Windows 7 forum


Duplicate desktop shortcuts and icons

by janicetroy / June 3, 2012 5:54 AM PDT

I was pinning some shortcuts to the task bar and removing these shortcuts from the desktop. Somehow I ended up with duplicate shortcuts and icons for each one that was originally on the computer desktop (even those I was not moving). These duplicates are not useable - they cannot be right clicked; they do not highlight when hovered over.
I am running Windows 7 on a Dell Vostro 1720 laptop.

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All Answers

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Re: duplicate destkop icons
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 3, 2012 6:20 AM PDT

In My Computer or Windows Explorer, go to c:\users\<your user name>\desktop folder. Rightclick in the right pane and choose view>detail. Do you see two of each? Can you delete the duplicate?

If it looks good there, try a reboot. Might help.


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re: duplicate desktop icons
by janicetroy / June 3, 2012 6:30 AM PDT

I had previously tried to reboot several times without success.
When I go to c:\users\<your user name>\desktop folder, I see only one shortcut listed of the 5 that I have, in addition to the my documents folder and a text file that I have saved on my desktop. All the duplicate "shortcuts" are on the desktop (actually, they are icons for shortcuts, the recycle bin, my documents folder - all icons on the desktop that I can see but can't click on at all).

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Re: cions
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 3, 2012 6:51 AM PDT

There are more in the c:\users\public\desktop. Not I expect a success of having a look there, but it's worth a try.

Also some of the standard icons are defined elsewhere. Right click on an empty part of the desktop, choose "Personal preferences" (last option), then choose "Change desktop icons" (both texts are rough translations from my Dutch version) in the left column, then click "Restore standard settings"-button. Might help.


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re: duplicate desktop icons
by janicetroy / June 3, 2012 10:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: cions

There is not a desktop folder within the public no shortcuts either.
I did what you suggested regarding restoring the standard desktop icon settings. Nothing happened. It looked like that was only meant to change the icon image if wanted.

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re: icons
by janicetroy / June 3, 2012 10:06 PM PDT

I found the public folder by clicking the box within "appearance and personalization" to show hidden files and folders. That folder does contain a desktop folder which contains the shortcuts/icons that are on my desktop that can be clicked. I still have this whole set of other icons that are just "there" on the desktop and cannot be clicked/opened. Weird!

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Weird indeed.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 3, 2012 10:15 PM PDT
In reply to: re: icons

If you make a new Windows account (just for testing initially) do they appear there twice also? I don't expect so, as a desktop is a user thing, not a global thing. So one thing you can consider is swithching to a new Windows account totally.

And I think it's somehow defined in the registry. So if you can do system restore to back before this happened (a few days ago?) it might be solved. Worth a try, maybe.


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got it figured out
by janicetroy / June 4, 2012 12:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Weird indeed.

Oh wow! I just figured it out. In the "Appearances and Themes", you can switch backgrounds for your desktop. Somehow - I have no idea how - a theme/image was created and used as the desktop background. The background was essentially a snapshot of the screen. Once I selected a new theme all was normal. Have no idea how this happened, but very easily fixed Happy Thanks!

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 4, 2012 1:47 AM PDT
In reply to: got it figured out

I remember some years ago a colleague of mine did a cheap trick on another person.

He took a screen print of the Desktop then used that as a wallpaper whilst hiding a few of the other guys icons.

The victim was not impressed when he found out.


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