hate registering on new sites and we plan on moving away from the closed comment system. At first we decided on asking people to register as a way to prevent spam.
rxyz on 27 Aug 2015
kshu, a perfect explanation that works so simply. I created an account here simply to express my appreciation (need an acount to comment, apparently). Thank you for the time you're taking/took to help!
kshu on 23 Aug 2015
You're welcome, toglenn. I use this shortcut myself daily! :)
toglenn on 23 Aug 2015
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
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