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Is there any solution to prevent copying of files onto the desktop?

My folks and i currently have one super-common-comp in our place. And when all of the laptops are busy, we tend to do some quick surfing on this comp. I prefer to keep things freakishly organized in this comp and one thing i hate is having those off-shoot irritating forwarded downloads on my desktop. Is there some way to restrict files from being copied onto the desktop?

I tried making the administrator user's desktop folder as read-only :P . That doesn't solve the problem. Any other ideas/software/solutions?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Spiff's answer of separate accounts is perhaps better, but you can prevent saving to the desktop.

Go to the Security tab* in the Desktop folder's property sheet. (under XP, right-clicking the Desktop that's the Explorer root doesn't work but you can navigate to eg. C:\Documents and Settings\whoever\Desktop)

Click Advanced. Add a new entry for Everyone and check "Create files / write data" and "Create folders / Append Data", both in the Deny column. Click OK and Yes I'm Sure etc.

You might have to do this for the Desktop folder under "All Users" as well as the user in question.

Subsequently all attempts to save / write files to the desktop will give "Access is denied". This might cause a problem for installers which want to put a shortcut on the desktop (but it's usually an option).

* not available in XP Home Edition but there are workarounds.

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Create a separate account for yourself, and lock the screen or log out of it when done. Enable fast user switching so other people can log in even if you left yourself logged in with the screen locked.

We call them personal computers for a reason. If it's not truly personal, at least have a personal account that you can set up the way you like, without messing with anyone else.

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Appreciate the advice Spiff, but sometimes we want what we just want. I think of it as channelized personalization :). – Kaushik Gopal Apr 6 '10 at 10:32
Fair enough. But is it what your folks want too? :-) I'd be pissed if someone I shared a computer with did something like this to an account we all used. – Spiff Apr 6 '10 at 14:57

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