Windows 7 Disappearing Desktop Shortcuts

If you create shortcuts to files on a removable drive or a network share on your Windows 7 desktop you will eventually find that your shortcuts just up and disappear from time to time.  This is because the good folks in Redmond decided to automatically schedule a process that “cleans up” your system for you.  Among the many things that it does is delete “broken” and “unused” shortcuts from your desktop.  Broken shortcuts are those that are unavailable, for any reason, at the time the cleanup program runs.  Unused shortcuts are simply those that you haven’t used for a while.  The cleanup program does this without so much as a by your leave and doesn’t even bother to tell you that it has done anything at.  How rude!!

To prevent this from happening, you  need to disable the cleanup program.  To do this:

  1. Start the task scheduler.  Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Task Scheduler.
  2. Expand the tree in the left hand pane until you get to Task Scheduler Library | Microsoft | Windows | Diagnosis.
  3. In the right hand pane, right click the task named Scheduled and click Disable.

Now the automatic cleanup will no longer run.  Of course, this also prevents the cleanup of various log files so your disk space will slowly start to disappear but I figure this is a small price to pay for a consistent looking desktop.

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