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desktop.ini suddenly appears on my desktop

    Question

  • After performing a Windows backup (Windows 7 Ultimate), the desktop.ini file suddenly appears on my desktop.
    I have been deleting it each time it comes up, as I cannot see any purpose for any .ini file, and since it was not there before, why should it be there now?
    I like my desktop clean, so having this file show up irks me.

    FW
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:10 PM

Answers

  • I like my desktop clean, so having this file show up irks me.

    FW

    This is a required system file.  If you delete it then it will be automatically recreated after restart or logout/login.

    This file is set to 'Hidden'.  If you do not wish to see it on Desktop then please alter settings in Folder Options to not display 'Hidden files and folders' and to 'Hide protected operating system files'.  It is best practice to only enable viewing hidden files and folders when need exists to work with them:

    * Enable viewing for duration of relevent task
    * Disable viewing again for continuance of normal operations.


    Cheers
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:21 PM
  • It is caused if we unchecked the option "Hide protected operating system files" in Folder Options.

     

    It is a system file which will be recreated automatically. So just feel free to leave it there.

    Sunday, November 01, 2009 3:46 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I like my desktop clean, so having this file show up irks me.

    FW

    This is a required system file.  If you delete it then it will be automatically recreated after restart or logout/login.

    This file is set to 'Hidden'.  If you do not wish to see it on Desktop then please alter settings in Folder Options to not display 'Hidden files and folders' and to 'Hide protected operating system files'.  It is best practice to only enable viewing hidden files and folders when need exists to work with them:

    * Enable viewing for duration of relevent task
    * Disable viewing again for continuance of normal operations.


    Cheers
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:21 PM
  • Hi
    Its probably there because you have show hidden files enabled or hide hidden protected system files disabled in folder view. If you disable show hidden files then it should disappear from the desktop view but it is still there of course but not visable.
    malc 
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 8:21 PM
  • OK. I was of the impression that versions of Windows later than 2K didn't use .ini files anymore.

    FW
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 11:23 PM
  • It is caused if we unchecked the option "Hide protected operating system files" in Folder Options.

     

    It is a system file which will be recreated automatically. So just feel free to leave it there.

    Sunday, November 01, 2009 3:46 AM
    Moderator
  • It is caused if we unchecked the option "Hide protected operating system files" in Folder Options.

     


    My previous answer has been edited to correct the information provided.  Thank you for clarifying :)
    Sunday, November 01, 2009 4:47 AM
  • I like my desktop clean, so having this file show up irks me.

    FW


    This is a required system file.  If you delete it then it will be automatically recreated after restart or logout/login.

    This file is set to 'Hidden'.  If you do not wish to see it on Desktop then please alter settings in Folder Options to not display 'Hidden files and folders' and to 'Hide protected operating system files'.  It is best practice to only enable viewing hidden files and folders when need exists to work with them:

    * Enable viewing for duration of relevent task
    * Disable viewing again for continuance of normal operations.


    Cheers

    Hi,

    I'm struggiling with the same issue on Windows 8. I've been running windows 8 for some time now and since the day one I had disable hiding of hidden files as well as disabled hiding of system files and I had never seen desktop.ini on my desktop. As per documentation - it's only used when you customize your folder view, which I didn't do nor don't want to do. 

    I've even tried option with "UseDesktopIniCache" in the registry which seems to work for the rest of the folders (I have hand-made customization to 3 directories with destkop.ini created by hand and applied nececery file attributes) but I don't want it on my desktop! (no, hiding it is not a solution).

    Bottomline - why, in mentioned conditions, it keeps showing up on my desktop? no customization, no nothing.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 9:15 AM
  • Simple: click the "hide" box only in Desktop folder

    (In Windows Classic view) 

    Go to Windows Explorer; click on Desktop. Go to Tools/Folder Options. Click View, and check "Hide protected operating system files" - but, DO NOT CLICK "APPLY TO ALL FOLDERS". Just click OK.

    Now, only the Desktop folder will hide the files but they will still show up in all other folders.

    • Proposed as answer by Dr Gerry Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:14 PM
    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:13 PM
  • Look hide nutters we know how to hide blumen a file. we unhide the hidden files so we can see what what files are eating what and what files are getting duplicated. The Problem is  decktop.ini started off in one folder and is now duplicating its self all over the place, places we never seen it before. We want to know why and how to stop it before we end up with 200 duplicated decktop.ini file clogging up our systems!
    Monday, May 05, 2014 6:28 AM
  • Then go to the start menu. type in desktop.ini into the search panel click the first and the last while holding down shift > right click select delete and they're all deleted only to be recreated next time you reboot. They're system files and are normally hidden by default. 
    Saturday, June 28, 2014 12:44 AM
  • the other day my new laptop froze up and wouldn't let me do anything other than scroll the page up and down=no clicking, or tapping. I restarted it.  when it finally turned back on (5 min or so) i had two desktop.ini files on my desktop  they are grayed out, and they were not there before.  I have NOT click un-hide ANYTHING as I have no need to view these file types.  no one else uses my laptop.  I did not make any changes to my laptop recently.  I double checked and the file types are already hidden.  I need to know what caused it to show up and what I'm supposed to do.  I tried to move them, and the popup window made me concerned that I would mess something up.  Anyone have any real answers?
    Wednesday, October 08, 2014 1:28 AM
  • I believe you are right to be concerned, as those files may be malicious. I performed a brand new installation of Windows 8.1 today. There are two unique desktop.ini files on my Desktop now. One of them is 282 bytes in size. It contains 3 lines of readable information in plain text; whereas the second file is 174 bytes and holds 2 lines of code.

    I have run both files through VirusTotal's analysis. There are quite a few people who are, like us, suspicious of the file, and have used VirusTotal's 50+ malware scanners to check their desktop.ini files. It is interesting that, although the majority of people who scanned their files consider desktop.ini to be dangerous, VirusTotal pronounced all of them "Probably harmless! There are strong indicators suggesting that this file is safe to use." I do not agree with that conclusion, and here is my logic.

    First, VirusTotal could not identify the file type for either desktop.ini file. That is strange, since the .INI file type has been around since at least Windows 3.1, and should be a well-known file type to all the scanners, and to VirusTotal.

    Second, after you run your file through the VirusTotal scanner, if you select the tab, "Additional Information," and find the section called "File Names," you'll see a list of--yup, file names. Those names are the alternate names for your file. In other words, your file had all those names when it was found by other people on THEIR computers and brought to VirusTotal to be scanned.

    When I ran the VirusTotal scan on my two files, I discovered that the 282-byte desktop.ini file has been called not only 'desktop.ini' on other computers, but also 'desktop.exe,' 'desktop.ini1,' 'dosya2.exe,' 'DESKTOP.INI,' 'file-3007464_ini,' 'infected,' 'desktop2.vicente.ini,' 'shell-hack.ini,' and 'desktoprogue2.ini.' Microsoft would not call the same file by so many names. Nor would it name a file 'infected' or 'desktop-rogue2.ini' (hyphen added for clarity). Notably, VirusTotal showed that the smaller desktop.ini file has been known by about as many different names as the larger file, but its names are even stranger.

    On my system, the first desktop.ini arrived on the Desktop when Windows prepared my Desktop for the first time. The second desktop.ini, which is larger of the two files, has the same creation time as the shortcut for my anti-virus program. Thus far, then, they seem to be legitimate. The file details of the larger, shortcut file appear to be accurate. However, there is something wrong with the smaller desktop.ini file.

    When I right-click on the file names and examine the 'Details' tab, I see that the 174-byte file was 'Modified' and 'Accessed' one minute and 37 seconds BEFORE the file was even created.

    A manual scan of both desktop.ini files by a very highly-rated anti-virus/Internet security software program did not set off any alarms...but that doesn't mean much considering that when I scanned the second file, the software complained that it had just scanned that file less than one minute ago. In other words, the anti-virus program thought the two were the same file, apparently going on name alone, and not noticing the files are different in size. THAT was an interesting revelation...

    My next step will be to try to remove both desktop.ini files while in Safe Mode, and allow Windows to recreate the one it needs. Hopefully that will resolve the issue. If not, I will use a couple of SysInternals utilities to see what, if anything, these files are really up to.

    tbearmama, I commend you not only for your sharp eye in catching this puzzling issue, but for not giving up on trying to find an answer in the face of well-meaning people who responded to you with a textbook solution. Your persistence make me take a closer look at why there were two desktop.ini files on my Desktop, and I am glad I did.

    Thursday, October 09, 2014 8:09 AM
  • I hope you are trying to troll here and aren't being serious about your comment Nutro Bion.

    "There are quite a few people who are, like us, suspicious of the file"
    Many conspiracy theorists.

    "First, VirusTotal could not identify the file type for either desktop.ini file. That is strange, since the .INI file type has been around since at least Windows 3.1, and should be a well-known file type to all the scanners, and to VirusTotal."
    VirusTotal doesn't determine the file type based on an extension. After all, I can take a PNG image, rename it to a .ini file and it'd still be a PNG image, regardless of extension. The reason VirusTotal cannot determine it is because it's plain text, there is no type information encoded in the file.

    "I discovered that the 282-byte desktop.ini file has been called not only 'desktop.ini' on other computers, but also 'desktop.exe,' 'desktop.ini1,' 'dosya2.exe,' 'DESKTOP.INI,' 'file-3007464_ini,' 'infected,' 'desktop2.vicente.ini,' 'shell-hack.ini,' and 'desktoprogue2.ini.'"
    Again, if I rename the desktop.ini file to "some-weird-name.exe" and upload it to VirusTotal, it'll see that it's the same file (same content). After doing that VirusTotal will list that as an alternative name to that file. Most likely somebody trying to pull off a prank, or making copies as backup, and then later submitting them to VirusTotal.

    "When I right-click on the file names and examine the 'Details' tab, I see that the 174-byte file was 'Modified' and 'Accessed' one minute and 37 seconds BEFORE the file was even created."
    The lengths you go to be suspicious, anyways, try copying any file and observe the modified and created dates. It is common for this to happen with freshly copied files.

    "A manual scan of both desktop.ini files by a very highly-rated anti-virus/Internet security software program did not set off any alarms...but that doesn't mean much considering that when I scanned the second file, the software complained that it had just scanned that file less than one minute ago. In other words, the anti-virus program thought the two were the same file, apparently going on name alone, and not noticing the files are different in size. THAT was an interesting revelation..."
    Whatever very highly-rated anti-virus/internet security software program might that be. There's no point in scanning it with a scanner that's already on the VirusTotal list.

    "tbearmama, I commend you not only for your sharp eye in catching this puzzling issue, but for not giving up on trying to find an answer in the face of well-meaning people who responded to you with a textbook solution. Your persistence make me take a closer look at why there were two desktop.ini files on my Desktop, and I am glad I did."

    The puzzling issue of Windows Explorer creating tiny desktop.ini files to remember some user preferences. Especially considering this file is explained in many places, very detailed. A good starting point would be the official Microsoft documentation for it, and the comments http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/cc144102(v=vs.85).aspx.

    I probably shouldn't be responding to these trolls anyways. But don't go scaring people with this stuff.


    Saturday, October 25, 2014 10:53 PM
  • Thanks. It worked perfectly. 
    Monday, July 06, 2015 4:41 PM