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OneDrive Syncs Desktop Icons: How To Avoid This Behavior

OneDrive has a bad behavior: it also synchronizes the links on the Desktop through Microsoft’s cloud servers. This means that broken links are restored on the Windows machines you use. After installing Windows 10 or 11, the OneDrive icon always appears in the system tray in the tray bar area. We know how much the Redmond company urges users to use a Microsoft account. 

Thus, from the first access to the Windows desktop, all the contents of the system folders are automatically copied to the Redmond company’s cloud servers. Similar records upheld with OneDrive are then synchronized with every one of the gadgets of a similar client. All in all, assuming that you sign in to one more PC with a similar Microsoft account, the records replicated to the cloud from OneDrive are as yet accessible and open. 

The OneDrive organizer is available from Document Pilgrim (left segment) by squeezing the essential blend Windows+Ehelps, to monitor the records in the reinforcement. The OneDrive symbols displayed in the Windows interface demonstrate whether each document is accessible just on the cloud, whether it’s accessible on your neighborhood gadget, and whether it’s adjusting.

OneDrive Also Restores Desktop Icons On Other Systems

By default, OneDrive backs up your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to make their contents available on your other devices. To check this, click once on the OneDrive icon in the tray bar (the area next to the system clock), click on the gear symbol, Settings, then Manage backup. Backing up the Desktop makes sense because the Desktop is the area of ​​the system where many users usually save, more or less temporarily, personal files, folders, and memos. We also wondered if so many icons on the Desktop can slow down the PC.

There is, however, a fundamental problem. The Windows Desktop contains many links to the applications installed on the system. This is a large number of files with extensions .lnk pointing to executable files and various local or network folders. OneDrive automatically backs up these items as well. The result is that the backup copy stored on Microsoft’s cloud servers also contains the list of links on the Desktop of each user’s machine. 

These files are synchronized on all devices with obvious consequences: restoring links from another system causes the appearance of “broken links on the Desktop,” referring to non-existent resources on the local system. The obvious fix is ​​to go into OneDrive settings, as seen earlier, and turn off the “switch” next to the Desktop. In this way OneDrive refrains from creating cloud backup copies of the entire contents of the Desktop. The operation must be repeated on all Windows machines.

Create A OneDrive Desktop Backup, Excluding Shortcuts

We said earlier that the Windows Desktop often hosts important information for each user configured on the machine. Excluding the Desktop backup from OneDrive can be penalizing. How to prevent OneDrive from backing up shortcuts on the Windows Desktop? You can apply a simple trick while waiting for Microsoft to add a special box to the OneDrive interface to request file exclusion .lnk.

The Microsoft cloud backup solution avoids creating a copy of the contents of the Public folder. This system directory is intended to allow sharing of files and resources between computer or local network users. It is a pre-configured shared folder that multiple user accounts can access on the same system. It is found in the path C:\Users\Publicand can be used to put documents, images, and multimedia files “in common.”

How To Move Shortcuts From One Desktop To Another Folder While Keeping Them Always Accessible

By moving the links on the Desktop to the Public folder, they are no longer considered by OneDrive and will no longer be erroneously restored on other Windows machines. To do this, type cmd in the Windows search box and choose Run as administrator. At this point, by issuing the following commands, all the links saved in the local user’s Desktop system folder are copied to C:\Users\Public:

  1. move %userprofile%\OneDrive\Desktop\*.lnk c:\Users\Public\Desktop
  2. move %userprofile%\OneDrive\Desktop\*.url c:\Users\Public\Desktop

Other user accounts configured on the same machine will see the shortcuts appear on their desktops. However, OneDrive will no longer consider them and will no longer appear in the backup archive shared between the various PCs of the same user. Once the move is complete, OneDrive displays the alert that Deleted files are removed everywhere. This is confirmation that links have been removed from backup copies and devices linked with your Microsoft account. They are still placed in the OneDrive trash.

Also Read: Azure DevOps, GitHub, Or Both?


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