Windows 7 Shortcuts Missing or Disappeared after System Maintenance
March 31, 2010 | Filed under Windows 7;
In Windows XP, there is a Desktop Cleanup Wizard that by default runs every 60 days to move unused desktop items to a folder named “Unused Desktop Shortcuts. This feature can be disabled by right clicking the Desktop, go to Properties > Desktop tab > Customize Desktop button > uncheck Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days. However for Windows 7, this feature has been changed to system maintenance where it cleans up unused files and shortcuts, and perform other maintenance tasks.
System maintenance is scheduled to run once a week and if it finds more than 4 bad or broken shortcuts, it will remove all of them. As for desktop shortcuts that are valid but not used for more than 3 months, they will also be removed.
To prevent this from happening, you can turn off computer maintenance from Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Change Settings > select Off for Computer Maintenance but this would mean you would stop Windows 7 from checking volume errors, and also checking for troubleshooting history and error reports that are taking up disk space. Another method is to disable checking of unused desktop icons and broken shortcuts.
1. Install Take Ownership right click extension if you haven’t.
2. Open My Computer and navigate to this path C:\Windows\diagnostics\scheduled\Maintenance
3. You can either delete or move this 2 files to another location on your hard drive.
TS_UnusedDesktopIcons.ps1 > For checking unused desktop icons
TS_BrokenShortcuts.ps1 < For checking broken shortcuts
Once both of this ps1 files are moved out of the Maintenance folder, the weekly scheduled computer maintenance will no longer check for unused or broken shortcuts and automatically remove them from your desktop.