Apr 082015

We all know, that Microsoft software is great and that they are constantly striving to improve the user experience (best example: Windows 8 (Yes, that’s sarcasm)).

Windows 7, the best Windows of all times, has a great feature which is an improvement of the universally loved desktop cleanup we know from Windows XP. It regularly helps us to get rid of broken and unused shortcuts on the desktop, which are a serious scourge for humanity. To be even more helpful, it doesn’t ask you but just does its task. And to add to its usefulness, you can’t disable it (Yes, more sarcasm.).

This lead to my coworkers complaining that they lose all their icons on the desktop around every 4 weeks. Some of them accept it, restore them and live with the conveniences of the great Windows 7. Others call me and ask me what to do.

There is an entry in the Microsoft Knowledgebase about this feature.

What it says is basically this:

  • It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
  • There is a hotfix for it, which you can request by email only
  • Once you have installed that hotfix, you can run a Fixit tool that changes two registry entries.

Unfortunately I can’t provide the hotfix downloads (there are two different ones, one for 32 bit Windows 7 and one for 64 bit Windows 7). The files are called Windows6.1-KB2642357-x64.msu and Windows6.1-KB2642357-x86.msu respectively.

What I can do, is provide you with a .reg file that changes those two registry entries. This will only work after you have applied the hotfix!.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Put this into a text file, change its extension to .reg and open it on the computer that has the problem.

It worked for me. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t blame me, praise Microsoft.

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