Vista – Desktop.ini Files Shown on the Desktop

Q: I have enabled the Show hidden files and folders setting in the Folder Options. Now, the two Desktop.ini icons are now showing on the desktop. I know that one comes from the C:\Users\Public\Desktop, the other comes from the current users Desktop folder. How do I hide them whilst still keeping other hidden files and folder visible?

A: The two desktop.ini files by default have the System, Hidden and Read-only attributes assigned. So they should not be showing on the Desktop unless the following option is disabled in Folder Options:

Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)

When I faced this problem in my own computer running Windows Vista, the option Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) was already enabled. Later I found that the ShowSuperHidden value was not present in the registry, but its corresponding GUI option Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) is enabled though. This sounds like a bug to me.


I then got this working by opening Folder Options (by typing CONTROL FOLDERS in Start – Search box), unchecked Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) and clicked Apply. Then re-checked the option and clicked Apply, OK.

The two desktop.ini files are no longer visible on the Desktop.

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  1. EepĀ²
    said this on Sunday, July 14th 2013 9:14 am

    Doesn’t work in Win7 (not sure what the other Win7 users are smoking). As soon as I click “OK” the desktop.ini icons reappear on the desktop (but not after clicking “Apply”, oddly). Stupid Microslop can’t even code buttons properly…

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