Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What should the Desktop contain?

  1. #1

    What should the Desktop contain?


    I'm battling an issue with Photoshop Elements 11, that I think may be related to the way I have Windows 8.1 installed, and seems to have surfaced since the Windows 8.1 Update 1, I installed on April 9, along with some other updates.

    My question here is what should be on the Desktop Icons you see in Windows Explorer, and should they match what you see on the real Desktop. If I go into Windows Explorer and click on the Desktop near the top with the monitor like icon. I get this:

    Click image for larger version

    Then if I go down and click on the Desktop that looks like a file folder I get this:

    Click image for larger version

    My issue is that the content of neither of these matches the real Desktop. What I have on my Desktop is what is in the first screen shot above but without the top 6 items. The second screen shot is a sub set of what is really there. The strange part is that the monitor icon Desktop seems to point to the folder in the second screen shot????

    This all seems crazy to me. Does this make sense? Is there a guide somewhere that shows how these folder locations are really supposed to be?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    What ever you want on it. It is up to the end user what they want for shortcuts on their Metro Start screen, or on the desktop.

    I always keep all of mine clean. Just pin the items I want users to only use, on the Taskbar.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    There is a desktop folder in your user profile, C:\users\ your user name\Desktop. That folder contains the shortcuts you added to your desktop. This PC\Desktop I believe. Only you see these short cuts on your desktop.
    There is also a common desktop folder that has the short cuts to programs that everybody will see on their desktop. Not sure of its location. Added to those are the special system icons, Recycle Bin, Home Group, Etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    alphanumeric is correct. The public path is C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop (but it is hidden by default). You can turn off the system icons using the screen below (right click on the desktop and click personalise).

    In addition to the shortcuts you define and the public ones there is also desktop.ini which you will only see if you de-select the "Hide Protected Operating system files" option in folder views but this should be left as it is and is not normally seen.

    Hope this helps.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Capture.PNG  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    OK, I think I solved it. It turned out to be unrelated to my Windows setup or the recent Windows 8.1 Update 1, but it did force me to clean up my desktop. Now all empty except for the trash can... I use WD My Book Live to back up my hard drives on all computers on my home network. It includes a Cloud storage feature which I do not use. Part of the installation is a link to the service which gets installed on your Desktop by default. WD have been having problems with this Cloud service and have been sending me e-mails, which I never read as I don't use it. Somehow this link got corrupted or pointed to a dead location. That appears to be what was freezing everything up. Interesting that it only appeared to affect Photoshop Elements, and not Open Office, or File Explorer. The cure was to delete the corrupt link.

    Thanks for the help provided.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    alphanumeric is correct. The public path is C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop (but it is hidden by default). You can turn off the system icons using the screen below (right click on the desktop and click personalise).

    In addition to the shortcuts you define and the public ones there is also desktop.ini which you will only see if you de-select the "Hide Protected Operating system files" option in folder views but this should be left as it is and is not normally seen.
    I checked the public folder and there was nothing in it. I always set my computer to display hidden files, folders and show file extensions. You can go nuts trying to figure out what is going on when you can only see half the picture.

    I don't understand why I had the two folder out of sync. They are back in sync now, so will be interesting to see if they stay that way. Thanks for the help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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