Weekly Computer Tip # 375
31 August 2012

How to find items on a messy desktop

Are you the sort of person who stores items on your desktop? I am! OK, I am obviously well aware you should not store files on your desktop (as they aren't backed up and it slows the computer down) but I use it to keep shortcuts to web pages (see tip_149.html) or documents of temporary value within easy reach. The downside is that I end up with a messy desktop and spend ages hunting for the right item... until Ramon told me I can use the normal "find trick" I thought I could only use in Windows Explorer. (Thanks, Ramon.)

Here's how :

  1. If necessary, press WIN + D to display your Desktop.
  2. Type the first letter of the document or shortcut to find the item with the first occurrence of that letter.
  3. If that's not the one you are looking for, type the same letter once more and the next occurrence in the list will appear.
  4. Press ENTER or the carriage return key when the correct item is highlighted to open the document or shortcut.

By the way, I suppose as a document and records management trainer I'm not really setting a good example working with a messy desktop, but as Albert Einstein once put it: if a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?