I have been doing a lot of work on my desktop recently, but since I like a nice clean desktop I have deleted all the files after I am done with them. Since I like to have my desktop icons sorted from A-Z, and there is now space, I sort them from A-Z. After doing this, without fail (as well as on my second PC), the deleted file has reappeared.

The file is 0 bytes in size and can be moved around, but any other attempt to interact with it results in an error message saying the file is no longer located there. How can I remove this icon, and how can I prevent this from happening?

The files seem to disappear off the desktop after 30-45 min as well.

I am running the latest version of windows as well as the newest drivers.

  • What's it called? [I have a bet laid for desktop.ini, but I'm prepared for it not to be… ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 21, 2020 at 16:04
  • @Tetsujin They were three different files. One a "New Folder" folder, another a zipped folder called "Oculus_Logs..." and the final one was an executable (can't remember the extension) named "rename".
    – K00lman
    Aug 21, 2020 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


It's probably not the desktop.ini because that is larger than 0 bytes.

You may open an elevated command prompt, and run cd "%Userprofile%\desktop" and then del filename.ext or omit ext if it doesn't have any extension. Use rd /s "\\?\C:\users\%username%\Desktop\foldername " if it is a folder. And also try to hide it using attrib +h filename.ext and make sure you have unchecked view hidden files/folders in Folder options.

  • 1
    Unchecking and rechecking the view hidden folders option fixed it.
    – K00lman
    Aug 21, 2020 at 16:38

You can open Command Prompt and delete the file that way.

  • Open Command Prompt by right-clicking your start menu and clicking Run.
  • Type cmd and press enter
  • Navigate to your desktop folder by typing cd Desktop and pressing enter
  • Delete the file you want by typing the del command followed by a space than then the file's full name and extension.

For example if my file was named "notes.txt" I would type del notes.txtand then I would press enter.

Verify that the file was deleted by either refreshing the desktop or sorting the desktop icons.

  • What about the public Desktop that gets merged with your own? As in (usually) C:\Users\Public\Desktop. Aug 21, 2020 at 16:27
  • Entering the command resulted in an error saying there was no such file, and after refreshing the desktop nothing changed.
    – K00lman
    Aug 21, 2020 at 16:28
  • In that case I would go with the recommendation by @SeñorCMasMas to check your public Desktop folder as well. Navigate there with cd C:\Users\Public\Desktop and use the same del commands. You can also use the dir command to see if the files are listed in the folder.
    – iskyfire
    Aug 21, 2020 at 16:31

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