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Windows 7: Shortcuts vs Full Files on the desktop - what impact?

09 Aug 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Shortcuts vs Full Files on the desktop - what impact?

I note a lot of my "newish" users place whole files on their desktop. 100's of megabytes sometimes.

I grew up in the days when doing this would slow the load time of your pc and use shortcuts instead.

What impact, if any does this have on todays OS's

Microsoft says - yes
Quote:
Don't store files on the desktop

To improve your computer's performance and find files more easily, it's best to store files in the Documents folder rather than on the desktop.

To access files from your desktop, create a desktop shortcut instead.
Am I worrying about nothing ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Aug 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello KiwiTT,

The only impact it would have is less hard drive space if they were copied from another location on the drive instead of having a shortcut to the file there instead.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2009   #3

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KiwiTT View Post
...doing this would slow the load time of your pc and use shortcuts instead...
This is a partial truth. The effect that you describe was/is applicable to workstations in a domain and pertains to roaming profiles. A stand-alone desktop is not affected by this phenom.

There is an extremely limited performance "penalty" for anything drawn to the desktop - icon or graphic. This is negligible in all practical consideration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Aug 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Even if they have up to a GB of files or more ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2009   #5
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

When Windows 7 starts and loads the desktop, it is not loading the files themselves. Therefore there is no impact on loading times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2009   #6

Windows 7600.16385 / Vista x64 / XP
 
 
@KiwiTT

It definately would not use resources.

You aren't excecuting / opening the programs when the desktop is loaded, it's in effect doing the exact same as it would with a shortcut. Just reading an icon and a name and description about the particular file.

It could be 200 gigs.

It's the same principal as opening a folder which has 500 gigs in it - it'll still load instantly. The size is irrelivent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2009   #7

 

On a stand-alone or on a domain member workstation? I will conclude a stand-alone desktop.

..\Users\NAME\Desktop is just a folder (shell folder status not applicable and not addressed).

The only action performed is drawing the icon images. Indexing can also occur, but this not an integral part of the question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for clarifying.

Anyhow I will still make sure that they place the files on the network drives (which are backed up) and link to them via shortcuts, from a data security point of view.

But from a performance point of view I will not worry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Shortcuts vs Full Files on the desktop - what impact?





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