Desktop Icon Text - Hide or Show

ByLine
How to Hide or Show Desktop Icon Text in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to Hide or Show any desktop icon name text so you can have a desktop where the icons you select are displayed with just the icon and no text.
How to Hide or Show Desktop Icon Text in Vista



information   Information
This will show you how to Hide or Show any desktop icon name text so you can have a desktop where the icons you select are displayed with just the icon and no text.
Note   Note

  • This will also work on any icon text in Windows Explorer to.
  • If you would like to hide or show all file and folder icon text inside of a folder, then see: How to Hide or Show File Names in Vista
warning   Warning
Once you hide the text using OPTION ONE, you will not be able to rename, move, or delete the file or folder until you have the text show again using OPTION TWO.
Tip   Tip
If you lost or ignored the warning in OPTION ONE, then you can also use the free program Unlocker to be able to delete the file or folder without text.
You can also delete the C:\Users\(user-name)\Desktop (or folder that this file or folder is in) file or folder without text while logged in another administrator account.

EXAMPLE: Icon Text Set to Hide and Show





OPTION ONE
To Hide the Icon Text

NOTE: You can do this on any folder or file icon. I will use the Recycle Bin icon as an example in here. However, you will not be able to delete a folder with hidden text until you unhide the text again in OPTION TWO below. You can still delete a file or folder shortcut icon with hidden text.
1. Right click on the Icon you want to hide the text for. (See screenshot below)​
Show.jpg

2. Click on Rename. (See screenshot below)​
Right_Click.jpg

3. For the first icon press and hold the Alt key, then type 255 from the number keypad to the right and release the Alt key. For the second icon, you will repeat this but type 255 two times while pressing the Alt key. For the third icon you will repeat this but type 255 three times while pressing the Alt key. Repeat this pattern of increasing how many times you type 255 for however many icons you want to hide the text for.​
NOTE: You must use the number keypad to the right. The number keys above the letters will not work for this. If you have a laptop that has numbers above the keyboard, then you may need to use the numbers on the keyboard instead using Alt + Function Key + 255.​
warning   Warning
To make it easier for you to have these icons text show again in OPTION TWO below, you should write down the icon location path, for example: C:\Users\(User Name)\Desktop and the original icon name (ex: text) with how many times your typed 255 for it. You will wish you had this for folders later.
4. Press Enter. (See screenshots below)​
Rename.jpg Alt+255.jpg

5. Your icon will now look like this with no text. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: You may need to click on a empty area of the desktop and press F5 to refresh the desktop to see the change.​
Hide.jpg






OPTION TWO
To Show Icon Text Again




Method One
For Every Icon Except Folder Icons
NOTE: A shortcut to a folder icon (with arrow) will work with this though. For a normal folder icon, you will need to use Method Two below.​
1. Right click on the icon with no text. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: I will use the Recycle Bin icon as an example here.​
Hide.jpg

2. Click on Rename. (See screenshot below)​
Right_Click.jpg

3. Type in a name for the icon and press Enter. (See screenshots below)​
Rename_To_RecycleBin.jpg Rename.jpg

4. Your icon should now have the text back. (See screenshot below)​
Show.jpg





Method Two
For Folder Icons
NOTE: This for a normal folder icon. You can use Method One above for a shortcut to a folder icon (with arrow).
1. Open the Start menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type cmd and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
Start_Menu.jpg

3. In the command prompt, type cd\Users\(User Name)\Desktop and press Enter. (See screenshot below step 4)​
NOTE:
A) For example, I would type cd\Users\Moderator\Desktop
B) If you have hidden the text for a icon in a different location than the desktop, then just type it's location here instead.​
4. Type ren "(press and hold Alt and type 255 for how many times you did it in OPTION ONE step 3 above)" "text you want" and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For example, for a New Folder on the Desktop that I only type 255 once while pressing Alt, you will see: ren " " "New Folder"
Command_Prompt.jpg
Tip   Tip
If you forgot how many times you did the alt + 255 before, then you can highlight the folder to see a small dash (character #255) in a row for each time you did in the folder name. This screenshot is for one time. You will have to estimate by how long your line is for how many times you did the alt + 255.
Tip   Tip

Folder.jpg

5. Close the Command Prompt.​
6. Your folder icon should now have the text you wanted showing again. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: You may need to click on a empty area of the desktop and press F5 to refresh the desktop to see the change.​
New_Folder.jpg


That's it,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hey Brink,

I haven't checked it out yet, as I just wanted to say thank you because I know I'm going to like it!

Thanks Shawn.


Later :cool: Ted


EDIT: I really like this one!
 
Last edited:
Your welcome Ted. I like having the icons on my desktop with no text on them. It just makes them look better IMO.

Shawn
 
Hey Brink,

You said I have to use the number pad on the right, and not above the keyboard. I'm on my laptop, and the only number pad is the one above my keyboard.

Is there any other way to remove desktop icon text? Thanks for your work.

-renster
 
Hi Renster, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I do not know of another way to do this. I would go ahead and give it a try to see if it will work since it is the only number keys you have.

Hope it works for you,
Shawn
 
Thanks for the quick reply.

I tried the number keys above the keyboard and they didn't work. However, if I use the numbers on the keyboard it works. But that means I have to use alt+ function key+255.

Anyways, thanks for the tips!
 
Your welcome Renster. Thank you for posting your results. I will add them to the tutorial so that it will others with a laptop like yours.

Thank you,
Shawn
 
Hey...
I followed your instructions about hiding the icons' txt and that worked fine, the txt disappeared, but now I gotta delete one of the folders I did it to, and even though I've followed how to get the txt back, it won't work. When I try this is what cmd says: The system cannot find the filed specified. I've tried it many ways, and nothing... could you help me pls? since without the txt I cant delete the folder.

Thank you!
 
Hello Vaesmo, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Double check to make sure that you used the correct and same amount of ALT+255 in the command in step 4 Method Two of OPTION TWO, and that you typed in the command properly. It's easy to make a mistake to get that error.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hello Vaesmo, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Double check to make sure that you used the correct and same amount of ALT+255 in the command in step 4 Method Two of OPTION TWO, and that you typed in the command properly. It's easy to make a mistake to get that error.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Yeah I just did it again... and I figured what the problem was haha (I feel so duh!).. I was typin in "New Folder"... but I gotta type the name of the actual folder how I had it before... thank you for your help it was annoyin me. :D
 
This works fine but many of my shortcuts have the name '.ink' when this is used and causes all but one to have (<number>) as their name!:cry:
 
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