The Show Desktop Button

Back in the late 90’s, Microsoft rolled out a feature as a part of Windows 98 that I have come to love far and away above all others. It was a simple feature that 85% or more of folks don’t even know exists. If they have seen it, chances are they’ve never used it and don’t know what it does.

I am speaking of the “Show Desktop” button.

What does this button look like?

Below are the icons for the Show Desktop button for Windows XP and Windows Vista, respectively.

Where can I find this button?

You will find this icon by default on the Quick Launch toolbar.

So what does the Show Desktop button do?

This is pretty self-explanatory.  When you click the Show Desktop button, all your windows are minimized so that you can see your desktop. A second click will restore all your windows.

With the help of this button, you can quickly get back to your desktop without having to minimize each window individually.

I believe you will use the Show Desktop quite often and like a scrolling mouse, wonder ever how you worked without it.

But I still have questions:

Question: I don’t see the Show Desktop button.
Answer: You may not have the Quick Launch toolbar showing.

Question: How do I enable my Quick Launch toolbar?
Answer: Right click your taskbar (the bar with the start menu on it) -> Choose Toolbars -> Select Quick Launch.

Question: At some point, I deleted this icon. How do I get it back?
Answer: Please visit Microsoft’s website for instructions.