Desktop.ini: What is it For and Why Not Delete This File

Our computer is full of all kinds of files that we need to use at any given time. Likewise, it has others that are specific to the system configuration and that are hidden to prevent the user from manipulating, modifying or deleting by mistake and causing certain problems in Windows. Despite being files that are not visible to the naked eye, there are ways to show them, so on some occasion we may have come across the annoying desktop.ini file, which can be quite annoying if it is mixed with our personal files.

What Are Desktop.ini Files

The desktop.ini files are hidden files that were created by the system for the purpose of storing information about the settings of the File Explorer folders in Windows 10. These types of files are not associated to be opened with an application nor are they associated with a particular program, although it can be opened with Notepad.

Desktop.ini:  Why Not Delete This File

These files can be present, not only on the Desktop (as their name indicates) but we can also find them in other folders. These small files have some settings that are related to the configuration of the folder in which they are located. Here, we can find specifications such as the icon that shows the folder, the background color or other series of parameters such as the locations of the system files.

Ver archivo desktop.ini

How to view desktop.ini files and other hidden files

If we want to see the desktop.ini files, we must enable the option to show hidden files in Windows. To do this we must open any folder from the File Explorer and click on the “View” tab. Next, on the right side of the toolbar, we must check the “Hidden elements” box so that they can be shown in this way.

Activar elementos ocultos

Once the desktop.ini file appears on the Desktop or in any of the folders that contain it, we can open it and check its contents with Notepad. We can also change the content, but it is something that we must be careful about and do not change anything that we are not sure about.

Abrir archivo desktop.ini con Bloc de notas

What happens if a desktop.ini file is deleted

If for whatever reason we decide that we are going to delete a desktop.ini file from a specific folder, we should know that this will cause all the customization and configuration options that we had added in that folder to be restored . Therefore, if we want to leave the folder as it is, we must re-customize it, which will cause the file to regenerate automatically. In addition, its removal can cause problems when opening Windows Explorer or generating thumbnails in folders.

Therefore, the most natural thing is not to have the need to delete them, since if we do not want to visualize it we have the opportunity to hide them and they will no longer disturb our visibility.

How to hide the desktop.ini file

The desktop.ini file is a file that is hidden in our system, so, in general, we should not see them unless we have activated the option to view hidden files. If this is the case, we just have to deactivate this option so that they disappear from our vision.

For this we will only have to open a folder from the File Explorer and click on the “View” tab. Now we just have to uncheck the box “Hidden elements” located on the right side. Simply with this simple action we will stop viewing both this file and any other hidden file or folder without having to delete it.

How to delete desktop.ini files and prevent them from regenerating

As we have previously commented, deleting a desktop.ini file has no real utility. Therefore, if we want to stop seeing it, just hide it. If, despite this, you decide that you want to delete it, it will be as simple as selecting it and pressing the “Delete” key . Of course, you must bear in mind that once we restart the computer, the file will be generated again, so to definitively erase it, we must change it in the Windows registry.

Modify the Windows registry

If we want to delete the files and stop them from regenerating, we must do so by modifying the Windows registry, at our own risk and expense. To do this we must press the keyboard shortcut Windows + R and the execution box will appear. Here we will write “regedit” and press enter.

Windows ejecutar regedit

Once we have entered the registry, we must access the following address: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer. Here we must find the UseDesktopIniCache value of type DWORD and double click on it to set the value to 0 .

Crear archivo UseDesktopIniCache

In the event that the value does not exist we can create it. To do this, right-click on the browser key and select “New”. Next, we choose the DWORD Value (32 or 64 bit) and name it as UseDesktopIniCache, setting the value as 0 by default.