Best Alternatives to Shortcuts to Keep Your Desktop Clean

To improve the performance of your computer and reduce the strain on digital clutter, it is highly recommended to keep your desktop neat. To do this, we only need to save those shortcuts that we actually use on a regular basis. When removing these accesses that we do not need, we will have to use other methods to quickly access these applications.

Best Alternatives to Shortcuts to Keep Your Desktop Clean

We can use the start menu Windowsto organize the icons and stop using them on the desktop. This menu is like a table of contents where we can find all programs and their locations, and it is accessible no matter what application we are working on.

One way to organize your shortcuts is to avoid using the desktop. Instead, we can pin them to the Start menu, which is large enough to store a large number of shortcuts. To do this, we must press the key Windowsto open the menu. Right-click on the application shortcut and select “Snap to Start”.

Anclar icono a inicio

Once we have Direct Access set in the Start Menu, we can resize it and even indicate that it opens with administrator permissions simply by right clicking again.

Use groups to improve productivity

Once we have our shortcuts pinned to the Start menu, we need to organize them well to improve their placement and our productivity. Each icon that we have pinned can be moved and organized into groups, which can be renamed simply by clicking on the vertical lines on the right.

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Cambiar nombre de un grupo de Inicio

If we want to move any icon, we will only need to save it by clicking the left mouse button and moving it to the place in the Start menu where we want to place it. Thus, everything is well organized and accessible.

Mover icono a otro grupo de Inicio

From the taskbar

The taskbar is an item Windowswhich we can find at the bottom of the screen. With it, we can bind various application shortcuts to get rid of their presence on the desktop, while we can see the icons of the applications we are using.

Pin shortcuts to taskbar

To pin any shortcut to the taskbar, simply right-click it and select the Pin to Taskbar option.

Anclar a barra de tareas Acceso directo del escritorio

Likewise, if we have an application open, we can click on its icon that appears on the taskbar and leave it fixed by right-clicking and choosing Pin to taskbar.

Anclar a barra de tareas aplicacion ejecutándose

Customize the taskbar and resize icons

If we have a large number of icons on the taskbar, we can customize it to adjust its various options. To do this, we have to right-click anywhere in the panel and select “Taskbar Settings”.

Configuration Barra de tareas

One of the available options is the ability to resize the icons. This allows more icons to appear on the panel without increasing its size. If we want to save space on the desktop, we can also hide the taskbar automatically. Thus, it will only appear when you hover your mouse over the bottom of the screen.

Change the way apps run

If we want an extremely clean interface, we can achieve this by hiding all the icons on the desktop. To open them, we will use the start menu and taskbar. If we want to launch applications without clicking on icons, we can do this in two different ways.

Via Cortana

If we still don’t know it, Cortana is Microsoft’s voice assistant that we can use to ask it to open the apps or files we need. All you have to do is say “Hi, Cortana. Search in document… ”(say the application name) or“ Hey Cortana. Start … ”(application name). This way the wizard will launch the application and there is no need to have direct access to the screen. We can activate Cortana by simply typing her name into the search box on the Start menu.

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Using the app launcher

Another interesting option in case we have too many shortcuts is to use the app launcher.


It is a free and open source launcher that lets you run all functions, access programs and web content while we write to help us be more productive. The app is responsible for finding apps and files without leaving the keyboard, and with automatic classification based on our use. We can also create our own plugin for WoX as it supports CSharp, Python, NodeJS, Golang, etc. Additionally, we can customize it by creating our own themes with different colors, fonts and sizes.

We can download WoX from its Honest Sign website.



This is an application that will allow us to complete any task in a second and will help us do without desktop shortcuts. Just press the hotkey on your keyboard to launch the application, and then enter any letter to open files, folders, and websites. It also allows us to create notes and set reminders, as well as automate mouse clicks and keystrokes.

We can download Keybreeze for free from here.


Fences Stardock

This app will allow us to place app icons in specific locations. This is not a launcher in itself, but it will allow us to improve our organization. He is responsible for placing multiple groups on the desktop, separated by semi-transparent boxes, where we can collect icons to keep things organized and accessible. This way, we will have all of them at our fingertips so that we are not distracted while we complete any task. This makes it a highly recommended tool.

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We can download Stardock Fences for free from their Honest Sign website.


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