How to Remove desktop.ini File From Your Computer

One of the most common things that Windows users find on their desktop is the desktop.ini file. You will not see this file every day on your desktop. But occasionally, the desktop.ini file shows up. Mainly, if you have recently edited File Explorer’s settings in your PC (Personal Computer) or laptop, there are more chances of discovering the desktop.ini file on your desktop.

Some questions that you may have on your mind:

  • Why do you see this on your desktop?
  • Is it an essential file?
  • Can you get rid of this file?
  • Can you try deleting it?

Read the complete article to know more about the desktop.ini file and how to delete it.

How to Remove desktop.ini File From Your Computer

More About Desktop.ini

The desktop.ini is a file seen on the desktop of most Windows users. It is usually a hidden file. You will see the desktop.ini file on your desktop when you change the layout or settings of a file folder. It controls how Windows displays your files and folders. It is a file that stores information about the folder arrangements in Windows. You can find such types of files in any folder on your computer. But mostly, you are likely to notice the desktop.ini file if it appears on your desktop.

If you view the properties of the desktop.ini file, it shows the type of file as “Configuration settings (ini).” You can open the file using the notepad.

If you try to view the contents of the desktop.ini file, you will see something similar to this (Refer to the image below).

Is the desktop.ini file harmful?

No, it is one of the configuration files of your PC or laptop. It is not a virus or a harmful file. Your computer automatically creates the desktop.ini file, so you need not worry about it. However, there are a few viruses that can use the desktop.ini file. You can run an antivirus check on it to check if it has been infected or not.

To scan the desktop.ini file for viruses,

1. Right-click the desktop.ini file.

2. Choose the Scan for viruses option.

3. In some computers, the menu displays the scan option as Scan with ESET Internet Security (I use ESET Internet Security. If you use any other antivirus program, Windows replaces the option with the program’s name).

If the virus scan does not show any threat, your file is completely safe from virus attacks.

Also Read: 6 Ways To Create A Computer Virus (Using Notepad)

Why do you see the desktop.ini file?

Generally, Windows keeps the desktop.ini file hidden along with the other system files. If you can see the desktop.ini file, you might have set the options to show hidden files and folders. However, you can change the options if you do not want to see them anymore.

Can you stop the automatic generation of the file?

No, Windows automatically creates the file whenever you make changes to a folder. You cannot turn off the automatic creation of the desktop.ini file on your computer. Even if you delete the file, it will reappear when you make changes to a folder. Still, there are some ways how you can fix this. Continue reading to know more.

How to Hide the desktop.ini file

I do not recommend deleting a system file (though deleting it would cause no errors); you may hide the desktop.ini file from your desktop.

To hide the configuration file,

1. Open Search.

2. Type File Explorer Options and open it.

3. Navigate to the View tab.

4. Choose the Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives option.

You have now hidden the desktop.ini file. Hidden system files, including the desktop.ini file, won’t show up now.

You can also hide the desktop.ini file from File Explorer.

1. Open the File Explorer.

2. From the menu of the File Explorer, navigate to the View menu.

3. In the Show/hide panel, make sure the Hidden options checkbox is not checked.

4. If you see a tick mark in the above-said checkbox, click on it to uncheck.

You have now configured the File Explorer not to show hidden files and have consequently hidden the desktop.ini file.

Can you delete the file?

If you do not want the desktop.ini file to appear on your system, you can just delete it. Deleting the file does not cause any damage to the system. If you have edited your folder settings (appearance, view, etc.), you may lose the customizations. For example, if you have changed the folder’s appearance and then deleted it, its appearance changes back to its older look. However, you can change the settings again. After you edit the settings, the desktop.ini file reappears.

To delete the configuration file:

  1. Make a right-click on the desktop.ini file.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Click OK if prompted for confirmation.

You can also,

  1. Select the file using the mouse or your keyboard.
  2. Press the Delete key from your keyboard.
  3. Press the Enter key if prompted for confirmation.

To permanently delete the desktop.ini file:

  1. Select the desktop.ini file.
  2. Press Shift + Delete keys on your keyboard.

By following the above ways, you can delete the desktop.ini file.

Here’s how you can delete the file using command prompt:

To delete the file using command prompt (desktop.ini):

  1. Open the Run command (Type “Run” in search or Press Win + R).
  2. Type cmd and click OK.
  3. You can type or paste the given command in the Command Prompt window: del/s/ah desktop.ini

Ceasing Automatic Generation of the file

After you have deleted the file successfully, to prevent it from reappearing, follow the steps given.

1. Open the Run command (Type “Run” in search or Press Winkey + R).

2. Type Regedit and click OK.

3. You can also search Registry Editor and open the application.

4. Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE from the left panel of the editor.

5. Now, expand SOFTWARE.

6. Expand Microsoft. Then expand Windows.

7. Expand CurrentVersion and select Policies.

8. Choose Explorer.

9. Right-click on the same and choose New < DWORD Value.

10. Rename the value as DesktopIniCache.

11. Double-click the Value.

12. Set the value as Zero (0).

13. Click OK.

14. Now exit the Registry Editor application.

Your desktop.ini files are now prevented from recreating themselves.

Removing the Desktop.ini Virus

If your antivirus software diagnoses the desktop.ini file as a virus or a threat, you must get rid of it. To remove the file,

1. Boot your PC in Safe Mode.

2. Delete the file (desktop.ini).

3. Open the Registry Editor and delete infected entries on the register

4. Restart your PC or laptop.


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We hope this guide was helpful and you were able to remove the desktop.ini file from your computer. Still, if you have any doubts then feel free to ask them in the comment section.