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Settings Reset in Windows 10 Reinforces Desktop.ini Trick

As part of the most recent “Patch Tuesday,” MS pushed Cumulative Update KB3124263 out to all Current Branch users for Windows 10. As sometimes happens, this caused some settings in the runtime environment to be reset. Perforce, this meant reaching out to restore such tweaks as I find useful or necessary and in so doing, I was reminded of a tip I wanted to add to this blog a while back, but forgot to document.

The only way this shows up on the Windows desktop is if you tell File Explorer to show hidden files.

While I like to see hidden items in the Windows file system in the vast majority of instances — especially as they pertain to system files and other normally obscured aspects of the OS — I don’t like my desktop cluttered up with irrelevant icons, either. Selecting the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option in the File Explorer Options widget in Control Panel applies that policy everywhere, which means the display shown above here (with two instances of “desktop.ini” on my personal desktop) is what happens when that selection is made.

But for those who’d like to tidy those items away, including me, there’s a quick and simple trick to hide them from view. In File Explorer, navigate to the Desktop (I simply select the Desktop entry in the left-hand pane beneath the “This PC” entry), then click the View tab at the upper left. If you simply uncheck the “Hidden items” checkbox in the “Show/hide” area of the ribbon UI at the top, desktop.ini will no longer appear on the desktop.

I’d also wondered for some time why I kept seeing two instances of desktop.ini appear. Checking the Details tab data after right-clicking the icons, then selecting Properties, I learned that one of those items belongs to the current logged-in user account, while the other comes from the Public folder that applies to all user accounts. Using this technique happily hides both of those entries.