How to Keep a Neat Desktop Program List (All Windows Versions)

October 31, 2015 at 1:28 am Leave a comment

I’ve been meaning to share this for 20 years or so.  I had little motivation because it seemed so obvious to me.  However, I’ve seen so many workarounds it seems I should indeed put it out for view.

Make a folder on your desktop called “Programs”.  Drag and Drop everything except the obviously essential ones (like the trashcan) into it.

You don’t have a program on the Start panels, the taskbars, the Desktop and you can’t find it in the application list?  First of all, open folders and check C: x86 programs (okay, Program Files x86).  If you can’t find it you can try to find it on an uninstaller.  If you can’t find it then, start doing searches on the Internet–Roxio Nero Burn may be the least intuitive in a long time, since they don’t even mention Roxio when buying the program (I was going full bore on my search for the free version).  Also the point of this is that if you know the manufacturer and can’t find the program you know the first name to look for; the software maker, like Corel for a well-known monster at the process.

To avoid this PAY ATTENTION during the installation process.  It ASKS you what location and that will include the ability to change the name so finding it is obvious.  It is also damned hard to remember and attend at every installation and through each step.

You have eventually found the program name.  Locate it.  Right click the ‘exe’ file (make sure you have unclicked the option for ‘Hide extensions for known file types’ in File Explorer, find File Explorer with settings and search for something like ‘hide file’ and don’t use bloody quote marks) and choose “Create shortcut”.  It will inform you that “A shortcut cannot be placed here, would you like it on the desktop?” [that’s not a direct quote this time], you say “yes”…and do a cut & paste to the Programs folder.  Always put the commonly run ones on the taskbar.  Also, if you have a program on the desktop you can change its icon by right-clicking it and choosing properties–after a couple of clicks and patience [it no longer likes doing this, you see] you will be presented with what is now a fairly long set of icons from which to choose.  You can find out all sorts of nifty things, in fact, if you can get something on the desktop with its icon to investigate properties.

ADMISSION:  I HAVE MANAGED TO DO THIS LESS THAN 10% OF THE TIME THAT I INSTALLED SOFTWARE.  THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM IS TO PAY ATTENTION EACH AND EVERY TIME AND THAT PROBABLY INVOLVES MODIFYING SOFTWARE NAMES EACH TIME, OR FOLDERS.  THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS THAT YOU MIGHT MODIFY THE FOLDER SO THAT THE SOFTWARE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO FIND SOMETHING–WHICH IS WHY I generally simply haven ‘t.  You can’t tell in advance whether it will work or not.   I think I will try something right now…which is make a Nero Burn folder which just contains the icon–but I don’t think Windows will now allow me to do so.  We’ll see.

It won’t.  However…in order to do so.  COPY THE FOLDER TO THE DESKTOP–it’s named Roxio.  Right-click it, rename it to Nero, cut it, reopen Program Files (x86) and…paste the folder there.  Voila. I also did change the temp data folder to a folder on the desktop.  I have a folder on the desktop called…Downloads.  And one called Documents.  This means easy data saves and cleaning out of a lot of trash.  Another place, incidentally that needs to be checked regularly is the Temp file on the path C:/Windows/Users/Username/Temp    (If I had a User Name of Egghead it would be C:/Windows/Users/Egghead/Temp).  The best way to MAKE SURE before thoroughly deleting things from here is to put it in the trashcan only and do a reboot.  Also, if the system resists you at all in deleting it best leave it alone, although you can put it inside a folder inside the Temp folder and just wait; check it via the right-click/Properties.  Also, ‘exe’ extensions can be modified to ‘bkp’ or another extension that won’t run but can be identified as a safety measure–and the Properties will show when the name was changed and thus at some predetermined time you’ll know when it’s safe to delete.

Just a few idle thoughts about things I use practically every day.  [This is chronic pain of a different sort, wait, they’ll come out with Windows 11 next year that won’t run on ANYTHING existent.]

Entry filed under: computers/tech, downloads. Tags: , , , .

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