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My new Acer Aspire One netbook came pre-installed with Windows 7 Starter and lots of other promotional software.

Some of them (like Norton and McAfee) I uninstalled immediately. Others (like the Barnes & Notble Desktop Reader and the Times Reader) I would like to keep until I see whether they can be useful).

Regardless, I would like to remove their desktop icons (making them accessible through the Start menu only), in such a way that when I add another user account, these desktop icons will not appear on that user's desktop.

But when I checked my desktop folder C:\Users\an00b\Desktop I noticed that it's empty!

So my desktop's folder is empty, but the icons are still visible on the Desktop. How is this possible? Where are they stored in Windows 7?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Chances are those icons are located in


which is the set of icons that every user on that machine will be able to see.

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Thanks. That's what I thought too (I think this used to be the case in Windows XP), but when I checked C:\Users\Public I didn't find any Desktop folder there. – an00b Jun 23 '11 at 23:54
Thanks++. I just checked again by typing the path you suggested manually and sure enough all these icons are there! It turns out that the Desktop folder is hidden. – an00b Jun 23 '11 at 23:55
Will accept in 7 minutes. – an00b Jun 23 '11 at 23:55
On my machine it shows up as "C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop\" but this is due to the folder having a .ini that makes it show the name differently, the actual folder is "C:\Users\Public\Desktop\" – Mokubai Jun 23 '11 at 23:56

They can be in either



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