Add Show Desktop Shortcut to Taskbar in Windows 11

You can add the Show Desktop shortcut to the taskbar in Windows 11. It will be similar to the button that could be found in the taskbar of Windows XP and Windows Vista. Before Windows 7, all Windows versions had a special shortcut next to the Start menu button. It allowed users to show the Desktop and minimize all windows with a single click.


In Windows 7, Microsoft removed that shortcut. Instead, the company introduced a new button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. That button is a part of every release since Windows 7.

Still, some users may prefer the old way to show the Desktop. The new button is very tiny and doesn't have a prominent look.

Besides, in Windows 11, Microsoft somehow made it harder to hit the right spot to minimize all applications, not to mention how difficult it is to tap the button on Windows tablets.

To add the Show Desktop shortcut to the Windows 11 taskbar, you need to create a simple shortcut that contains a special command. Here is how to create it.

Add the Show Desktop Shortcut to Windows 11 Taskbar

  1. Right-click anywhere on the Desktop and select New > Shortcut.Windows 11 Create New Shortcut
  2. In a new window, paste the following command into the "Type the location of the item" field: explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}.Create Show Desktop Shortcut In Windows 11
  3. Click Next, then name your shortcut as "Show Desktop".Name Shortcut As Show Desktop
  4. Click Finish to save the shortcut.
  5. Now, right-click the newly made shortcut and select Properties.Shortcut Menu Properties
  6. Click Change Icon.Windows 11 Show Desktop Shortcut Icon
  7. Select a "Desktop" icon from the c:\windows\system32\imageres.dll file. Click OK to save the changes.Windows 11 Change Shortcut Icon
  8. Now you need to pin the shortcut to the taskbar. Right-click the shortcut and select Show More Options.Show More Options Context Menu
  9. Click Pin to taskbar.Windows 11 Add Show Desktop Shortcut To Taskbar
  10. Now drag the icon to the left or select any other place you like. Note that Windows 11 by default uses the centered taskbar, so you might want to know how to disable the centered taskbar in Windows 11.Show Desktop Shortcut In The Taskbar

Now you can minimize all windows and show the Desktop in Windows 11 by using the newly made shortcut on the taskbar. Note that clicking the icon again brings back all minimized windows.

You can also create such a shortcut with Winaero Tweaker. Here's how.

Create Show Desktop Shortcut with Winaero Tweaker

  1. Download the app from here and install it.
  2. Run it and go to Shortcuts \ CLSID shortcuts on the left.
  3. On the right, click on the Select shell folders... button.Select Shell Folder In Winaero Tweaker
  4. In the search box of the next dialog, type desktop.
  5. Place the check mark for the "Show desktop" entry.Create Show Desktop Shortcut With Winaero Tweaker
  6. You now have the classic Show Desktop shortcut that even retains the classic icon. Right-click it and select Show more options > Pin to taskbar to add it to the taskbar.Classic Show Desktop Shortcut In The Taskbar

Both shortcuts are identical. The only difference are the icons. The latter uses the "default" classic icon from the explorer.exe file. The one you have created may have a different icon. Anyway, you can customize the icon for any of these two shortcuts and set it to any image of your choice.

Classic Desktop Icon

Both shortcuts utilize the same explorer command. It is called "shell command". Shell commands exist in all modern Windows versions, and can be used to launch built-in tools, system folders, control panel applets and virtual locations. You will find the full list of shell commands in Windows 11 in this post.

Download ready-to-use shortcuts

You can save your time and download the ready-to-use shortcuts which you can use directly. Download the ZIP archive, and extract it to any folder of your choice.

Download shortcuts

Now, pin either "modern" or classic Show Desktop shortcut to the taskbar, and enjoy the bigger button available in the taskbar.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

11 thoughts on “Add Show Desktop Shortcut to Taskbar in Windows 11”

  1. YES Thanks, I have been looking for it for a long time. They always have to break something in this Windows by eliminating useful functions and what for ??

  2. SO GLAD to find a way to show desktop that’s not that tiny bar on the bottom right that’s really hard to click on when you want it, yet gets activated countless times when you DON’T want it!

    Many thanks!

  3. Thank you for this. I’ve been adding this to new machines for a bit, and followed your instructions for my new Win11 machine. Don’t understand why MS makes so many things worse. Who the heck can find that tiny invisible space quickly? It’s so ridiculous. They are a dumb company that makes something much of the world depends on. Completely irresponsible.

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