How to hide desktop.ini and thumb.db in windows explorer

by Rohit Khurana on May 18, 2008



Today we receive a mail from our reader Malhar who says: “how to remove the desktop.ini,
which is created in every folder?


What is Desktop.ini?

It is a Windows XP operating system file which stores information about customized folders view and settings. If you have customized the display of a folder in any way, such as changing its icon or manner of display this will store all the information.


What is thumb.db?

Thumbs.db is again Windows XP operating system file that stores a cache for Windows Explorer’s thumbnail view.


Let see how can you hide desktop.ini


Since desktop.ini and thumb.db are operating system files, but you are seeing them as because you may have set the windows explorer to show hidden/system files.


So, you just need to hide these files rather than deleting as these are operating system files, follow the procedure listed below to hide them.



  1. Open My Computer, click File Menu Tools → Folder Options
  2. Click on the View tab.
  3. Uncheck the checkbox which says: “Do not show hidden files and folders” (as shown in the image below)
  4. Put a check in the box which says: “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)”.
  5. Click ok.

Here is the screen shot of the setting that I have described.



Once you have made these settings as described in the procedure given above, Desktop.ini and thumbs.db will disappear.


We hope the information provided above will help you fix the trouble.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed May 18, 2008 at 2:11 pm

I beg UR pardon, I don’t understand the problem.

abhishek May 26, 2008 at 5:05 am

@Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed – Please let us know what u didn’t understand – post is on how to hide the systems files desktop.ini and thumbs.db in windows explorer.

Michael June 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Very good article. Thanks for the good information!.

abhi June 7, 2008 at 8:32 am

ultra dma mode-5 S.M.A.R.T capable but disabled –


johnson March 3, 2009 at 4:09 am

Hi this is very useful site to trainee technician.Thanks a lot for helping IT guys

know_all May 29, 2009 at 5:26 am

What a terrible solution. Doing that also hides all of the other files you WANT to see, including spyware and viruses.

Desktop.ini customizes the view of the folder – get used to it.

gjunky November 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I don’t understand your solution.

In step 3 it says: UN-CHECK the checkbox which says: “Do not show hidden files and folders” (as shown in the image below)

The image shows “Do not show hidden files and folders” is Toggled ON.

Md Sarfaraj Khan July 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

I really proud of you.

Vincent July 17, 2011 at 4:08 am

I don’t want to hide hidden files and folders. I just want to hide those two annoyances.

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