What is the Desktop.ini file in Windows

Some users may see the Desktop.ini file on the Desktop, in other system folders on a computer in the Windows operating system. The Desktop.ini file contains some settings that apply to the display settings and properties of folders, shortcuts in folders.

The Windows operating system has various settings that affect the display of the interface of OS elements that are saved in special configuration system files that are hidden from users. Such system files are used by the operating system for its own needs.

Desktop.ini – what is this file on a PC

Desktop.ini is a configuration file in the operating system that contains settings for the appearance of Windows folders. The content of the Desktop.ini settings file affects how the folder will be displayed in the OS, what properties it has.

The settings in the Desktop.ini file are in several sections enclosed in square brackets. The terms of the parameter have a similar form: “Parameter name”, “equals”, “Value”.

The contents of the Desktop.ini file store various system folder settings:

  • Display or change the folder icon.
  • Open or close a shared folder.
  • Controls the display names of files in the current directory.
  • Thumbnail representation of folder contents.
  • Icon text color.
  • Background color.
  • Background picture.
  • Folder name in local OS language.

By default, the Desktop.ini initialization file contains information about saved settings. If you change the settings, the settings will be automatically saved in the Desktop.ini file located in this folder.

For security purposes, including from incorrect user actions, with default settings, protected system files in the Windows operating system are hidden. There is a separate option in the folder options that is responsible for opening or hiding protected system files.

In this article you will find instructions on how to hide or see the Desktop.ini file in the Windows operating system, whether this system file can be deleted from the computer.

How to open Desktop.ini file

To see the Desktop.ini file in system folders, you must set your computer to show hidden files and folders. To do this, in the Windows operating system, you need to enter the folder options properties.

On Windows 10, this can be done as follows (this is just one of the possible ways):

  1. In the Explorer window, click the View tab.
  2. On the menu ribbon, click on Options.
  3. In the Folder Options window, click the View tab.
  4. In the “Advanced Options” option, you must first activate the “Show hidden files, folders and drives” item, and then uncheck the box next to the “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)” option.
  5. In the “Warning” window, agree to the changes, click on the “Yes” button.
  6. In the folder options window, click the OK button.
  7. Desktop.ini files will appear on the Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows Desktop There is one initialization file in the system folders of the computer, and two Desktop.ini files on the Desktop.

Is the Desktop.ini file a virus?

Of course, the Desktop.ini system file is not a virus. During the Windows XP operating system, the functionality of the Desktop.ini file was greatly reduced due to the fact that viruses exploited HTML vulnerabilities. HTML support in the Desktop.ini file has since been deprecated.

Hide protected system files on your computer so that you can take Desktop.ini from your desktop or another folder on your computer. If the system file is still displayed, check your PC for viruses using an antivirus program.

How to remove Desktop.ini in Windows

In a normal situation, it is recommended to hide the Desktop.ini file so that it does not appear on the computer screen.

Do the following:

  1. Launch Windows Control Panel .
  2. In the “Small Icons” view option, select “Explorer Options”.
  3. In the Explorer Options window, click the View tab.
  4. In the advanced settings, check the box next to “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)”, activate the option “Do not show hidden files, folders and drives.”
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

After that, the Desktop.ini files will disappear from the desktop and other folders. The files will not be visible to the user, remaining in the locations.

Desktop.ini file can be deleted from Windows

If you delete the Desktop.ini file, nothing fatal will happen to the Windows operating system. Perhaps the names of the folders “Desktop”, “Downloads”, etc. will disappear. System folders will be called: “Desktop”, “Downloads”, etc.

There is no reasonable reason to remove the Desktop.ini file from Windows. The best option: hiding the visibility of system folders on the PC.

If you simply delete the Desktop.ini file from your computer, the next time you start Windows, you will see the Desktop.ini reappear on your computer.

You can disable the creation of the Desktop.ini file in the registry editor, although I do not recommend doing this:

  1. Launch Registry Editor .
  2. Follow the path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  1. Right-click on free space in the Registry Editor.
  2. In the context menu that opens, select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  3. Name the setting “UseDesktopCache”.
  4. Do not change the value of the parameter equal to “0”.
  5. Exit Registry Editor.

To return the default settings, remove the previously created “UseDesktopCache” parameter from the registry.

Article Conclusions

The Windows operating system has hidden protected Desktop.ini files that contain configuration settings for folder parameters: appearance, color, properties, etc. By default, system files are not visible to PC users to prevent erroneous actions, because these files necessary for the operation of the system.

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