The desktop is the mainstay for all users of laptop and desktop computers — it’s the place to store temporary files, post notes and do all the tasks that computer users do. Some people don’t mind if their desktop is cluttered with lots of icons, while others feel the need to have a clean slate to work with. If you’re having issues with deleted or unwanted items on your desktop — including links to things you may have downloaded — it can be frustrating when they won’t go away. To fix the problem, start with the simple stuff and then move on to more involved steps for removing those unwanted items.
The first thing to try is to send the file to the trash. To do this, right-click on the file on the desktop and then select "Move to Trash" or a similar function from the menu that appears. In the best-case scenario, the item will peacefully be moved to your computer’s trash; if not, you may see an error message that will give you information about how to remove the item.
If the item is in use, it may not move to the trash until you close it from the location where it is in use; this means you have to know where the item is in use. One way to find out is to look at the Windows Task Manager, which shows you all the current processes, programs and activity currently happening on your computer. To open it, right-click on your taskbar and then select "Task Manager." From there you’ll be able to remove or delete any of the unwanted items.
If you’ve stopped a download in the middle of the download process, you may be encountering issues because the file is only partially loaded. One possible solution to this may be to remove it from your from your Web browser and find your downloads. Click on the name of the item that is stuck on your desktop — if it’s listed there — and then press "Delete."
Another option is to try removing the icon using your computer’s Add/Remove function, which can safely remove applications. On a Windows computer, select "Control Panel" from the Start menu and then click "Uninstall a program." Look for the program or item you want to remove and click "Uninstall." If this process does not work, try a third-party removal tool such as CCleaner or Wise Registry Cleaner to scan and remove junk items.
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