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Remove the Desktop Cleanup Wizard from Windows 7

The Desktop Cleanup Wizard is a utility that comes with all versions of Windows 7 and is designed to help you keep your desktop clean and tidy.

The utility does this by recommending that you remove old, obsolete and unused files and shortcuts that are currently on your desktop. If you are annoyed with the Desktop Cleanup Wizard, you can remove it by editing your Group Policy.

Desktop Cleanup Wizard

The Desktop Cleanup Wizard is one of those well-intentioned but annoying features that Microsoft has built into Windows 7. This is one of those features that is actually useless because if a user wants to clean up the desktop, he / she just does it manually. by moving shortcuts and files to trash. Do people really need help cleaning computers?

The most frustrating aspect of the Desktop Cleanup Wizard is the false positives it generates. Icons are clearly considered obsolete by the wizard due to the way in which other icons and files are used on the desktop.

The result is an automated process that requires too much intervention to be considered automatic. Fortunately, you can remove the Desktop Cleanup Wizard from what it ever did by using the Local Group Policy Editor to change the value of just one variable.

Remove the Desktop Cleanup Wizard

In truth, you are not going to remove the master from your computer; you are simply preventing the master from appearing again.

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Start by logging into Windows 7 using an account with administrator rights. Click Start Run, type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box, and click OK. If you don’t have the Run command on the Start menu, hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the R key.

You should now see the Local Group Policy Editor. In the left pane, open User Configuration Administrative Templates Desktop. Be sure to click on the Desktop folder, not expand it.

In the right pane, find and double-click the entry that says “Remove Desktop Cleanup Wizard”.

You should now see the “Remove Desktop Cleanup Wizard” window. If this parameter has not been changed before, the current state should be “Not configured”.

Click on the Enabled option, click OK, and you’re done. Note that by choosing Enabled you are actually disabling the wizard, not enabling it. This is due to the negative wording of this parameter.

While the Desktop Cleanup Wizard seems like a good idea, most Windows 7 users find it annoying when it comes up and not very helpful when using it. What is most frustrating is how the wizard decides which files and shortcuts are old and which are still in use so they can be left on the desktop.

The master requires so much effort from the user that it is not a master at all. Removing the Desktop Cleanup Wizard is an easy way to keep Windows 7 users from being disappointed with a well-intentioned but ultimately useless utility.

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