Add the Show Desktop button next to Start in Windows 10

In Windows versions prior to Windows 7, there was a button which minimized all opened Windows and showed the desktop. In Windows 10, there is no such button. Instead, to minimize all open windows and show the Desktop, you need to move the mouse pointer to the right edge of the taskbar (or the bottom edge if your taskbar is vertical) and click a tiny invisible button. In this article, I would like to share how you can add the classic Show Desktop button next to Start in Windows 10.


Here what you should do:

  1. Create a new shortcut by right clicking an empty area of the Desktop -> New -> Shortcut. Use the following command as its target:
    explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

    See the following screenshot: Windows 10 show desktop

  2. Name your shortcut as "Show Desktop": Windows 10 show desktop shortcut name
  3. In the shortcut's properties, set its icon from C:\Windows\Explorer.exe: Windows 10 show desktop icon
  4. Finally, right click the shortcut you created and select "Pin to taskbar" from its context menu: Windows 10 show desktop pin to taskbar

Once this is done, you can remove the shortcut you created and drag the pinned item next to the Start button. Now you can use the pinned icon to minimize all open windows.

Windows 10 show desktop button on the taskbar Personally, I found this icon more useful than the default button offered by Windows 10 which is at the end of the taskbar. Touchscreen users may find adding this button very useful too.

That's it.

86 thoughts on “Add the Show Desktop button next to Start in Windows 10

  1. Trojan

    I also use win+D

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Me too

      Reply
  2. Sir

    Sir, its possible to add DESKTOP TO ALT+TAB ? as in previous versions of Windows 7, 8 ?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is not possible in Windows 10.
      Since it has multiple desktops now, Microsoft removed the icon.

      Reply
      1. Lisa

        It did work on my 2nd Desktop on my computer with Windows 10, exactly as the tutorial showed.

        Reply
  3. andivax

    а есть программы чтобы показывали десктоп типа функции show desktop на макаке?

    Reply
  4. Danny

    Whoever wrote this is an idiot. The functionality has been there since Windows 7 – moving your mouse to the bottom right side of the screen and clicking it shows your desktop, clicking again brings it back.

    And if you add the Quick Launch toolbar (same method as in Win7/8, it’s a folder in AppData under Internet Explorer), it’s there by default… no need to create your own shortcut, just use the one that’s already included!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You probably didn’t even read the article.
      I had reasons to add the button. I found it useful, it is MORE useful for me that the right edge tiny line.
      I mentioned this in the article.
      There is no reason to act bad and insult other people if the article is not suitable for you. Just ignore it.

      Reply
    2. Shawn

      Yeah this stupid Danny didn’t even read it. Do you have a touch tablet? Try touching the tiny bottom right corner button with your finger and then try touching this button after adding it to the Taskbar and tell me which one is easier to target. Get off your high horse and stop attacking the author.

      Reply
    3. Tara

      I don’t normally write comments but having read the ‘thoughts’ written by Danny, who summarised himself in the first line of his writing, I was compelled to write. I found this article (creating desktop shortcut) very useful and I have now used in 3 computers including my work laptop which has window 7. This article provides an alternative way of creating the Window xp/vista like show desktop button, the author has not said that this functionality is not there in latest windows. The right side corner button is annoying and not suitable for people who are used to using show desktop button on the left. Very good article from the Author and please don’t get distracted by negative comments.

      Reply
    4. RJ

      Yah, nice catch Danny Boy. Only idiots would want other choices besides what Microsoft dictates to them. Good thing for all of us idiots you are available to call out such idiotic behavior. I feel like you have saved my technology driven life with your well thought out words. Thank you so much! Now I can go on to live a much fuller and well adjusted life life since learning that having additional choices is only for idiots. Bless you!

      Reply
  5. Victor

    Awesome, very useful for my touchscreen

    Reply
  6. Arnol

    Exactly what my 7 inch tablet needed. Thanks for this and for your many other articles.

    Reply
  7. Gregory

    Will that work for Windows 8.1?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep it will work for Win81 as well.

      Reply
  8. PuppinoCbr

    You can use this method too:

    Right mouse on Taskbar ->
    -> New toolbar
    -> (write this in the path) %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch (then Enter) and -> OK
    Move the new toolbar on the left and remove”Show title” and “Show text” (right click mouse on this toolbar).
    I also suggest to switch from “Small icons” to “Large icons” (right click mouse).
    Now you have “Show Desktop button” directly on the taskbar. You can also delete AltTab button alongside “show desktop” (it doesn’t work on win10).

    Reply
  9. Jones

    Excellent tip… Shame on MS for that tiny button on the right. Even with a full desktop and mouse its a pain in the a$$ to click it. Your tip works beautifully.

    Reply
    1. Robert Jeanes

      I have struggled (after Vista) with Windows 10’s lack of simplicity. Something so utterly simple as being able to hit an all-important Desktop logo on the Taskbar …..
      Someone, or a Committee decided to make this a No-No. “Let’s hide it shall we…..?
      So very grateful to this Poster.

      Reply
      1. Michael Hooker

        Totally agree. I have been running 3 Win 10 laptops/tablets computers for a while now, but my favourite and the EASIEST BY FAR to use is the faithful old Sony Vista desktop. This is finally having to be abandoned although it has years of life in it yet because of the the built-in Vista redundancy and the attitude of other software producers who no longer support Vista – even Google Chrome. So much no longer works as it should. Of course everyone moaned about Vista when it came out, but frankly I found it a vast improvement on the previous version and its constant blue screens of death. Couldn’t upgrade the old machine to Win 7 as there was no driver support from Sony who abandoned the PC business at just the wrong time.
        Anyway, I’m now in the middle of the long process of tweaking the new Win10 machine to make it worth using and this was a very useful post. Top marks to the author.

        Reply
        1. almechist

          I’d like to second your comments about Vista and Sony. I also have a Sony VAIO laptop running Vista, which I was very nervous about at first, in fact I almost paid extra for a downgrade to XP, but in the end Vista proved remarkably stable. That machine has been my main computer from ’08 until a week ago, and in all that time I never experienced a single BSOD type crash. Not once! I honestly don’t get why Vista got so much bad press.

          I find the show desktop button very useful, and have gotten into the habit of using it, so thanks to the author for the tip on bringing it back.

          Reply
          1. bimmyjim

            have you ever played solitaire on windows vista? honestly, it’s the best version imo.

  10. Violet

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! :)

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      don’t mention it.

      Reply
  11. Gian

    thank you very much for this tip! very useful. :)

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome

      Reply
  12. Ian B

    Thanks Sergey.
    Been wondering about this since installing W10.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome.

      Reply
  13. Margret

    This is very helpful and my users are happy to have this on their task bar. I have a question related to this: is there a similar string to use to create a shortcut to switch between virtual desktops?

    Reply
  14. PassingBy

    A big thanks from Korea for this tip..

    ^^

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome

      Reply
  15. Epic

    God bless you for this useful tip.
    I wonder what idiots at M$ wanted to achieve, when they took out those few pixels from the “show desktop” button in Windows 7 and created this “super duper extra slim” thing for Windows 8/10. How they used that few pixels, where is this exciting powerful feature that deserved those few pixels?
    Same as putting Details pane on the right side of the Explorer window instead of bottom… Eh… I installed Windows 10 3 days ago and I went through so many stupid regressions that I wonder if I shouldn’t roll back to Win7.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Reply
  16. Leonardo Rodrigues

    Thank you very much! Nice tutorial!

    Reply
  17. MaryB

    Finally, a simple way to get back show desktop. Personally, I use Win+D
    but know a lot of people who will be very very happy to get this back!

    Reply
  18. A

    I did this, and without thinking I made the shortcut key for this an function key (F2).

    How would I reset the key to its original function?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Right click the shortcut and remove the assigned hotkey.
      You can see how to access the pinned shortcut properties in the THIS ARTICLE.
      Read below “To change a pinned app’s shortcut icon on the taskbar in Windows 10…” there.

      Reply
  19. Bob Rock And Roll Daily

    Thank you so much for this very useful tip!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Reply
  20. angelscouple69

    Its works ! Thanks a lot ! awesome guy !

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome.
      Btw, nice nickname

      Reply
  21. Doug

    YES! This one is fast and so self explanatory! The article makes it look like it’s complicated.. It’s NOT! I LOVE THIS!
    Just do the create shortcut thingy and paste explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}
    and everything after that is so stupid simple!

    THANK YOU!!!!

    PS: Man this is about as stupid as apple getting rid of the headphone jack!

    Reply
  22. Frank

    Another BRAVO for Sergey!

    Reply
  23. Peter Koopman

    Nice work Sergey, especially for touch screen devices.
    If you’re into keyboard shortcuts you can also use WindowsKey + D

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep. And Win + M too :)

      Reply
  24. Younis ali

    Excellent information.
    But until, my desktop app does not show on windows 10.
    Kindly tell me how can i change this?

    Reply
  25. James

    very useful! quick, simple, easy to apply.
    Much appreciated!

    Reply
  26. James

    Thank you form England!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      UW

      Reply
  27. James

    thankyou from England!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome :)

      Reply
  28. Arslan

    Awesome…. thanks

    Reply
  29. gale

    THANK YOU! I hate having to click at the end of the taskbar and loved my show desktop button. Now I can have it again.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Reply
  30. Lyn

    Just wanted to say thank you Sergey. After numerous attempts I found your tutorial and it was very easy to follow. Success at last!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Reply
  31. Theresa Manley

    Thank you so much for this article. I read the entire “Windows For Dummies for Seniors” book and did not find how to do this. I used that all the time in Windows 7.

    Reply
  32. Steve Rawcliffe

    Дякую!

    Reply
  33. Paul Ackroyd

    Nice one, thank you. I added this to my 6 year old’s PC and it has really helped him. :-)

    Reply
  34. Kate Barber

    Thanks to you Sergey I now have a lovely Show Desktop showing big and bright, as it should be, on my Taskbar!
    I can’t understand what those nebbishes at MS were thinking of, to complicate SO many things as they’ve done in Win 10. And to get rid of essentials, like the Show Desktop facility, amongst others, and give us that stupid little narrow slit instead.

    Clearly, to work at MS, one has got to be a complete sociopath: with not a care about how ordinary people might actually like to USE all the things that these ego-tripping designers dish out for us!

    We need more people like Sergey to help us get the better of these arrogant nebbishes!!

    Reply
  35. Lindy Shelly

    Thanks, Sergey, for sharing this informative post. Definitely, I followed your steps to create a show desktop button next to start in Windows 10.

    Reply
  36. Kelly

    This is a great tip! Thank you for taking the time to figure it out and being generous enough to share.

    Reply
  37. Chuck

    Worked great! Thank you!

    Reply
  38. ger

    This is why I love you! Merry Christmas and a happy new year. The bottom right corner desktop shortcut is fine and all if you are a mono-screen person, but nowdays, people use up to 3 screens, and in that case, the window’s 10 method doesn’t work so well. You have to be so precise with your hand motion, and that creates micro-stress and hand-mind discomfort, but your solution works like a charm. Thank you.

    Reply
  39. Melissa D

    thank you for the article.

    When I click my new button, however, I get a view of my documents, instead of clearing the desktop!
    >ThisPC>Documents

    Darn.
    Here is the target of my my button
    C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      add the missing bracket explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

      Reply
  40. AS

    This was super helfpul. How I wish I looked it up sooner. Many needless minimizing of open program boxes would have been saved. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You’re welcome.

      Reply
  41. Walt Huddrick

    I found this very helpful. Thanks

    Reply
  42. Helen

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! You are a life saver. Well, maybe not of my life, but of the one of my computer certainly. It was driving me insane. Thank you.

    Reply
  43. Ale

    Great Post. Thank U!!!

    Reply
  44. McGrade

    this is exactly what i needed and was looking for! thank you!!!!!

    Reply
  45. Marjorie (MWD)

    Thank you – that is very useful! I would never have been able to do this instinctively with that link!

    Reply
  46. Bruno

    Great Post. Thank U!!!

    Reply
  47. pj

    awesome! thank you so much for the tip! I almost always have like 10 windows open and was sorely missing the show desktop button that i relied so much on in previous versions :)

    Reply
  48. Ted

    I followed these instructions for adding a Show Desktop button in Windows 10, and it worked flawlessly! And of course it’s still working. This article is very helpful, especially given that it’s a solution most people would have no idea how to find on their own. I would never have.

    Reply
  49. fwa

    Thank you!

    Reply
  50. Andy

    Thanks very much.
    You are a hero.

    Reply
  51. Alan

    This was exactly what I needed! Thank you!

    Reply
  52. Jeff

    Thanks so much, this is a life saver!

    Reply
  53. Thomas Turkington

    Just wanted to echo all the other thanks here. I really do get tired of how MS decides we need to learn a new way to do something we’ve been doing for a decade, or maybe that we no longer even need to do it. I can’t see anything on the right hand side of the taskbar that would display the desktop; I’m not saying it’s not there but I’ve yet to find it. Prior to finding this article, as far as I could tell, the only way to get all the windows minimized in Win10 was minimize each one individually – definition of pain. There are times when I want to make all the noise of open windows go away, and the old ‘show desktop’ icon was a really simple way to accomplish that in one fell swoop (Alt-Tab option also sorely missed…). Why oh why does Microsoft think good ideas like this s.b. deprecated?

    Reply
  54. Google Chromebood

    Danny what are you doing? Yew cant evin reed the athurs artickle!!!

    Reply
  55. steve

    Genius, thanks!

    Reply
  56. John

    Thanks for your original instructions. I’ve used your shortcut pinned to taskbar for the last 2 years, and it’s been a great timesaver for me. I recently changed Microsoft accounts, though, and now I find that the “pin to taskbar” is no longer a choice under step 4. The shortcut can’t be dragged to the taskbar (I get a big red-line circle no-no). I’m “allowed” to pin the shortcut to the start menu or to the quick access panel, which of course defeats the purpose….very frustrating, no thanks to Microsoft. Do you know any other way to get the shortcut pinned to the taskbar? The little thin line on the right end of the taskbar is not at all suitable. My mouse misses it every time!

    Reply
  57. shaz

    Life saver. Thanks a lot

    Reply
  58. Robert Hartford

    Thank You Sergey! After more than a decade of having a handy “desktop” button in the start menu, which even displayed the current desktop image, some a-hole at microsoft decides we don’t need it anymore. How much money did they lose or gain by eliminating it? Not a red cent. Shameful.

    Reply

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