If you like to keep your Windows desktop neat and tidy, you may not want the HomeGroup networking icon to be shown on your Windows 8 desktop.

It isn't a simple case of highlighting it and deleting it, however. There are various ways to remove it, one of which is to use the Personalisation options in the Control Panel.

Here's how to get rid of the HomeGroup icon on your PC or laptop.

Step 1: From the Windows 8 Start Screen, search for 'Show or hide common icons on the desktop'. Alternatively, right-click on the desktop in the bottom-left corner to show the small menu which includes Control Panel. From there, click Appearance and Personalisation, then Personalisation. Finally, click Change desktop icons on the left.

Remove HomeGroup icon

Step 2: Even if the box next to Network is unticked, click it to enable it, then disable it again. (If it's ticked to start with, untick it).

Remove HomeGroup icon 2

Step 3: Click OK and you should find the HomeGroup icon has gone from the desktop.

There seems to be a bug where the HomeGroup icon can reappear at random. It's simple enough to run through this quick process when that happens, but hopefully a future Windows update will fix this problem.

See also: How to shut down Windows 8 with your computer's power button