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Home > Windows > Basic Concepts > Windows Customization Technology World's Official Guide To Customizing Windows XP
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1.3F - Using The Desktop Cleanup Wizard
Use the Desktop Cleanup Wizard
Remove Unwanted Shortcuts
Restore Shortcuts
 
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Article Title: How To Use The Windows Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP and 7
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Creation Date: June 28, 2016
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 7:45 PM
Applies To:
Windows XP Media Centre Edition
Windows XP Home Edition
Windows 7
Windows Vista

The Desktop Cleanup Wizard is a standalone function introduced into Windows XP. It is no longer available in Windows 7, 8.1, or 10. It is replaced by System Maintenance which runs periodically in the background. The background for launching Desktop Cleanup Wizard are listed below for Windows XP as a reference only.

To Start the Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

  2. In Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes under Pick a category.

  3. Under or pick a Control Panel icon, click Display.
  4. The Display Properties dialog box is displayed.

  5. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Desktop tab, and then click Customize Desktop. The Desktop Items dialog box is displayed.

  6. Under Desktop cleanup, click to clear the Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days check box if you do not want the Desktop Cleanup Wizard to automatically start every 60 days.

  7. Click Clean Desktop Now.

  8. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard starts.

Removing Unwanted Shortcuts

  1. To remove unwanted shortcuts: In the Welcome to the Desktop Cleanup Wizard dialog box, click Next.

  2. In the Shortcuts dialog box, a list of shortcuts are displayed in the Shortcut to Clean Up list.

  3. The shortcuts that you click are removed from the desktop and placed in the Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder on the Windows desktop. If you do not want a shortcut to be removed from the desktop, click to clear the check box for that shortcut, and then click Next when you are finished.

  4. In the Completing the Desktop Cleanup Wizard dialog box, view the items in the Shortcuts box to confirm that you want them removed from the desktop, and then click Finish.

  5. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard moves the selected shortcuts to the Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder and then quits.

Restore Shortcuts

If a shortcut that you want is removed, follow these steps to restore the shortcut:

  1. On the desktop, double-click the Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder. The Unused Desktop Shortcuts dialog box is displayed.

    NOTE: If the Unused Desktop Shortcuts dialog box is maximized, click the Restore Down button (appears to the left of the red Close button).

  2. Drag the shortcut that you want to the Windows desktop.

  3. Close the Unused Desktop Shortcuts dialog box.

Where Is The Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows 7?

As stated in the introductory paragraph of this blog, the Desktop Cleanup Wizard is no longer available in Windows 7 and has been replaced by the System Maintenance function. System Maintenance runs automatically but you can also launch the task manually by following these instructions:

1. Open the Troubleshooting menu by clicking on the Start button and typing ‘troubleshooting‘ in the search box.

2. Select the first search result by clicking on it.

Launching The Troubleshooting / Syhstem Maintenance Window In Windows 7

3. In the next window, locate the System and Security options and click on Run Maintenance Tasks

Launching The Troubleshooting / Syhstem Maintenance Window In Windows 7

4. Left click System Maintenance link.

Launching The Troubleshooting / Syhstem Maintenance Window In Windows 7

5. You can officially start the troubleshooter by left clicking the Next button on the first window.

Launching The Troubleshooting / Syhstem Maintenance Window In Windows 7

4. The wizard will then run through a series of tasks to try and detect any problems with your Windows 7 installation. One of these tasks includes a desktop shortcut cleanup.

Launching The Troubleshooting / Syhstem Maintenance Window In Windows 7

5. Because I wasn't logged in as an administrator the wizard told me sold and I could re-run it using Administrator privileges. There was no issues found and the wizard informed me of this.

Launching The Troubleshooting / Syhstem Maintenance Window In Windows 7

I can either click Close the troubleshooter, or click Explore additional options to explore more maintenance tasks. In this case, I will just close the wizard.

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