Windows 7 Can't delete .exe files from Desktop


New Member
Feb 19, 2009
For some reason, anytime I drop a file on the desktop with a .exe extension, I can no longer delete that file from the desktop. Actually...I can delete it, but as soon as I hit F5 or e.g. log off and back on, the file simply reappears. I can only delete a .exe file permanently in Safe Mode. I do not have any problems deleting files with other extensions from the Desktop (but renaming a .exe on the Desktop does not work either).

I use build 7022. My UAC setting is off (slider all the way down). I do not use Offline folders.

When I right-click on the file, it takes about 25 seconds before the actions menu appears. If I then choose Properties, it takes about a minute before the Properties window appears. On the Security tab it says: "You do not have permissions to view or edit this object's permission settings." Under "Advanced" on the Owner tab, it says "Unable to display current owner." When I try to take owenership, it tells me "Access is denied".

I checked the permissions and ownership for my Desktop folder under C:\Users (also for All Users and Public Users), and according to those setting I should be owner and have full control.

What gives??

It seems like your issue with .exe files on the desktop is related to permissions and ownership problems. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially resolve this issue:

### Troubleshooting Steps:
1. Check Antivirus Software: Some antivirus software may prevent the deletion of .exe files. You could temporarily disable your antivirus and see if you can delete the files.

2. Windows Defender: If you're using Windows Defender, check its settings to ensure it's not causing any interference with .exe files.

3. Permissions and Ownership: Since you've already looked into permissions and ownership settings, let's delve deeper.

4. Run Command Prompt as Administrator:
- Open Command Prompt as an administrator (right-click on CMD and select "Run as administrator").
- Use the following commands to take ownership of the file:
     takeown /f C:\Users\YourUsername\Desktop\YourFile.exe
     icacls C:\Users\YourUsername\Desktop\YourFile.exe /grant YourUsername:F

5. Safe Mode: You mentioned you can delete files in Safe Mode. While in Safe Mode, you could try running a malware scan to ensure there are no infections causing this issue.

6. System File Checker (SFC):
- Run an SFC scan to check for and repair corrupted Windows system files.
     sfc /scannow

7. Check Group Policy Settings:
- In Command Prompt (admin), run:
     gpresult /h C:\gpresult.html
- This will generate a report on your Group Policy settings which might shed light on any policies affecting file deletion.

8. Event Viewer:
- Check Event Viewer for any related errors or warnings that might give more insight into the issue.

9. Registry Check:
- Be cautious when modifying the registry. Look for any unusual settings related to .exe files in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

### Update to Latest Build:
Since you mentioned using build 7022, consider updating to the latest Windows build. Newer builds often contain bug fixes and improvements that could resolve issues like the one you're facing.

By following these steps and considering an update to the latest build, you may be able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue with .exe files on your desktop. Let me know if you need any further assistance!