Apart from my desktop folder view, I want to see hidden files and protected system files in every other folder on my computer - is there any way to remove thumbs.db and desktop.ini in particular from my desktop ONLY, while still leaving similar files visible in other folders?

I know I can delete the .ini files without too much trouble, but thumbs.db will keep coming back every time I move an image file onto my desktop, right? Please tell me there's some sort of super secret "don't show files matching this regex" in the registry somewhere.

Note - "there's no way to do that" is a viable (though regrettable) answer too - I've been searching around a bit and other people have asked the same question, with about as much luck as I've been having.

1 Answer 1


Since the option for showing hidden folders/files is a global setting in Windows Explorer, I'm afraid that we can't do that (I say "we" because I would like to get rid of the two "desktop.ini" files of the Desktop).

Also, I don't think that this is going to change in a while, since it's a feature that will be useful only for a minor part of users (since almost all "regular" users have hidden files, well, hidden, and for better), and it's not trivial to implement it.

From Minus 100 points (this talks about .NET but is applicable to Windows development as other MS bloggers have noted):

So, we decided on the additive approach instead, and worked hard to keep the complexity down. One way to do that is through the concept of “minus 100 points”. Every feature starts out in the hole by 100 points, which means that it has to have a significant net positive effect on the overall package for it to make it into the language. Some features are okay features for a language to have, they just aren't quite good enough to make it into the language.

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