Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I like to keep my desktop clean. I have a single icon one my desktop: the recycle bin. Any other icon that shows up on the desktop quickly will end up in the recycle bin.

When you install sensible programs, they'll have a checkbox asking if you want an icon on the desktop, initially unchecked.

But the majority of programs that I have installed have been irritatingly presumptuous and think they should have an esteemed spot on the desktop.

I'm sick of having to deal with this madness. How can I set up some sort of automatic process that detects desktop trespassers and clobbers them into oblivion when they are found?

(I'm using Windows 7, by the way, if that matters)

share|improve this question
I have the same sentiments. I am particularly irritated by the applications that think they are important enough to install 4 or 5 desktop icons without permission, such as Quicken. – xpda Dec 7 '11 at 19:54
up vote 3 down vote accepted

How about right clicking the desktop and unchecking Show Desktop Icons?

Since that wasn't accepted, creating a scheduled task to delete all files on the desktop to run every so often. Run DEL %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\*.* /F /S /Q for the task

Finally what you can try is setting your desktop folder and the hidden Public Desktop folder to read access only for Administrators and your user

share|improve this answer
Then the recycle bin is invisible, too. Besides, this only treats the symptom, not the underlying problem. – Peter Olson Dec 7 '11 at 15:58
Ok how bout making the desktop folder read only for admins and you? Both your personal desktop and te Public desktop? – Canadian Luke Dec 7 '11 at 16:07
@Luke - Couldn't that cause the installation to fail? – SaintWacko Dec 7 '11 at 16:37
@SaintWacko If an installation would fail because it can't write a shortcut, then we're all in a world of hate. That's the best I can think of, short of a scheduled task to delete all .lnk and .url files on the desktop – Canadian Luke Dec 7 '11 at 17:46
@Luke - Alright, I wasn't sure. Just wanted to point out a possible problem. – SaintWacko Dec 7 '11 at 17:48

How about a Scheduled Task?

You could run a scheduled task every few minutes that did

del %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\*.*

(system folders such as recycle are not in the Desktop folder so this won't cause problems with these)

You could even enable auditing on the Desktop folder, then trigger the task based on an event. Enable auditing on your Desktop folder (add files) for Everyone, then create a file on the desktop.

Check the security eventlog to see what event ID was generated, then use this in the Triggers tab of the Scheduled Task

share|improve this answer
I mentioned the Scheduled Task :( – Canadian Luke Dec 8 '11 at 0:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .