How to Get Rid of Desktop.ini

May 27, 2020
Est. Reading: 1 minute

Desktop.ini is a Windows XP system file that stores information about customized folders. If you have customized the display of a folder in any way, such as changing its icon or manner of display, Windows has saved those settings in a desktop.ini file.

I use Windows XP, and I see a file called Desktop.ini in a lot of my folders. What is that? How can I get rid of it?

Since Desktop.ini is a Windows system file, you are probably seeing it because you have set Explorer to display hidden/system files. By reversing this setting, you can get rid of Desktop.ini.

  1. In any Windows Explorer window, click Tools → Folder Options…
  2. Click on the View tab.
  3. Check off the radio button next to “Do not show hidden files and folders”.
  4. Put a check in the box next to “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)”.
  5. Click OK.

Once you have made these changes, Desktop.ini should be out of sight and out of mind. Here is a screen shot of the same folder from Figure 1. It’s still customized, but Desktop.ini is nowhere to be seen.

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