Disable the Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP

One of the more annoying “features” in Windows XP is the operating system’s insistence on periodically “helping” you by launching the Desktop Cleanup Wizard. While the idea isn’t bad in and of itself, most users will prefer cleaning up unused icons from their desktop manually, rather than having Windows decide what should stay and what should go.

For those who would rather not be troubled by the Desktop Cleanup Wizard, the tool can be disabled via a simple Registry edit. Follow these steps to stop the wizard from bothering you in the future:

1. Click Start > Run. Type Regedit.exe and click OK.

2. Browse to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\CleanupWiz.

3. Right-click in the right-hand pane and select New > DWORD Value. Name the value NoRun.

4. Double-click on the new NoRun entry and set the Value data to 1.

Close Regedit. The Desktop Cleanup Wizard will be disabled the next time you restart XP.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of 2000Trainers.com. He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.