Quickly show the original desktop in Windows

January 16, 2017 (235)

in Articles and Tips on Windows

I use this ShowDesktop feature all the time in Windows 7. Thankfully, it’s still there in Windows 10.

Do you know that there is a neat feature called “Show Desktop” in Windows? I use it all the time to quickly access an icon on the desktop even if my screen is choke-full of running applications.

This feature has been there since Windows XP. But somehow, I never noticed it there. It became more prominent in Windows Vista where I discovered it for the first time. Since then, I can’t live without it.

Naturally, when I logged on to Windows 7 for the first time, I thought it has been done away with. But I knew it had to exist. I did a search and found it. It’s so subtle that new users may not even know that such a feature exists.

Here is a picture that shows you where to find it in Windows 7.

Show Desktop button in Windows 7

Show Desktop button in Windows 7

Here is how it looks in Windows 10.

Show desktop in Windows 10

Show desktop in Windows 10

The Show Desktop button is placed on the right of the task bar. To see how it works, run a few programs so that your desktop is no longer visible. Then click on the Show Desktop button and you will see the original desktop again so that you can click on another shortcut icon.


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A related feature, Peek at desktop

Another good thing to know about is the Peek at Desktop feature. In Windows 7, when you move the mouse over the Show Desktop button, it lets you peek at the desktop without actually switching to it. A peek means you see the desktop momentarily beneath all application windows that are running. In Windows 10, this feature is switched off by default because this does not make sense in a “touch” interface where there is nothing like a mouse hover action. To get this feature, you need to switch it ON on the menu that comes up on the Show Desktop button as shown in the picture above for Windows 10.