issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder

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  1. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,756
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #21

    Ken / Cindi,

    1 I think your first step should be to post screenshots of the Registry keys
    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    and
    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
    so that the situation can be seen clearly.

    Run RegEdit, then [one by one] paste in each the keys I have identified in the RegEdit address bar
    - Drag the column dividers around so the whole of each entry can be seen
    - Take a screenshot then trim it up or just take a Snipping tool picture- Post the diagrams here2 And paste this onto a File explorer address bar and tell us where it takes you
    Code:
    shell:downloads

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 16 Mar 2021 at 03:08.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 14
    Win 10
       #22

    Screenshots of the Registry keys and shell:downloads


    Thank you Denis for the quick response. I attached the RegEdit snips you requested, and also the shell:downloads result page. (The second Reg Key snip actually required two pages to get all of the results.) Just for added information--the two Desktop files in the ThisPC folder, are connected to where I can't do something to one without it affecting the other one too. Poor advice from other sites stated that a "Reset" of Win 10 would correct my problem. It didn't, in fact I suddenly had up to four Desktop folders. The advice here helped me whittle it down to just two. Thank you for any help you can offer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-034859.png   issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-035313.png   issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-035425.png   issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-040227.png  
      My Computer

  3. KeithM's Avatar
    Posts : 821
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       #23

    You have too many of the Shell folders pointing to yoiur Desktop folder. Run this code to create the default file system folder (if necessary) and point the USF entries to it:

    Code:
    $DefaultDownloads = "$Env:UserProfile\Downloads"If ( -not ( Test-Path $DefaultDownloads  )) {
        mkdir $DefaultDownloads
    }
    $USF          = 'HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders'
    $DownLoadsIDs = @(
        '{7d83ee9b-2244-4e70-b1f5-5393042af1e4}'
        '{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}'
    )
    $DownLoadsIDs | ForEach {
        Set-ItemProperty -Path $USF -Name $_ -Value $DefaultDownloads
    }
    You can run that while I look at the other entries under USF...

    Update:
    It looks like OneDrive was tangled up with the Desktop at some point. What's your current OneDrive status/Setup?

    Here's a translation of the remaing GUIDs under USF. That is the only registry key you need to worry about.



    Code:
    *** none of these exist in new proifle and can be safely deleleted
    *** OneDrive locations should be handled via OneDrive Settings
    
    {24D89E24-2F19-4534-9DDE-6A6671FBB8FE}    OneDriveDocuments    
    {754AC886-DF64-4CBA-86B5-F7FBF4FBCEF5}    ThisPCDesktopFolder    
    {767E6811-49CB-4273-87C2-20F355E1085B}    OneDriveCameraRoll    
    {A52BBA46-E9E1-435f-B3D9-28DAA648C0F6}    OneDrive    
    {b7bede81-df94-4682-a7d8-57a52620b86f}    Screenshots
    Last edited by KeithM; 16 Mar 2021 at 15:13.
      My Computer

  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,756
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #24

    Ken / Cindi,

    Diagnosis

    You have one & only one apparent problem and it can be remedied in seconds.

    In User shell folders, the entry beginning {374DE290-123F- is your Downloads folder location. It should be, in full, {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} but you allowed that column to be cut off in your diagram.
    - You have co-located the Downloads folder with the Desktop folder. You overrode a Windows warning when you did so [as did I, I find co-locating them to be very useful].
    - The result is that %USERPROFILE%\Desktop and %USERPROFILE%\Download are both the same location - "C:\Users\Godwin-laptop\Desktop"

    Cure

    If you want Downloads to be in a folder of their own then -

    1 In File explorer, go to C:\Users\Godwin-laptop and create a subfolder called Downloads [actually, you can do this wherever you want, it does not have to be in this default position or with this default name but given your stated history of problems I think making it here with the normal name would be best for now and you can worry about moving it much later on].

    2 Still in File explorer, double lick on C:\Users\Godwin-laptop\Downloads to enter it, click in a blank area of the File explorer address bar to select its path, right-lick, Copy [this is merely to avoid typos].

    3 Open the Registry again at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

    4 Double-click on the entry {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} to open it. Overtype its 'Value data' entry [which will show the Desktop path] by pasting the Downloads folder path into it.
    - Strictly speaking, if you followed my advice about where to create the Downloads folder you could just paste in %USERPROFILE%\Download instead.
    - You might well regard %USERPROFILE%\Download as looking neater than C:\Users\Godwin-laptop\Downloads. It would only make any real difference if you ever renamed your username.

    Job done.

    Check in browser[s]

    IE - In the Registry, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer and look at the entry Download directory. It should be the same as you have just set. If not you could try rebooting first or you could overwrite it with the same location that you just used.

    LegacyEdge - In the Registry, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wek yb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\Main and look at the entry Default download directory. It should be the same as you have just set. If not you could try rebooting first or you could overwrite it with the same location that you just used.

    EdgeChromium - Change Edge Default Downloads Folder - TenForumsTutorials

    Firefox - Go to about:preferences then look under the Files & applications - Downloads heading.


    Denis
      My Computer

  5. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,756
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #25

    Ken / Cindi,

    Both Keith & I have proposed the same change.
    He has suggested a PowerShell script to do it.
    I suggested doing it manually in the Registry.
    Either solution will have the same effect.
    - I'm rather hooked on the manual Registry change method because that's where I go to check current 'user folder' settings so I am already in the right place to change them manually.




    Keith said, "You have too many of the Shell folders pointing to yoiur Desktop folder".
    I said, "You have co-located the Downloads folder with the Desktop folder".

    Both statements boil down to the same thing.
    - Windows wants you to have a different location for each 'user folder' such as Desktop, Downloads, Screenshots,
    - You have set both Desktop & Downloads to use the same location. So that is "too many".
    - This is perfectly workable. I use this arrangement permanently.
    If you want to change it you can use my solution or Keith's solution.

    I co-locate Desktop & Downloads [and, for that matter, Screenshots & my MSPrintToPDF] because I treat my Desktop as my easily accessible location for work in progress. I download files to it then do whatever I need to with them before filing them away somewhere else.

    So, in brief, you do not have to change anything. If you decide to change then you can use Keith's PS script or my manual Registry change method.

    Denis
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 14
    Win 10
       #26

    Duplicate Desktop and Download Folders still...


    Thank you both Keith and Denis for the suggestions and help. It is very much appreciated. As per your instructions Denis (because I understood them a little better), as you can see from the first snip below, I copied the address of the new Downloads folder into the RegEdit line you suggested in Users Shell. (You are right that I did cut the whole name off the first time I sent the snip.) I made sure that the whole name matched yours, and pasted the Downloads folder address into Value Data as per the snip below. The second snip is of the new Users Download folder and its contents. I deleted the one created by me in Documents. The third snip shows the ThisPC page after a restart as being the same as it was before I began your corrections. The two Desktop folders are still very much connected, and the new Downloads folder does not show here...unless there is something extra I need to do to cause it to show up in ThisPC. Just FYI, I use Google Chrome a my browser. As for One Drive. I did have a problem at one time, after the reset of Win 10, with the One Drive pretty much doing the same thing by acting as the Desktop twice. I was able to use your counsel of removing the Desktop.ini from the folder, and get back to just two desktop folders. One Drive's location is in an Admin User folder with its own .ini file and seems fixed. I do not use One Drive, so that's fine. I hope all of this is clear. Again, thank you very much in advance for your help. Cindi
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-195352.png   issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-194609.png   issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-16-194755.png  
      My Computer

  7. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,756
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #27

    Cindi,

    Ken Cindi G said:
    The third snip shows the ThisPC page after a restart as being the same as it was before I began your corrections. The two Desktop folders are still very much connected, and the new Downloads folder does not show here...unless there is something extra I need to do to cause it to show up in ThisPC.

    I think you mean that using the Desktop shortcut with the down arrow on it takes you to the Desktop folder [not the resurrected Downloads folder]. Renaming it would not be a problem. Altering its Target path might be.
    [All those items are shortcuts, by the way, even though they are displayed as though they were folders. They are shortcuts to C:\Users\%UserName%\Desktop, C:\Users\%UserName%\Documents, etc]
    I removed all those shortcuts from my computers years ago.

    What I suggest is that you remove them all and then, assuming that you want them there, put them all back again. The act of putting them back might restore them to their proper values.
    Add or Remove Folders from This PC - TenForumsTutorials [Its Method 1 seems, to me, to be the more appropriate choice]
    So what I am suggesting is that you
    Remove Folders from This PC
    and then
    Add Folders from This PC.
    If @KeithM posts an alternative method then follow Keith's guidance not mine.


    Denis
      My Computer

  8. KeithM's Avatar
    Posts : 821
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       #28

    You need to delete the deskop.ini file from the folder with the Downloads icon:

    1. From This PC, open the folder with the Downloads icon.
    2. Shift+<Right-click> -> Open PowerShell window here
    3. If the directory is not named "Desktop", copy & paste the following command:

    Code:
    Get-Item desktop.ini -Force | Remove-Item -Force
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 14
    Win 10
       #29

    Duplicate Desktop folder attached to Downloads folder


    I apologize for taking so long to respond. The new Win 10 update kept trying to install, but wouldn't. I spent a day fixing the problem and now all's good with that at least.
    Thank you for your help Denis. You're correct, I'm sure that my wording isn't very professional. "Using the Desktop shortcut with the down arrow on it takes you to the Desktop folder." After updating to the new Win 10 version, I found that the User folder had regenerated a "new" Downloads folder with what looks like the correct deskop.ini file in it. See snip. This folder does not show up in ThisPC though. I right clicked on the new Downloads folder to see if I could send it as a shortcut to ThisPC, but did not see an option for that. I don't know if this changes your counsel to "Remove Folders from This PC and then Add Folders from This PC," except to see if I can remove the Desktop folder with the Downloads icon from ThisPC.

    Thank you Keith for your help. I followed your instructions, and found that the directory "was" named "Desktop" in the folder in ThisPC. With "Show Hidden Files" enabled, there still was no Desktop.ini file in this folder. Since this is supposed to be the Downloads folder, I agree that the deskop.ini file should be deleted, but it doesn't seem to have one. Since I already have a legitimate Desktop folder with a proper deskop.ini file, I don't understand why I needed to check to see "if this was" also a Desktop folder connected to my Users folder. I apologize for my ignorance in this matter. As I mentioned to Denis, with the new update of Win 10, a new Downloads folder with the correct icon, and I think correct Desktop.ini file regenerated, (see snip), which I believe solves the problem of creating a legit Downloads folder. I can only view it in the Users folder though, and don't know how to enable viewing it with the rest of the System Folders in ThisPC--(except to simply create a shortcut to the desktop).
    Thank you very much to both of you for your advice and any help you can offer in advance. Cindi
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-screenshot-2021-03-18-034329.png  
      My Computer

  10. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,756
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #30

    Cindi,

    1 Nothing was "unprofessional" or "ignorant". Windows makes those items in ThisPC looks like folders [even though they are shortcuts] and this often causes confusion & mistakes. Lots of people do not realise that their files are actually in C:\Users\%UserName%\Desktop C:\Users\%UserName%\Downloads C:\Users\%UserName%\Documents etc
    [By the way, I write in the form C:\Users\%UserName%\Desktop because that can be copied and pasted straight into the File explorer address bar to get there without my having to specify your actual Username each time. File explorer automatically interprets %UserName% each time it is used in a folder path.]

    2 Short term action to get everything workable.
    - This action will allow you to get on with things despite the problem by giving you a set of shortcuts to get to your folders & files easily.
    - Go to each of the user folders you use a lot [such as C:\Users\%UserName%\Downloads] and drag n drop the folder onto Quick access in the top of your File explorer Navigation pane.
    - Here's an example issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-quick-access-example.png
    - Don't worry about their icons. As long as you have dragged the right folder to Quick access you will get straight to the right folder when you select that item in Quick access.
    - Just as an aside, you'll see that my Desktop item has the wrong icon. That's because I deliberately ignore MS advice not to co-locate Desktop & Downloads folders.

    3 The proper solution.
    - I have no more suggestions to offer but KeithM might well have.
    - Because I ditched those ThisPC entries years ago, I have no useful experience of resolving problems with them.
    - I think that my earlier suggestion is worth a try but cannot be certain that it will help.
    Try3 said:
    What I suggest is that you remove them all and then, assuming that you want them there, put them all back again. The act of putting them back might restore them to their proper values.
    Add or Remove Folders from This PC - TenForumsTutorials [Its Method 1 seems, to me, to be the more appropriate choice]
    So what I am suggesting is that you
    Remove Folders from This PC
    and then
    Add Folders from This PC.


    4 Additional - You might find it easier to see where you are in File explorer's navigation pane if you right-click anywhere in that big blank space below the Network entry I can see in your diagram and select Expand to current folder. Whilst the difference might not be earth-shattering, I find it helps me to avoid losing my place as I navigate around.

    5 Additional - C:\Users\%UserName%\Downloads
    Ken Cindi G said:
    I found that the User folder had regenerated a "new" Downloads folder with what looks like the correct deskop.ini file in it.
    - I thought you had already manually created a Downloads folder at C:\Users\%UserName%\Downloads so we might have been talking at cross-purposes earlier on.
    - Please go to C:\Users\%UserName%\Downloads, right click on it & select Properties.
    - The Properties dialog should have a Location tab in it. Does yours?
    issue with deleting duplicate Desktop folder-user-folder-properties-tabs.png
    [This is just an example. It's for my Desktop folder but you need to check your Downloads folder.]

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 18 Mar 2021 at 06:10.
      My Computer


 
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