How do I get rid of the check boxes on Windows desktop icons?

laptop computer time at 3:27
Check it out: get rid of tick boxes in Windows

Have little check boxes/ticks suddenly appeared next to the icons on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 desktop? Want to know how to get shot of them? You’ve come to the right place.

What’s the point of check boxes on Windows desktop icons?

The check boxes aren’t purely designed for the desktop – in fact, they’re almost useless when used there.

They’re a general feature in Windows Explorer, designed to make it easier to select multiple items, instead of having to hold down Ctrl and select each item in turn. (You didn’t know you could do that, did you?)

How do you turn off checkboxes on Windows desktop icons?

It’s a simple job to switch these checkboxes off. And the instructions are the same whether you’re running Windows 11, Windows 10 or even earlier versions of Windows.

  1. Open Windows Explorer (the icon that looks like a file folder on your Taskbar)
  2. Click the View tab, then Show and deselect Item check boxes, as shown below in Windows 11
pin people to the Windows 10 taskbar

Windows 10 taskbar gone missing?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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