Have you ever wondered why you see two desktop.ini files on your Windows desktop? I had a customer ask me this question yesterday and I thought I would share the answer for those of you who always wondered but never “Binged” why.


These files are hidden system files and by default. This means that they are hidden from your view unless you turn on “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”. This is done from the control panel and highlighted in the above photo in red. 

Also, as you probably remember, you can not have two files located in the same directory with the same name. So what give here? The files are not in the same directory. They are located in two folders. One is located in the “C:\Users\<User Name>\Desktop” folder, and the other one is located in the “C:\Users\Public\Desktop” folder. They are merged by the desktop UI

So, that is why you have two desktop.ini files on your Desktop.

For more information about the desktop.ini file what they are used for and how to use them to customize your system – check out these two articles on MSDN. Take special note of the second one – you can set a folder to launch an executable when clicked! I bet virus writers notice that one already.


How to Customize Folders with Desktop.ini

How to Implement Custom Verbs for Folders through Desktop.ini