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Sleekify: Invisible Icons

December 27, 2008


Introducing sleekify. A computing experience where you and your computer are both elegant and beautiful; modern and simple. No more hideous junk, but pure design. That is the power of sleekify.

Today I introduce a multi-part series in how to beautify, simplify, and amazify (that isn’t even a word) your computer. I am a minimalist person, and this guide will show you how you can blend beauty with function.

This guide was written on and made for Windows. If you are running a Mac, unfortunately I cannot help you. Most people using Macs think they are sleek enough already… 😀

Many of the tips I use can only be found / used on Windows Vista. If that is the case, you can just skip the tip.

But no more of the jabber and junk. It’s time to sleekify.

In this episode: Invisible Icons

Invisible Icons

If you are like me, than you strive to maintain a clean desktop. Most of the time, that doesn’t work out. It’s like a “in” box for you; where you dump your files.

While I can’t help you if you have a stockpile of useless things, I can help you make them invisible. You will have to remember to dump your useless things into one folder.

I suggest you use this folder as your downloads, in box, and more. It will become a folder that can be messy, but nobody knows about it. You can even put some things you don’t want people to see in it.

Now, to do it. Please read them over before you try it.

  1. Create a folder on your desktop. It doesn’t matter what it is called, as we will be renaming it.
  2. Right click it, and select the Rename option in the list.
  3. Type the invisible text. A space bar will not do, as the computer will reject it so here is the secret: a special invisible character. To type this special character, hold down the Alt key and using your number pad (not the row at the top), type 255.
  4. Release the Alt key now.
  5. An invisible character has appeared, much like a Space, but not one either. It is a special character that isn’t a character at the same time.
  6. Press the “Enter” key and click somewhere else. As you can see, the folder now appears to not have a name. The icon is still there, though. Let’s get rid of it.
  7. Right click the folder again, then go to Properties. Click on the Customization tab. Now at the bottom, there is a “Change Icon…” button. Click on that.
  8. In the “Look for Icons in this File” address box, verify that the following is entered (it should by default): %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll. If it isn’t, then enter it at this time.
  9. In the 13th column, 2nd row (for Vista systems), there should be what seems like an empty icon, as well as two others below it. For XP users (and anyone who cannot locate the icon) just look for a blank icon.
  10. Select it, hit OK, hit OK again. You are done!

imageThis folder can store files and other folders, and it behaves as a regular folder. You can even see it in Explorer, hence it’s usefulness not to hide a file, but to give you a clean desktop.

Keep in mind that deleting this folder is a hassle; the computer will not be able to delete it. There is a way, however, that will take approximately 5 minutes.

Now, to delete your folder:

  1. Make sure nothing is in it, and you have moved everything in it.
  2. Get DelinvFile and download it (the first like to download the executable).
  3. Run the file and install it following the prompts.
  4. Open the application when it is done installing.
  5. Navigate through the prompts on the left to your desktop.
  6. Click on the “Delete Folder” in the tabs at the bottom. Press OK when the confirmation prompt opens.
  7. You should see a folder named “0A00~1” or something else quirky. Click on it, and then press “Delete Folder Via Short Name”.
  8. Your folder has been deleted.

imageThat’s it. Simple and elegant as you can see in the photo to the right. It’s there, you can drag things into it, and it’s perfectly a folder… but it’s not there at the same time…

Is it there, or not?

Check out the next installment in the series of Sleekify, your guide to beautifying your computer.

Coming soon: Simple Bookmark Bar, Quick Search (Tip), and more!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Backbuffer permalink
    December 29, 2008 12:20 pm

    No need to download anything to delete it. Just open a command line, try to change to your desktop directory, then type:

    rmdir ” ”

    Well, I believe you know already what you should type inside the quotes… 😉

  2. December 29, 2008 1:20 pm

    @Backbuffer (1): Yeah, that works too, but DelinvFile is more safe to use and a lot of people don’t like using the Command Prompt. DelinvFile deletes it in the same way, only with a graphical interface.

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