Desktop.ini Documentation

Desktop.ini is a standard text file that can be added to any Microsoft Windows folder to customize certain aspects of the folder's behaviour.
Occasionally DESKTOP.INI is used by other programs for their own settings.

Desktop.ini Syntax


  CLSID = CLSID value   for creating system and special folders
  CLSID2 = CLSID value   makes desktop.ini invisible to Explorer and the DOS dir, even after setting attrib -s -h
  UICLSID = CLSID value   makes the entire folder (and branch?) invisible to Explorer and to the DOS dir
  ConfirmFileOp = 0   no warning when doing file operations on a read-only or system folder
  NoSharing = 1   prevents the folder from being shared (pre-XP)
  Sharing = 1   the folder is shared (XP)
  IconFile = path   specifies an icon for the folder (ico, bmp, exe, dll, icl), eg.: c:\test.ico
  IconIndex = number   specifies the index for an icon (0=first icon), if negative it's a resource ID
  IconResource = path, number   specifies an icon for the folder, see IconFile and IconIndex (Vista)
  InfoTip = text   text string or string ID in a resource module, eg.: @shell32.dll,-12689
  HTMLInfoTipFile = file://Comment.htt   HyperText file containing InfoTip string (pre-XP)
  URL =   for opening the folder as a web page (pre-XP)
  Logo = file://C:\WINDOWS\clouds.bmp   small logo when you open the folder as a web page
  WideLogo = file://C:\WINDOWS\clouds.bmp   large logo
  LocalizedResourceName = @shell32.dll,-21765   specifies a resource module and the string ID to use as the folder name
  BuyURL = SamplePictures   link which opens when you click Buy Pictures in 'Sample Pictures' folder
  MusicBuyUrl = url   link which opens when you click Buy Music in 'Shared Music' folder
  RunWizard = 1   used when Windows creates a Briefcase folder
  DefaultToFS = 0   (?) used in some History folders
  FolderType = string (see NOTE 1)   DEFAULT Folder Type if Show Common Tasks in Folders is selected
  DefaultDropEffect = number (see NOTE 2)   default action when you 'Drag and Drop' files in the folder
  EmptyText = ?   (Vista)

   NOTE 1:
   FolderType = Documents

     This works only if the Folder Type is not already placed in the registry. Place a Desktop.ini file with the FolderType entry in a
     folder. In Explorer, choose Tools, Folder Options and click the View tab, click the button labeled Reset All Folders

   NOTE 2:
   DefaultDropEffect = 1 - Copy
2 - Move
4 - Create a shortcut


  Default = {5984FFE0-28D4-11CF-AE66-08002B2E1262}   default view
  {BE098140-A513-11D0-A3A4-00C04FD706EC} = {BE098140-A513-11D0-A3A4-00C04FD706EC}   folder settings
  {8BEBB290-52D0-11d0-B7F4-00C04FD706EC} = {8BEBB290-52D0-11d0-B7F4-00C04FD706EC}   thumbnail view
  {5984FFE0-28D4-11CF-AE66-08002B2E1262} = {5984FFE0-28D4-11CF-AE66-08002B2E1262}   web view


  PersistMoniker = file://template.htt   HyperText Template
  WebViewTemplate.NT5 = ImgView.htt
  PersistMonikerPreview = \web\imgview.htt


  Attributes = 1
  IconArea_Image = C:\WINDOWS\clouds.bmp   background picture
  IconArea_Text = 0x00000000   text color
  IconArea_TextBackground = 0x00000000   background text color


  MenuName = T&humbnails
  ToolTipText = T&humbnails
  HelpText = Displays items using thumbnail view   status bar message
  Attributes = 0x60000000


  CDFURL =   website
  ScreenSaverURL = file://test.htm   URL of HTML page to display as screen saver
  Logo = file://C:\WINDOWS\web\chang_sl.gif   small logo
  WideLogo = file://C:\WINDOWS\web\chang_wl.gif   large logo
  Icon = file://C:\WINDOWS\web\chang.ico


  Windows-catalogus.lnk = @%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-22075   maps filenames to string values


  Disable = 1   disables EFS encryption for the specified folder


   If you copy the desktop.ini to another location this section will not appear in the copied desktop.ini

  Owner = %username%   if 'Owner' has a different name than the user's, the folder is labeled with a different user's logon name
  Personalized = 5
  PersonalizedName = My Documents   means that without the desktop.ini file, the 'My Documents' folder would be called Documents


   same as [DeleteOnCopy] on non-English, non-Western systems (?)


   same as [DeleteOnCopy] on non-English, non-Western systems (?)


  Mode = ?   
  Vid = CLSID key (see Note 3)   
  FolderType = see under ShellClassInfo   
  Logo = see under ShellClassInfo   

   NOTE 3:
   CLSID Key Description Mode
   {0057D0E0-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}    Icons 1
   {0E1FA5E0-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}    List 3
   {137E7700-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}    Details 4
   {8BEBB290-52D0-11D0-B7F4-00C04FD706EC}    Thumbnail 5
   {65F125E5-7BE1-4810-BA9D-D271C8432CE3}    Tiles 6
   {8EEFA624-D1E9-445B-94B7-74FBCE2EA11A}    Filmstrip 7


  Prop2 = 31,Title   adds metadata to folders (Vista)
  Prop3 = 31,Subject   
  Prop4 = 31,Author   
  Prop5 = 31,Keywords(Tags)   
  Prop6 = 31,Comment   

Desktop.ini Tips

  • If a folder does NOT have a desktop.ini file, do the following:
          Right click in an empty area of the folder
          Click Properties
          Click Customize tab
          Click Change Icon button
          Select the normal folder icon
          Click Apply, OK
          Now there is a DESKTOP.INI file
          Delete the icon information and it's ready to use.
  • It's better NOT to delete DESKTOP.INI files because the display settings of the folder will be restored to default.
  • If you're know what you're doing:
    To delete DESKTOP.INI files in the CMD or DOS prompt:
    attrib desktop.ini -h -s
    del desktop.ini
  • When you do not want DESKTOP.INI files to be shown on the desktop or anywhere in Windows,
    go to the Folder Options window of Windows Explorer.
    In the Advanced settings section of the View tab,
    check "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)".
    Click OK.
  • DESKTOP.INI files in folders like 'Google Drive', 'Microsoft Office' or folders ready for CD burning, are normal.
    These are special folders. When a folder is created by Windows, it has no DESKTOP.INI
    Only when the default view is changed, a DESKTOP.INI is created.
  • .DS_Store files in Mac OS X are similar to Windows DESKTOP.INI files.
  • To manually edit DESKTOP.INI in a folder (foldername) do the following:
          Navigate to the folder before foldername
          type: attrib -s -h foldername
          type: cd foldername
          Update the DESKTOP.INI file with Notepad
          type: attrib +s +h desktop.ini
          type: cd..
          type: attrib +r foldername