Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disable the Automatic Desktop Cleanup in Windows XP

Windows XP includes the Desktop Cleanup Wizard, which keeps track of your usage of the icons on your desktop and periodically offers to remove the icons you have not recently used. Some of the icons are on the desktop because you created them to provide a shortcut method of opening a program or document. Some icons may be on the desktop because a software installation program placed them there.

The Desktop Cleanup Wizard runs every 60 days. It checks the last accessed date of the desktop shortcuts and displays a list of all the icons, with a check mark next to the name of each icon that has not been used in 60 days. You can deselect any icon you want to keep on the desktop, and the Wizard removes the selected icons.

The icons are not deleted, they are moved to a folder and you can put them back on the desktop if you want. The folder that is automatically created the first time the Wizard removes icons is C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Desktop\Unused Desktop Shortcuts.

Disable the Automatic Desktop Cleanup Feature. To stop the wizard from automatically running every 60 days:

1. Right-click a blank spot on the desktop, and then click Properties to open the Display Properties dialog box.
2. Click the Desktop tab.
3. Click Customize desktop to open the Desktop Items dialog box.
4. Click to clear the Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days check box.
5. Click OK twice to close the dialog boxes.

To run the Wizard manually, click Clean Desktop Now on the Desktop Items dialog box. You can perform a manual cleanup at any time, even if you have not disabled the wizard.


  1. But its one of the Optimization tip. Say if we forget to run manually atleast it will ask after 60 days and cleans up desktop which makes the system load fast. Isn't right?

  2. yes, I do agree with your comment if you install different softwares and create different short cut icons on desktop which you may have to delete manually otherwise. However if you dont install softwares and create shortcut icons more often then it is better to disable the desktop cleanup.

  3. at times the desktop clean up wizard is very annoying

  4. Desktop cleanup tool is very helpful and guys this option will not delete the unused shortcut keys but it will create a folder on the desktop and will store all the unwanted or unused icons there.


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