By Delia / Last update July 6, 2022

What is desktop files in Windows 10?

The desktop files or desktop.ini file is a hidden Windows operating system configuration settings file located in every folder, and it determines how the folder is displayed along with its other properties, such as the icon used for a folder, its localized name, sharing properties, etc.

Desktop File

In Windows 10, you can configure the way any file or folder is shared, access by a normal use, how it can be shared, and other settings about file or folder permissions.  All in all, all of the presentation information of a file or folder are saved in the desktop.ini file, which is the default initialization file format

If you delete desktop file, you will lose the configured changes and folder settings will be switched to system-wide default. And it will be generated automatically when you configure that folder at the next time. The process can't be turned off as it is a defined process at the OS level. 

Why do you need backup desktop files?

As mentioned earlier, desktop.ini file contains all the configured settings for a file or folder, it's really essential for computers users to back it up. Thus, you don't need to worry about losses of file or folder configure settings

At the same time, it's suggested to backup files to external hard drive automatically, in case of mistake deletion or corrupted by virus, and keep changes made in the future. 

What is the best way to backup desktop files?

As a matter of fact, there are many ways to backup desktop files, such as, external hard drive, OneDrive, Google Drive, network share or NAS, etc. Which one should you use? 

  • For high portability and security, try to backup desktop files to external hard drive. You can back up any files you want and take them everywhere. At the same time, it can help you prevent data loss due to computer failure, such as, system crashes, blue screen of death, spilled milk, etc. 
  • For easy sharing and team collaboration, try to backup desktop files to OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox, etc. You can share it to your other devices signed in with the same account, your friend, coworkers, etc for sharing or real-time information exchange. And its capacity is scalable. 
  • For pure data security, try network share or NAS. It seems like a drive on a different computer, so you are able to store data on it and avoid data loss due to computer failure. 

Select one of them to backup desktop files. And no matter which of these you choose, you need the help of a free backup software. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a great option. It not only helps you backup files, but also schedule the task and keep all the changes in the future. 

How to automatically backup desktop files in Windows 10 

Backing up desktop files is very important, but if your files is deleted or damaged, it becomes useless. Thus, it's suggested to directly backup all the files you want and desktop.ini files together. 

Step1. First, download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it. Then, click the “Backup” in the left tab page, then select the “File Backup” option.

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File Backup

Step 2. Select the “Add file”, or "Add Folder" to select data you want to backup. And the desktop.ini will be included together. 

Add Folders Files

Step 3. Click the inverted triangle and select one of destination option to backup files and desktop.ini file. 

Select a local path: It allows you to backup files to an internal or external disk as long as it's recognized by Windows. And you need to connect it in advance.
Add Share or NAS Devices: It is to backup files to network location or NAS. You need to add it by clicking this option and inputting display name, IP address, user name and password.
Select a cloud drive: It allows you to backup files to Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox if you install them on the computer.

Select Destination

Step 4. Click Schedule Backup and enable it, you can then select Daily, Weekly or Monthly. Once you enable it, the incremental backup will be selected by default and backup only changed files in Windows 10. 

Schedule Settings General

More options (avaliable in the professional version or higher):

Event triggers: It is a way to backup files and desktop.ini based on system startup, system shutdown, user logon and user logoff. 
USB plug in: It is to copy files automatically when USB drive connected, without connecting it manually every time before a task start. 
Differential Backup: Like incremental backup, it backs up only changed files, but it's safer due to the independent properties. Try it if your backup drive is not really small. 
Automatic Backup Cleanup: It's the most effective way to resolve backup disk full issues due to increasing backups and limited space. It has 3 options, By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly, and among them, the last one is the best option. It is keeping backups by different tiers and backup types. 

By Daily/Weekly/Monthly

Step 5. Make sure that all of the configured settings and click the “Start Backup” on the right corner to begin the data backup. 

Start Backup

Wait until the backup process is complete, you will see an exact copy of files in the destination location. And then, in a disaster, you can restore files from backup to get your data back. In general, you have two ways in the following. 

#1: Restore files in the Restore tab. Click Restore and then you will be asked to select backup image, specific files or folders, and destination path, just do as prompted. Finally, click Start Restore to restore files. 

Select Folders Files

#2: Restore files using Explore Image. Click Tools > Explore Image and then select backup image, specific files or folders, click Save as and select a destination path. 

ExploreImage

Summary

You can easily backup desktop files in Windows 10 to prevent the loss of file or folder configured settings. At the same time, you can protect data safely by making an exact copy of it and schedule this task. 

In addition, you can try the File Sync feature. It will sync files from one location to another and keep the original structure of the files, so you can use, modify, delete it as you like.