It is a common practice to have installers place shortcuts by default on the desktop, but most installers allow you to disable this by unchecking the appropriate checkbox. There are also installers (like Adobe Creative Cloud updates) that don't have an option to not place a shortcut on the desktop. I really hate desktop shortcuts but I still want to use my desktop for temporary files, quick management, etc. Is there any way I can automatically hide shortcuts (*.lnk files) on my desktop?

  • There's an option to hide all desktop icons somewhere. – Huey Apr 25 '15 at 6:57
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    I can't imagine there's a solution that doesn't present more problems than it fixes. If you run installers under a different usercode then the shortcuts will be on the desktop of that user so you won't see them (unless it's creates the shortcut for all users). However, installing programs as a user other than you will give you lots of hassle. I would turn the question around and ask you why manually deleting the occasional shortcut is such a hardship? – Graham Gold Apr 25 '15 at 8:18
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    @dylanweber: If all you want to do is hide the files (which is not at all what the question title implies), just create a scheduled task that regularly runs a batch file that hides Desktop\*.lnk – Karan Apr 25 '15 at 21:01
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    Thanks for this question, Dylan. These unwanted icons that we have to delete after every update are the ultimate display of disrespect by software developers such as Adobe, Google et al. Have you ever found a good, easy, reliable solution? – Ralf Feb 26 '18 at 7:04
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    @Ralf I have not but I assume it could be done with a script and a schedule but I only have experience in Linux and macOS so I decided to just live with it. – dylanweber Feb 27 '18 at 4:50

First, make a copy of your desktop (e.g. DesktopCopy folder containing the shortcuts you want on the desktop) and put it in the documents folder (or another user defined folder).

Secondly, create a batch file which will copy (and overwrite!) your desktop with the files from the DesktopCopy folder). You can use the mirror function of robocopy deleting files not present in the source directory.

Then, with the task scheduler create a task (CopyDesktopContents), which starts at windows start up or logging in and which runs the batch.

If you want to add your own shortcuts on your desktop, just do so and again copy the contents of your desktop to the DesktopCopy folder, so that next time you (or another user) starts up the computer or logs in, the new copy will be used by the batch file.

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    Reasonably neat solution but it still requires maintenance - if you install something you want a shortcut for, and you forget to update the DesktopCopy folder, you will wipe the new shortcut(s). Perhaps the script should compare first, notify of differences and give you a choice of whether to update the baseline with each new shortcut or remove it from the desktop. – Graham Gold Apr 25 '15 at 15:44
  • This doesn't allow me to still have a usable desktop while also completely avoiding the details of the question. I'm only concerned about shortcuts. – dylanweber Apr 25 '15 at 19:34
  • If deleting (or hiding) .lnk foles from you rdesktop, just schedule a task deleting those files, triggered from startup and repeated every 1 or 2 minutes. – Andre Timmermans Apr 25 '15 at 20:24

I have an easy way to do it.

Go to your File Explorer (ctr + e) and right-click the desktop folder. Next, click on properties and go to security tab, then click on edit and change the permission to deny for the users.


Then click apply and okay. NOW YOU'RE READY!

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    That also makes it hard to use the desktop for shortcuts, folders and files that you actually want to use it for. – Ralf Feb 26 '18 at 7:02

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