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?


Chances are those icons are located in


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

  • 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
  • 1
    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




Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.