What is the Windows Desktop.ini file and can I delete it?

The desktop.ini file is a hidden file used to store information about arrangement of a Windows folder. Essentially, if the layout or settings for a folder are changed, a desktop.ini file is automatically generated to save those changes.

Can it be deleted?

The desktop.ini file can be technically be deleted from any directory, although it's not advised. It should be noted that because the file saves settings associated with the folder in which it is contained, deleting it changes the settings back to default. For example, if you changed icon of a folder then deleted the desktop.ini file, the icon would revert to what it was before.

Tip: To delete a desktop.ini file, simply right-click the file icon and select Delete from the dropdown menu.

Can I stop it from being generated?

Although you may delete any desktop.ini file, if the user makes any changes to a folder's layout, it is regenerated automatically. Since deleting system files is not generally advised, a better option is usually to hide them instead.

Is this file a virus?

No, this file is not a virus. However, there have been a few viruses that exploit the capabilities of the desktop.ini file. If you're concerned about this file being infected, scan it with an antivirus program.