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How to remove desktop.ini file from your Computer

troubleshoot remove desktop.ini file

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.

  1. Press Windows Key + R for Run window,
  2. type cmd for opening command prompt
  3. 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

  1. Press Windows Key + R for Run window, type Regedit. This will open the registry editor
  2. On the left side, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer
  3. Right-click on Explorer folder, click New, click DWORD
    registry settings for removing desktop.ini
  4. Rename the new DWORD to UseDesktopIniCache
    create dword registry remove desktop.ini file-registry-settings
  5. Double click and set the value to 0
    registry new dword value remove desktop.ini file

Use the comment section for any queries or feedback.

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{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Majid October 21, 2018, 4:37 pm

    how to remove desktop.ini file from external hard drive

    • Anup Raman October 21, 2018, 11:40 pm

      change the drive letter to the external drive in the command prompt.

      For e.g, the default drive letter in the command prompt is C:
      If E is the drive letter for the external drive, type E:
      Hit Enter
      Then use the command del /s /ah desktop.ini

  • jk July 14, 2018, 3:04 am

    Great useful advise to delete those files

  • Lina June 9, 2018, 5:55 am

    thank you so much. im so relieved they are gone for good

  • John May 1, 2018, 11:44 pm

    Thanks Mate.

    It work for me.


  • James March 25, 2018, 8:20 am

    > del /s /ah desktop.ini

    > This command will quickly remove thumbs.db files from your computer.

    Copy paste error there. Should be removes desktop.ini files from your computer.

  • Abusalma Fahad February 20, 2018, 8:05 am

    Thanks very much. it worked. keep the good work

  • Shantanu December 17, 2017, 6:55 am

    very helpful man!thanx a lot!

  • Aem Rivera September 1, 2017, 4:04 am

    Thanks a lot!

  • Faridiel August 18, 2017, 2:26 pm

    Thanks buddy! Clear!

  • Dessa Mae Martinez August 2, 2017, 2:38 am

    Thanks a lot!
    It actually works perfectly!
    Very brief and precise instructions with visual supports.
    Keep it up!
    Two thumbs up!

  • Bjarne Bak June 18, 2017, 8:28 pm

    Seen this trick earlier on and have used it several times. It actually works … for a while, but since M$ is doing so many updates on Win10 the effect only last until next update. That’s what I have experienced anyway. But I have a question for you. You write ‘Rename the new DWORD to DesktopIniCache’, but your screen shot shows differently. Which is it?

    • Anup Raman June 19, 2017, 4:23 am

      My sincere apologies for making the mistake. A big thanks for pointing it out, considering how an incorrect entry in registry can make the computer crash or behave abnormally.

      I have corrected the entry as “UseDesktopIniCache”. Thanks again.

      • Bjarne Bak June 20, 2017, 2:11 pm

        Hi Anup
        Thanx for a swift reply. Thumbs up.

  • vivek January 30, 2017, 3:32 pm

    does this work for windows 10 64 bit also

  • Terry Havard II December 12, 2016, 5:33 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gilbert November 27, 2016, 11:01 am

    Great job!!!! Removed the .ini thingie that was such a menace….. ? kudos!!!

  • Eunice May 16, 2016, 6:48 pm

    Very helpful! Thank you so much!

  • Charlie Gee March 10, 2016, 10:24 am

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge it has worked a treat. Good luck to you.

  • Rizwanahamed C A March 7, 2016, 1:15 pm

    Thanks.. It is very helpful. Thanks again.

  • reza December 15, 2015, 8:43 am

    it is really effective………..

  • Aravinda December 5, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing the knowledge. It was very useful and worked well. Wish you all success in IT.

  • jorge morales October 2, 2015, 2:43 pm

    it was awesome!…my pc reborn. tkns.

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