Desktop.ini customizations do not take effect

You copy a desktop.ini file into a folder to customize and maybe localize it. You have correctly set the file’s attributes to Hidden, System and Read-Only, but still your customizations do not work. To make it work you need to set the Read-Only or System flags on the folder where the desktop.ini file resides. As I am sure you know, folders cannot be read-only, neither can they “remember” your settings so that all new files placed in the folder become read-only as well. So this flag is purely to tell Windows that this is a special folder and that it should look for a desktop.ini file inside it.

To change the attributes from the command line type:

attrib +R +S <your folder>

From PowerShell:

Set-ItemProperty <your folder> -Name Attributes -Value “ReadOnly,System”

It took me a while to figure this out so hopefully someone can make use of this info.

Here is a link to another issue where your desktop.ini customizations do not work:

2 thoughts on “Desktop.ini customizations do not take effect”

  1. Thanks for sharing! This is sort of stupid though, why can’t we just directly drop our .ini file into the folder and have it work without any further messing around? Why can we not set the Read-Only or System flags directly from the folder properties? It’s little quirks like these that make me dislike windows. It seems as if MS deliberately want to annoy people who appreciate consistency.

  2. Thank you for that! Why isn’t this clearly mentioned anywhere? It seems nuts to me that the property panel for the folders shows up… and not work.

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