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Getting Rid of Phantom Desktop Entries

By Phanixis ยท 5 replies
Jan 18, 2015
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  1. When I was organizing my desktop, and I am trying to delete a shortcut entry to the Cyberlink Blue-Ray Disc player folder. Everytime I try to delete the folder I get this folder is no longer located in "C:\Users\Phanixis\Desktop, verify the items location an try again. Even though it is still clearly present on my desktop and cluttering it. How do I delete this stubborn folder?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I imagine it is telling you the truth - that folder c:\users\phanixis\desktop does not exist any longer. Or possibly another below that point as referenced in the shortcut.

    Is your user name phanixis? or is that a user no longer existing. It could be that user needs to be logged on to enable the desktop icon to be deleted. Or, is phanixis the name of some software since deleted? In that case, you could have to reinstall it, then uninstall it 'properly' from the control panel.

    In general, stubborn things like that just need to be deleted by opening a command prompt by right-clicking and selecting 'run as administrator' to give you full rights over everything. Then enter the command DEL C:\USERS<your user name>\DESKTOP\<name of the desktop shortcut> making the substitutions as appropriate for <your user name> etc.
  3. Phanixis

    Phanixis TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Phanixis is my username. It exist and is active.

    Everything indicates this folder is present. It appears on the desktop. It appears under c:\users\phanixis\desktop\ when I open that folder in the explorer. It appears as an entry under c:\users\phaniixs\desktop\ when I enter the DOS command prompt. I can open the folder and examine the contents no problem. By every merit that I know of, it exist, yet any time and try to delete it I get this error, whether that is from the desktop, the explorer, or the command prompt.


    I do get a slight variation when I delete it from the cmd prompt. I had to shorten the file name to even get the command prompt to recognize the folder, again I was allowed to do that fine. Now it ask me if I want to delete the folder, and I select yes, but nothing happens, the folder is still present.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Please be clear on one point. Are you trying to delete the desktop shortcut pointing to c:\users\.... or the actual folder and contents c:\users\... or both ?

    What is the OS?

    What are the properties of the shortcut and the folder+contents? Just right click, select properties and look at the details tab. What is shown for 'attributes' ?

    You will need to know who is the 'owner' of the shortcut and the folder.....that is below attributes, and under the Security tab who or what users and groups has 'full control' permissions?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  5. Phanixis

    Phanixis TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    The Operating System is Windows 7. The folder I am trying to delete merely contains shortcuts, with the folder itself located in c:\users\...

    In any case, I ended up solving the problem using a trial version DelinvFile, which overrode whatever was preventing from deleting the file. I almost think it was an unnecessarily long name (the original folder name was 20 - 30 characters long and it contained folders and shortcuts within it with long strings for names).

    Thanks for the help anyway.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I meant to suggest that, but forgot. This problem has been discussed several times. It can happen because independent software is tending more and more to use long names for it's own folders, and users also like longer names for their own purposes like identifying all their pics.

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