A very common question on this topic is if desktop.ini is a virus or not? First of all, the desktop ini file is created automatically inside every folder. This is a hidden file. So if you choose not to show hidden files in your system settings, it won't show up. ( Another file similar to desktop ini is thumbs.db file)
Just like thumbs.db, desktop.ini files are created automatically inside your computer. These files are hidden by default. To see desktop.ini files, you need to enable “show hidden files” option under Folder options. It's natural to feel uncomfortable when you see the desktop.ini everywhere inside the computer. Even if you try to remove the file, it gets recreated once you close and re-open the folder.
What is desktop.ini?
Desktop.ini file carries information regarding a folder’s display settings. For e.g. information regarding the icon, the pop-up information that gets displayed when the mouse is moved over a file. It is even possible to edit the desktop.ini file and customize an individual folder. You can find desktop ini files in every folder inside your computer. The only way to reduce the number of these files is to reduce the number of folders inside your computer.
Usually, two desktop.ini files are created. One for the administrator account and the other for the local user account.
A quick check on my computer and there are over 627 desktop ini files on my computer. These files are usually small and don’t take much space. But at times, you can see a couple of files which is around 5 MB because the folder may have too many files and it needs to carry a lot of information.
So you may ignore it knowing that it is a harmless file. But if you think it is a nuisance and needs to be removed for saving precious hard disk space, try the steps below.
How to remove desktop.ini file?
There are free tools which can help in removing these files. But try the simple deletion using the command prompt.
- Press Windows Key + R for Run window, type cmd for opening command prompt
- del /s /ah desktop.ini
This command will quickly remove thumbs.db files from your computer.
How to prevent desktop.ini file from getting recreated?
Try the steps below to prevent the desktop.ini file from getting recreated
- Press Windows Key + R for Run window, type regedit. This will open the registry editor
- On the left side, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer
- Right click on Explorer folder, click New, click DWORD
- Rename the new DWORD to UseDesktopIniCache
- Double click and set the value to 0
Use the comment section for any queries or feedback.