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I often find people I'm helping have a bazillion unused shortcuts (icons) on their Windows Desktop. There isn't a good simple software program (that works on Windows Vista, 7, 8) that will do this automatically (moving shortcuts not used in X days to some desktop folder).

I know this feature was removed from Windows with Win Vista. Is there any other way to do it automatically?

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Not sure about Windows 8 (don't have it on-hand right now), but Windows 7 has something similar to the desktop cleanup back in it (Vista didn't); it's now part of the System Maintenance.

By Default System Maintenance is run every Sunday at 1AM (scheduled in the Task Scheduler, under Library -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Diagnosis), and should clean up any desktop icons that haven't been used in 3 months.

enter image description here

You can manually run the System Maintenance by going to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting\System and Security\Run Maintenance Tasks (you could also just search for "Troubleshooting" to find it quickly).

More info here, here and here.

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Hmmm... I tried that but it didn't work. Windows 7 said "probelm not present" but then it lists 2 shorcuts unused in last 3 months. These are the results There are icons on the desktop that haven't been used in 3 months. Unused desktop shortcuts List of shortcuts that have not been recently accessed for 3 months. Shortcut name: c:\users\clay\desktop\smart photo editor.lnk c:\users\clay\desktop\syncback.exe.lnk – Clay Nichols Feb 21 '13 at 20:54
You tried what, exactly? If you ran the Wizard manually, did you try it "As administrator"? Also, did you ensure "Apply Repairs Automatically" is selected under "Advanced"? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 21 '13 at 20:58
yes I am an administrator and I checked "Apply...automatically". This is Win 7/32bit. I tried it again. It still hasn't removed shortcuts that I haven't clicked in over a year. Have you had it actually work for you? (This wouldn't be the first Windows feature that simply doesn't work). – Clay Nichols Mar 6 '13 at 0:01

A couple tools come to mind. The first, which I use on many of my PCs is Fences, which looks terrific and makes organization nuts like myself happy.

For your case, I would also give CleanDesktop a try. It's portable with a very small footprint. I'm not sure if you can run it on a schedule automatically, though.

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CleanDesktop crashes with unknown error when I run it on my Win 7 PC. – Clay Nichols Mar 6 '13 at 0:03
To clarify: On Win 7 Pro: the error with CleanDesktop is : when you actually choose "clean to folder" I get an Unhanded exception. I'm running it as administrator. Also, there's no option to sort by last-accessed date do you have to choose each shortcut, that's really not a solution non techies (my users) can use. – Clay Nichols Mar 12 '13 at 0:44

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