Usually anytime you install new software, you're presented with the option to "create a desktop icon" during installation. As you add more programs your desktop can become cluttered and covered with icons, which make finding the icon you need a little harder, and it covers up that perfect picture of Myrtle Beach you combed Google for for two hours to use as wallpaper (ok maybe that's just me).
A good way to cut down on icons is to use the QuickLaunch option on your taskbar. With QuickLaunch you can choose the programs you use most often, and create shortcuts on your taskbar instead of your desktop.
Let's say the first thing you do when you sit down at your machine is open Internet Explorer. Instead of clicking your desktop icon, or clicking START then finding Internet Explorer in your programs list, we're going to move Internet Explorer to the taskbar as a QuickLaunch button.
First, right click on your taskbar. This will bring up a menu. Make sure that there is not a checkmark next to "LOCK THE TASKBAR".
Next, click and drag your Internet Explorer icon onto the taskbar. You should now see the IE icon next to your start button. From now on you can launch IE by clicking the QuickLaunch button on your taskbar. Creating QuickLaunch buttons for your favorite programs eliminates the need for a desktop icon,and allows faster access to your most often used programs.