Clear Off Your Desktop – Windows Users

Now this is something I didn’t know:

Many people choose to save files on their desktop because they are easily accessible. However, what they may not know is that there are certain risks associated with this practice – the biggest one being that you increase the chances of losing your files.

Source: Lockergnome

Yikes! I keep *a lot* of stuff on my desktop (in folders). That’s all been moved as soon as I read that article. I’ve had to do a few system restores over the years and I never noticed anything missing, but why take chances.


  • Create a folder in My Documents (call it Desktop or whatever)
  • Create a Shortcut of that folder and drop it on your desktop
  • Store all the things in that shortcut folder rather than on the desktop itself. That way everything’s tucked away in My Documents, yet still easy access from the Desktop


I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

4 thoughts to “Clear Off Your Desktop – Windows Users”

  1. I’m the worst for saving everything onto my desktop. Once it fills up the whole screen, I then decide to put them in another folder (like my documents)… but I really do have to think up a better system. I like the one you listed…. and I’m off to give that a try.

    It would definitely help in me trying to get everything organized so I can find it πŸ˜›

  2. Hi Terry,

    This post of yours intrigued me, since I’m probably worse than both you and Empress put together πŸ˜‰ So, I decided to ask my hubby (resident computer guru, this is what he does for a living – and friends who have computer problems!) about this in a panic. Here’s the gist of what he said in response to the Lockernome quote:

    “BS, saving to the desktop is just like saying anywhere else except that if your user gets corrupted you can’t get access to your desktop. However, if you log on as administrator then you can get access to other users’ desktops and copy the files out of there.”

    He also went on to say while it wouldn’t affect the safety of the files, an overloaded desktop WILL slow down your computer. However, that’s more in terms of actually installing a program to the desktop rather than a bunch of shortcuts. Another quote:

    “The desktop refreshs 100s of times a minute. When it refreshes it looks at every file on the desktop. It takes a nano second to look at a 1k shortcut but much longer to look at a 10 meg file.”

    Anyway, not sure if that will ease your distress like it did mine, but I hope it does πŸ™‚ I trust the hubby, he’s restored (and managed to save) tons of files including school reports, pictures and other important stuff on co-workers and friends computers that were on the desktop – since like us, that’s where most people store things.

    Feel free to email me if you have any questions πŸ™‚

    Tara πŸ™‚

    p.s. please forgive any typos in the quotes, this convo was held on IM. πŸ˜‰

  3. Wow thanks for that info Tara!

    I’m still a bit concerned about potential file loss during System Restore, but other than that I found things a lot less crampy feeling when I had my desktop cleared off. It’s still an adjustment, but I like seeing a clean desktop. And your hubby’s right – I do notice a speed difference when my desktop’s cleared. I didn’t have just shortcuts, but megs and megs of various files held in folders.

    I am the administrator for our home network. So if my files get corrupted. Then what? lol

    Also, the article was from Lockergnome!!! Does your hubby know that Lockergnome is never, ever BS!!! πŸ˜›


    Thanks for popping in with that wealth of info, much appreciated!

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