Many Windows users are still not aware that their Windows desktop contents may be dramatically reducing system performance. And the solution is fairly easy to implement.
When the computer starts up, many files are loaded into the system memory (RAM) in order for the CPU to have rapid access to them while performing all of its' tasks. If the available memory gets too full of these automatically loaded files, then the CPU will have less memory space available to perform the millions of operations it is asked to do. The end result is system slowdown, and possibly an increase in the number of hard disk accesses forced upon the CPU because there is not enough memory available to operate efficiently. In extreme situations, the system may literally lock up and appear to "freeze" as CPU usage time hits 100%.
Any folders or files stored on the Windows desktop are automatically loaded into memory when the system starts up. So, if you keep your desktop clear of especially large folders or files, like music, photos and videos, then you will be freeing up more memory for the CPU to operate and your system will appear to run faster.
Desktop icons are files that take up very little space in memory. So you should move all your folders and files off the desktop and place them into their own path on the hard drive, frequently under the Documents folder. Then you can create shortcut icons on the desktop that point back to any of these files or folders you want to have fast access to from your desktop. If you follow this practice, you will go a long way to improving the performance of your system.
To create a Desktop Shortcut, in Windows Explorer, right click on the file or folder you want to make a shortcut to, then click on Send To and then Desktop to place the shortcut icon on the Desktop.