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Managing Desktop Icons

Over time, your Windows desktop easily can become as cluttered as your nonvirtual desktop. Microsoft gets things off to a messy start with its default installation, which dumps at least seven icons on the desktop. Other software makers pile icons onto the desktop, too: AOL, Netscape, WinZip, Microsoft Money, and RealPlayer are just some of the programs that install program shortcuts here if you let them. And then there are the files and folders you create on the desktop because it's often the most convenient location to temporarily stash a file. I cringe when I see desktops packed with 50 or more icons, all crammed together so tightly that you can barely see the background beneath them.

I don't mind seeing a dozen or so icons on the desktop. Other people, though, are fanatics about their desktops, and I can understand that feeling. With custom wallpaper, for instance, your screen can become a work of art, literally. Getting icons out of the way makes the image that much more enjoyable to look at.


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