The case of multiple Desktop folders in Windows
August 10, 2012 Leave a comment
This issue has appeared since Windows 2000 and – it seems – has never been fixed. There are knowledgebase articles from Microsoft – let alone many questions about this on the Internet – and yet no actual fix from Microsoft.
Recently a friend had something strange happen to his Windows Vista laptop [note: it has also been noticed in Windows 2000 and Windows XP] where if you drill down from My Computer to the C:\Users\username folder to the Desktop folder, there will be another Desktop folder under that and another under that one and so on. On top of that, all of the files that were originally in C:\Users\username\Desktop are now located in the last Desktop folder.
Some in forums said that the computer was hit with malware and yet none is found. Others suggest never to create a folder on the desktop called Desktop or in a toolbar called Desktop either.
To correct the problem, open Regedit. Navigate to: [HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders] and edit the path for Desktop removing the excessive Desktop folders. The default value should be %USERPROFILE%\Desktop.
Once done, using Windows Explorer, go to that long path with all the Desktop folders and move your desktop icons back to C:\Users\username\Desktop. Then in Windows Explorer, delete all the Desktop folders [except at C:\Users\username\Desktop of course!]. Reboot or logoff.
Note: Some blogger sites say it is part of malware but no anti-malware sites I’ve seen have yet to confirm this.