What is desktop.ini? Is desktop.ini spyware or a virus?

How to fix desktop.ini related problems?
1. Run Security Task Manager to check your desktop process
2. Run Windows Repair Tool to repair desktop.ini related Windows Errors
3. Run MalwareBytes to remove persistent malware

Process name: Windows customizing folders file

Product: Windows

Company: Microsoft

File: desktop.ini

Security Rating:

Desktop.ini is a Windows system file that stores information about customized folders. You can customize folder background, change icon or thumbnail image to a folder and create infotip by creating a Desktop.ini file for that folder. http://www.neuber.com/taskmanager/process/desktop.ini.html 

Desktop.ini is a hidden file. It means that you could see it in windows file manager only if you checked 'Show hidden files and folders' in Folder Options.

Desktop.ini can be deleted, but any view customizations related to the folder containing the file in question, will be reset to the system-wide default.

Get more detailed information about desktop.ini and all other running background processes with Security Task Manager.

Note: Any malware can be named anything - so you should check where the files of the running processes are located on your disk. If a "non-Microsoft" .exe file is located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, then there is a high risk for a virus, spyware, trojan or worm infection! Check it out!

Click to Run a Free Scan for desktop.ini related errors

Users Opinions

Average user rating of desktop.ini: based on 15 votes. Read also the 12 reviews.

  • 337 users ask for this file. 7 users rated it as not dangerous. 3 users rated it as not so dangerous. 2 users rated it as neutral. 3 users rated it as dangerous. 3 users didn't rate it ("don't know").

All comments about desktop.ini:
 See also: Link Erich Fiala
Its not a virus. The desktop.ini files are safe to delete, they are just desktop (or window) configuration file/settings that you could edit and do things like change the picture of the desktop (or even window) manually. The deletion of Desktop.ini will fail if it is locked because it is in use by some application. To delete those files use program called "Unlocker". Alex
It's just used to customize the way a folder looks that it's located in. James
Normally, desktop.ini is a safe Windows system file. BUT since malware can hide itself by wearing a safe file name mask, it is important to note where the file is located. I just discovered 402 instances of desktop.ini on my computer, including attached to my music files... That's pretty obviously the work of malware. So don't automatically regard it as safe if you suspect something is wrong with your system. But you might simply be seeing your normal file(s), and hopefully that's the case. Kris
not a virus, every folder has it and can be deleted RommoR
normal desktop.ini files are fine. but there is a desktop.ini virus and it will destroy your OS. see link:  See also: Link Nweilbacher
The desktop.ini is just a harmless little file for custom folders. If you make a custom folder, there will be an invisible desktop.ini to make it look like it is. Beware of imitations in wrong spots as those can be viruses. Kaytie
Mostly harmless. Still, if you do not use custom folder Icons, localization, etc. you might want to delete them. But Note that if you delet desktop.ini in Folders with a non standard icon, or folder that are provided by your system, you might break the icon or localized names andsoonandsoforth. Tristan Lobb
Potentially a virus & difficult to remove Joe
It is just a file for custom icons and most cases and is usually harmless. CCat
It depends on the icon of the desktop.ini file. If it looks like a little sheet of paper with a gear on it, it is a virus. But don't worry, it is a pretty easy file to remove. First of all, DO NOT OPEN IT. It's like a worm, so if you open it, it will start spreading around your computer and bad things will happen. So what you do, search desktop.ini on start, right-click it and select delete. Then, proceed to delete all the files of it in your computer. If there are icons of it on your desktop, delete those too with the same method. If you have already opened the files, contact Microsoft or your computer provider. Then ask them about the virus, and they should help you. Stella
always delete these files ABD

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More process information

Is desktop.ini spyware or a virus, trojans, adware or worm? Is there a known desktop.ini error?

Other Processes

[desktop.ini in German] [all processes]