Is it possible to prevent Windows applications from creating shortcuts?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by haravikk, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    This is something that's been annoying me, but nearly every application you install on Windows creates a shortcut, with many applications not providing the option to not do this. Even worse, some applications (including ones that update automatically) will re-create the shortcut; Apple applications are actually a prime offender in this case.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if there is any way to prevent the creation of shortcuts, or automatically delete any that are created? I'm thinking the latter is probably the more likely case, as I wish to avoid making my desktop read-only or anything like that.
  2. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2009
    Unless something has changed in Windows since the XP days, the shortcuts on the desktop are created because the program you install is coded to do it.
  3. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I know that, what I want to do though is to either prevent them from being able to create the shortcut or, probably the better option, somehow automatically remove any shortcuts created on my desktop.

    I know how to do folder actions on OS X which is what I would consider for doing this, but I don't know whether there's anything suitable for doing the same thing on Windows.
  4. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I found a solution using Folder Actions for Windows.

    It's actually dead simple, just install and setup a trigger for the desktop folder with the following .BAT script:
    if "%~x1" == ".lnk" del %1
    Nice and simple. Only problem is that the files still appear visually on the desktop; you have to hit F5 to refresh the desktop and cause them to disappear (as expected).

    I'm wondering now if there's a way to force the desktop to refresh after deleting the shortcut(s)?
  5. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2009
  6. kpgh554 macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2011
    iver england
    what i have found most windows install files state when on download window add shortcut to desktop. just unclick box and it won't, or if does right click on shotcut then select delete
  7. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2009
    I think the OP is talking about programs which don't have the check box, and doesn't want the hassle of having to delete them all the time.
  8. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    This. In particular applications which auto-update as well; as I mentioned Apple is coincidentally the worst for this, as Quicktime and iTunes both return their shortcuts to the desktop when updated, not that they're updated all that often but it's still annoying.

    But Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is updated seemingly every time I switch to Windows, also does this, along with a couple other things I have installed, none of which have options to prevent it. It adds up from a minor annoyance to a constant one :)

    The .BAT script at least means I can just ignore them until I restart which is a bonus, though it stills means clutter on my desktop, but hitting F5 is easy enough, still isn't ideal though.
  9. SpyderBite macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2011
    Unless one is installing apps on multiple machines on a regular basis; how is dragging a shortcut to the Recycle Bin (or just right-clicking & choosing Delete from the context menu) an inconvenience? On a large deployment, I could understand the problem. But the occasional install is hardly stealing years from anyone's life expectancy.
  10. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the help =/

    I never it said it was more than an annoyance, but it's an annoyance I want to avoid all the same, and as already pointed out; shortcuts aren't only created on installation, many updates will cause them to return as well, often without the option to prevent it.

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