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Windows 7: understanding Explorer versus Desktop? Or maybe System Folders?

13 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit
understanding Explorer versus Desktop? Or maybe System Folders?

I'm still trying to understand Windows Explorer in Windows 7. Any help would be nice. (I hope I am using the correct terminology - please correct me if I am not.)

Here is the confusion: On a fairly new install of Windows 7, my desktop shows 5 System Folder icons (Recycle Bin, a USER abc folder, Computer, Network, and Control Panel). In Windows Explorer, the Favorites option on the left for Desktop shows 6 Systems Folders (the same 5 above plus Library.) If I right-click on the Favorites link to the desktop, it's properties says the target is "C:\Users\abc\Desktop". If I go to that link in Windows Explorer versus the Favorites shortcut for Desktop, I see no icons. I'm really confused as to what Windows is trying to show me when and where. What do I need to understand/research/learn to alleviate this confusion? Do I need to know more about Systems Folders or Explorer or should I just attempt to start learning Windows 8?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The Desktop folder is a 'special' folder. It works the same way as any other folder (meaning you can put whatever files you like in it) but it also has those special icons to Network, Control Panel, etc.

When you browse to the Desktop using the link in Favourites, it will show these special icons. But when you browse to it in C:\Users\[user]\Desktop, it will show it in 'normal' mode, showing only the regular files in there.

I agree, it is a bit confusing. While those 'special' shortcuts (Control Panel, etc.) will always show in Explorer, you can set which of the 'special' icons are shown on the Desktop (with the wallpaper, etc.): in the Start menu, type 'desktop icons' and it should find an entry called 'Show or hide common icons on the desktop' where you can change what shows and what doesn't.

Hope that helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 64bit

Thanks. It helps to know that I am not wrongly using the Explorer and this difference in display is simply a 'feature'.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 understanding Explorer versus Desktop? Or maybe System Folders?

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