Create Desktop Icon Settings Shortcut in Windows 10

In earlier Windows versions, the Desktop had important icons enabled by default - This PC, Network, Control Panel, the User files folder were all visible by default. However, in modern Windows versions, Microsoft made most of these icons hidden. In Windows 10, only the Recycle Bin is present on the Desktop by default. Also, the Windows 10 Start Menu does not have links to these icons either. Let's create a special shortcut to open Desktop Icon Settings and add the classic icons back to the Desktop.


In Windows 10, Microsoft removed the classic Personalize item from the Desktop context menu. Once you click "Personalize", it will open the Settings app where you may be lost finding the Desktop icons link. To save your time, you might want to create a special shortcut to open the Desktop icon settings quickly. Here is how.

Windows 10 Icon Settings Shortcut

To create Desktop Icon Settings shortcut in Windows 10, do the following.

Right click the empty space on your Desktop. Select New - Shortcut in the context menu (see the screenshot).

In the shortcut target box, type or copy-paste the following:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,0

Windows 10 Desktop Icon Settings Shortcut

Type Desktop Icon Settings for the name. Actually, you can use any name you want. Click on the Finish button when done.

Any Name Shortcut Windows 10

Right click on the shortcut you created, and select Properties in the context menu.

Windows 10 Desktop Icon Settings Shortcut Context Menu

On the Shortcut tab, click on the Change Icon button.

Windows 10 Desktop Icon Settings Change Icon Button

Specify a new icon from the %SystemRoot%\System32\desk.cpl file. See the following screenshot:Windows 10 Desktop Icon Settings Shortcut Icon

Click on the OK button to close the shortcut properties dialog window.

Now, you can move this shortcut to any convenient location, pin it to taskbar or to Start, add to All apps or add to Quick Launch (see how to enable Quick Launch). You can also assign a global hotkey to your shortcut.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

3 thoughts on “Create Desktop Icon Settings Shortcut in Windows 10”

  1. Are you kidding me? What’s the matter with Microsoft that I have to jump through hoops just to add a shortcut icon to my desktop? We are not all computer-savvy wonks with nothing better to do than follow a ten-minute direction to do a simple chore. Can you not just leave a good thing alone? I am an old man (76) trying to get something out of technology, not more frustration.

  2. Paul for u option is in settings .. this shortcut is for convenience of having it anywhere u’d like to put it. I’m here because I broke metro theme and themes page doesn’t open which is why for me these shortcut is a must.

  3. Actually, the command line for opening Desktop Icon Settings is a lot simpler than the one quoted in the article. You can simply enter the following to open the dialog box:

    control.exe desk.cpl,,0

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