Shell Folder Icons Appear on the Desktop in Windows 11

On some systems, the shell folders such as Music, Pictures, Desktop, Downloads, Videos, and Home icons appear on the desktop after installing Windows 11. These shell folders are not supposed to appear on the desktop by default.

music, pictures, videos, desktop, downloads, home icons appear on desktop - how to hide them

The “Delete” will be missing for those shell folders, and pressing delete on your keyboard doesn’t help. If you can’t figure out how to remove these shell folder icons, this article is for you.

Remove User Shell Folders from Desktop

The specified folders are hidden from desktop by default in a standard Windows 11 installation. Here is a registry fix that hides the five special folders and the “Home” icon from the desktop.

  1. Download hide_shell_folders_on_desktop_windows_11.reg (zipped)
  2. Unzip the archive and run the enclosed registry file. Click Yes to confirm.
  3. Press F5 to refresh the desktop. The extra shell folders should be gone now.

INFO: Contents of the REG file

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

What each GUID represents.

GUID Folder
{1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE} Music
{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} Downloads
{3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA} Pictures
{A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C} Videos
{A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0} Documents
{f874310e-b6b7-47dc-bc84-b9e6b38f5903} Home
{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641} Desktop

Last tested in Windows 11 22H2 OS Build 22621.1928.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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