What is the Desktop.ini file under Windows & how can I use it to customize folders?

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If you have already configured folder settings on your Windows PC and enabled hidden file visibility, you may have noticed the desktop.ini file located on your desktop and in each folder. What is this desktop.ini file under Windows 10/8/7? Is it a virus? If so, how can I delete it? If not, what is it for? This article explains all your basic questions about the desktop.ini file. We will also see how to customize folders using a desktop.ini file.

What is the desktop.ini file and what is its purpose

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A Desktop.ini file is a Windows operating system hidden configuration file that is located in each folder and determines how the folder is displayed with its other properties – like the icon used for that folder, the located name, share properties, and so on.

Under Windows, you can easily configure how each file/folder to which a normal user has access is shared, how it can be shared, and other settings that control how these file/folder permissions are assigned. All this information about the presentation of this folder is stored in the desktop.ini file, which is the default initialization file format.

If you change the configuration and layout settings of a folder, these changes are automatically saved in the desktop.ini file of that folder. This is a hidden file, which means that you must hide the protected files from the operating system in the options of the file explorer .

Is desktop.ini a virus

This hidden file of the desktop.ini operating system is not a virus. This is a native system file that is saved and created at the folder level once you have customized the background, icon, thumbnail, etc. However, there is a history of the Trojan virus associated with this name. If a desktop.in file is visible even if you have enabled options to hide system files, it may be malware. Therefore, you can always scan your computer with your antivirus program.

Can I delete the desktop.ini file?

Well, you can, but then your folder display settings will be reset to the default settings. This is the case – if you change the folder icon or thumbnail, sharing properties, etc., all this information is automatically saved in the desktop.ini file. What would happen if you deleted this file from this folder? You guessed it right! Your configured changes are lost and the folder settings are replaced with the system-wide default settings.

Once you delete it, it will automatically regenerate the next time you adjust your folder settings. Now this automatic generation process cannot be disabled because it is an operating system level defined process. However, you can hide it from the big picture so that it does not bother you with its presence.

Customizing the folder with the desktop.ini file

Customizing a folder with the desktop.ini file is not a geek business. Simply create/update the desktop.ini file in this folder to update the display and appearance settings. Here are some remarkable things you can do by playing the desktop.ini file:

  • Assign a custom icon or thumbnail to the parent folder
  • Create a tip that provides information about the folder when you move the mouse pointer over the folder
  • Customizing folder access

Follow these steps to change the style of a folder using the desktop.ini file.

1 Select any folder you want to customize with desktop.ini. Make sure you have backed up your el files so it can be restored in case something goes wrong.

2 Run the following command to make the selected folder a system folder. This sets a read-only bit on the underlying folder and enables a special behavioral feature for the desktop.ini file.

attributes +s folder name

3. create an.ini file for this folder. Do it hidden and mark it as system file so that it prevents normal users from accessing it. You can do this by activating the Read-only – and Hidden– flags in the properties window of the desktop.ini file.

Note : The Desktop.ini file you create must be in Unicode file format so that localized strings stored as content are readable by the intended users.

4 Here is my example of the desktop.ini file created for a folder called FileInfo, as shown in the images.

[.ShellClassInfo] ConfirmFileOp=0 IconFile=ms.ico IconIndex=0 InfoTip=0 InfoTip=Microsoft Wallpapers

Let us now look at what all the contents of the desktop.ini file mean:

      • [. ShellClassInfo] – It sets the system property that you can use to customize the underlying folder by assigning values to various attributes that can be defined in a desktop.ini file.
      • ConfirmFileOp – Set this setting to 0 and you will not receive a warning You delete a system folder while you delete/move the desktop.ini file.
      • IconFile – If you want to specify a custom icon for your folder, you can specify the icon file name here. Be sure to check the absolute path of the file. Specify the full path if the file is not in the same location. In addition, the.ico file is preferred for defining custom symbols, although it is possible to specify.bmp and.dll files that contain symbols, but this is a story for another day.
      • IconIndex – If you set a custom icon for the underlying folder, you must also set this entry. Set it to 0 if there is only one icon file in the file specified for the IconFile attribute.
      • InfoTip – This special attribute is used to define a text string that can be used as a file information tip. If you define this entry on a text string and then move the cursor to the folder, the text string saved in the desktop.ini file is displayed there.

See action below –

Let us know if you have any other doubts about the desktop.ini file in Windows 10.

Want to know more about other processes, files, file types or formats in Windows? Check these links :

Windows.edb files | Thumbs.db files | DLL and OCX files | NFO and DIZ files | Swapfile.sys, Hiberfil.sys & Pagefile. sys | Index.dat file | Desktop.ini file | S | WinSxSxS | RuntimeBroker.exe | StorDiag.exe | nvxync.exe | nvxync.exe |||| Hosts.Hosts file.

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