Desktop.ini what is it? Every folder on your PC has a desktop.ini ﬁle that contains the folder’s display settings, including its icon and the ‘info tip’ text that pops up when you hover your mouse over it. Like Thumbs.db ﬁles, desktop.ini ﬁles are created automatically (and repeatedly) by Windows. They’re always hidden by default, so you’ll need to un-hide them before you can discover how much space they’re taking up. After you un-hide your system ﬁles you’ll see two desktop.ini ﬁles on your Desktop. Th is is because your PC has two Desktop folders– one for the administrator (normally stored at C:\Users\YourName\Desktop) and one in Users\Public.
We found no fewer than 401 desktop.ini ﬁles on our PC–nearly 12 times as many as Thumbs.db ﬁles. On the upside, they’re not as big. Our biggest desktop.ini ﬁle was 3MB, and most were a few kilobytes. The Mac equivalent of desktop.ini is DS_Store. You may see these ﬁles popping up in Explorer if you’ve ever connected an iPad or iPhone to your PC.
Can you delete it? Yes, but Windows will replace it automatically with a new desktop.ini ﬁle, and the folder’s settings will return to default. Remember every folder has a desktop.ini ﬁle, so if these ﬁ les are taking up too much space on your PC, the answer is to reduce your folder tally.
Remove it for good If you really want to remove all instances of desktop.ini, try this Registry hack: Type regedit into Start, click ‘regedit.exe’, then click Yes to open the Registry Editor, and go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE rootkey. Now follow the folder path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. Right-click the Explorer folder, click New and click DWORD to create a new value. Call it Use Desktop Ini Cache and set its value to ‘0’.