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Author Topic: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?  (Read 3521 times)

jshare

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Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« on: September 03, 2014, 03:53:37 AM »
I use my Win8.1 desktop as an informal todo list - icons to things to read, programs to install and trial, etc., and this is mainly driven by the fact that I like having a clean desktop, so I'm always motivated to do those tasks and get rid of the icons.

Sometimes I'm tempted to put too much stuff on my desktop though. With that in mind, I'd like a way to hide desktop icons and schedule when they should reappear, signaling that I should take care of them.

Anyone know of a lightweight tool that does this? Or maybe even a registry hack?

skwire

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 12:44:05 PM »
At the bottom of this page, you'll find a download for a tiny app that toggles the desktop's icons.  That, coupled with a few entries in the built-in Windows Task Scheduler applet, should be able to accomplish what you want.  Or, were you looking for something more custom?

jshare

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 01:34:38 PM »
No, thanks but that's not it. That hack is all or nothing. I would like to be able to schedule any individual icon to reappear later as a visual alarm (albeit on the desktop, not 'always on top') and theoretically at completely different times each.

skwire

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 02:07:26 PM »
No, thanks but that's not it. That hack is all or nothing. I would like to be able to schedule any individual icon to reappear later as a visual alarm (albeit on the desktop, not 'always on top') and theoretically at completely different times each.

Desktop icons can be either actual files or shortcuts (which are actually LNK files).  So, short of moving particualr files to, say, a temp folder and back to the desktop on a schedule, which seems a bit hackish, I don't think what you want is elegantly possible.

MilesAhead

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 02:52:13 PM »
If the "icon" is indeed a shortcut it will "disappear" if the Hidden attribute is set.  As an experiment I made a shortcut to cmd.exe and checked the Hidden attribute.  It winked out when I hit the Apply Button.  :)

The only thing is I'm no fan of using the Task Scheduler to do much of anything.  Has anyone found an easy to use replacement Daemon that doesn't have all the baggage and instabilities/quirks of Task Scheduler?

skwire

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 02:57:54 PM »
If the "icon" is indeed a shortcut it will "disappear" if the Hidden attribute is set.  As an experiment I made a shortcut to cmd.exe and checked the Hidden attribute.  It winked out when I hit the Apply Button.  :)

I actually did think of this earlier but, if you're like me, you have "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option enabled so this method wouldn't work.

MilesAhead

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 03:03:46 PM »
If the "icon" is indeed a shortcut it will "disappear" if the Hidden attribute is set.  As an experiment I made a shortcut to cmd.exe and checked the Hidden attribute.  It winked out when I hit the Apply Button.  :)

I actually did think of this earlier but, if you're like me, you have "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option enabled so this method wouldn't work.

Does the OP have that option enabled?  Let's ask.  :)
Personally I hate seeing desktop.ini files in "empty" folders so I never enable it.

Curt

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 03:35:12 PM »

J-Mac

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 03:36:35 PM »

jshare

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 01:21:27 AM »
Fences!  http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/

Works great!

Jim

Thanks Jim.

Fences is very cool and useful, but it's overkill and the only way I could achieve what I want is with a clunky custom rule for each icon that I want to hide, and that's a lot of work.

The usecase I'm looking for is: right-click on the icon to hide > Choose 'Hide until' > select a date and time. The icon then disappears until then.


Does the OP have that option enabled?  Let's ask.  :)
Personally I hate seeing desktop.ini files in "empty" folders so I never enable it.


Yes, I do have it enabled too.

Desktop icons can be either actual files or shortcuts (which are actually LNK files).  So, short of moving particualr files to, say, a temp folder and back to the desktop on a schedule, which seems a bit hackish, I don't think what you want is elegantly possible.

Doh!

J-Mac

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 01:25:14 AM »
No, you don’t need a rule for each icon. You put the icons you wish to hide in one fence and hide that area. Make it visible when you want and invisible when you want. Works here.

Jim

jshare

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 02:50:56 AM »
No, you don’t need a rule for each icon. You put the icons you wish to hide in one fence and hide that area. Make it visible when you want and invisible when you want. Works here.

Jim

So I would make a separate fence per icon and then set a date when the fence becomes visible again?

It's a hack but that would probably be good enough for now.

J-Mac

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 05:25:06 AM »
Or make a fence containing multiple icons which you want to hide, and make that "fence" or area visible as needed. DL a trial and give it a shot.

Jim

MilesAhead

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 05:37:13 AM »
The scheduling means you pretty much have to use a service that's easier to use than Task Scheduler, or one of those Task Scheduler Gui front ends.

Then as skwire says, move to some holding folder and move back.

I'd ask around on Gizmo's freeware forum.  There may be some esoteric thing already out there.

jshare

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2014, 08:53:20 AM »
Or make a fence containing multiple icons which you want to hide, and make that "fence" or area visible as needed. DL a trial and give it a shot.

I installed the trial but it doesn't let me start the 30-day trial period. There's a big dialog box with 3 options and activate the trial is 3rd, but clicking it does nothing. If I try to make a fence, the option appears but then the fence doesn't. Google showed that other people have had this problem too.

The scheduling means you pretty much have to use a service that's easier to use than Task Scheduler, or one of those Task Scheduler Gui front ends.

Then as skwire says, move to some holding folder and move back.

I'd ask around on Gizmo's freeware forum.  There may be some esoteric thing already out there.

Thanks, I'll take a look over there. Using Task Scheduler would be way too clunky for what I want.

J-Mac

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2014, 10:26:54 AM »
I installed the trial but it doesn't let me start the 30-day trial period. There's a big dialog box with 3 options and activate the trial is 3rd, but clicking it does nothing. If I try to make a fence, the option appears but then the fence doesn't. Google showed that other people have had this problem too.

That's odd. I thought that happened only if you once had a trial installed in the past. Guess it's a bug then.

Good luck!

Jim

jshare

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2014, 01:10:33 PM »
That's odd. I thought that happened only if you once had a trial installed in the past. Guess it's a bug then.

Good luck!

Jim

Thanks!

And thanks to everyone for pitching in.

rjbull

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2014, 04:02:56 PM »
Has anyone found an easy to use replacement Daemon that doesn't have all the baggage and instabilities/quirks of Task Scheduler?
I don't know if these would solve all your problems, but have you tried:
  • Searching DC for previous threads  :)  Several mention alternatives.
  • PowerPro
  • Kirby Alarm Pro Payware; there's also a cheaper Lite version I haven't tried, and an old free version.
PowerPro worked a treat on Windows XP, but wasn't ready for UAC at the time I bought a Vista laptop.  Because it was awkward back then I changed to Kirby Alarm Pro, which worked perfectly well even with UAC On.  Since then there have been first workarounds, then improvements to PowerPro itself.  Given those, and that PowerPro is free, you might look at it first.  The scheduler module in PowerPro and Kirby Alarm Pro look to me to have very similar functionality, except that KA can run as a Windows service, if you need that.

MilesAhead

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Re: Way to hide a desktop icon temporarily?
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2014, 05:52:59 PM »
Quote
I don't know if these would solve all your problems, but have you tried:

Thanks for that info.  :)