Windows XP and the Display - Desktop Help and Tips

Windows XP tips for modifying the display and desktop properties, including changing wallpaper, icons, and font size.


#1: Cannot Change the Desktop Wallpaper or its Position
If you cannot change your Windows XP desktop wallpaper because all options are disabled, or if you can change it but not its position, view this tip.

#2: Remove Boxes Below Icon Labels on the Desktop
If your Desktop icons in Windows XP appear with boxes below the labels instead of using drop shadows, try this tweak.

#3: Quickly Change Display Resolution via Taskbar or Batch File via MultiRes
The MultiRes utility lets you change the screen resolution via an icon in the System Tray or a batch file. Multiple monitors are supported.

#4: Manually Clean Up Desktop Shortcut Icons
If your Windows XP desktop is too cluttered, manually clean up unused shortcut icons with this wizard.

#5: Stop Running Desktop Cleanup Wizard
Prevent Windows XP from asking to clean up messy Desktops.

#6: Toggle Aligning Desktop Icons to a Grid
Toggle whether or not you want finer control over desktop icon alignment in Windows XP.

#7: Toggle Windows Automatically Arranging Desktop Icons
Do you want all of your Windows XP Desktop icons arranged in a group, or would you rather have more control?

#8: Save and Restore Desktop Icon Layout
Restore Desktop icon positions in case Windows XP forgets them.

#9: Create a "Run" Desktop Shortcut
Double-click an icon on your Windows XP Desktop to run software, bypassing the Start menu.

#10: Add or Remove Special Desktop Icons
Add or remove these Windows XP Desktop icons - My Documents, My Computer, My Network Places, and Internet Explorer.

#11: Fit More Icons or Increase Space for Filenames
Either increase the number of icons viewable on the Desktop, or increase the space available for Desktop icon filenames.

#12: Unable to Change Themes or Appearance Settings
If the Display Properties "Appearance" and "Themes" tabs are missing, try this tip.

#13: Optimize by Toggling Displaying Window Contents While Dragging
Either disable showing window contents while dragging for speed or enable this eye candy.

#14: Toggle Between Large and Small Desktop Icons
Change your Windows XP Desktop icon size.

#15: List All Available Video Card Modes
Quickly list all display modes, including resolution, color depth, and refresh rate, supported by your video card.

#16: Provide Quick Desktop Access to Control Panel and Admin Tools
Make it easier to configure Windows XP by providing easy access to frequently-used Control Panel and Administrative Tools icons.

#17: Toggle Menu Shadowing
Toggle whether Windows XP displays shadows underneath menus as they are selected.

#18: Toggle Showing Underlined Letters in Menus
Turn keyboard navigation letters inside menus in Windows XP applications on or off.

#19: Quickly Hide or Show Your Desktop Icons
This tip lets you hide or show all of your Desktop Icons on your Windows XP machine.

#20: Change Icon for My Computer, Recycle Bin, Others
Change the My Computer, My Documents, or Recycle Bin icon on your Windows XP system to your liking.

#21: Restore Default Icon For My Computer, Recycle Bin, Others
Revert your My Computer, My Documents, or Recycle Bin icon on your Windows XP desktop back to the default.

#22: Change the Desktop Wallpaper
A simple step-by-step process for changing the background color or picture on your Windows XP desktop.

#23: Make the Fonts Larger or Smaller
Having trouble viewing words on your Windows XP computer? Make the default text larger.

See Also:

Windows XP Taskbar - Toolbar - Start Menu

Help customizing the Windows XP taskbar, Start Menu, and toolbars to increase your productivity. Modify the Quick Launch area for quicker access to frequently-used applications, remove the clock, access Windows XP's Control Panel, and more.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.