What drives me nuts: Windows installers putting shortcuts on the desktop


Nothing screams the 1990’s like every time you install a piece of software that it puts an icon with a shortcut on your desktop. I know that most software asks you if you want one placed on the desktop, and I ALWAYS uncheck that box. But all too often, the software installs it anyway, or it doesn’t ask and just drops one there.

I know this is a minor rant, and I also know people (more than one) who manages their workflow via piles of files on their desktop, and for them, it makes perfect sense to put shortcuts on their desktop (although, for me it is always faster to tap the Windows key and type the name of the program I want to load). Fine, ask them first, and then drop the shortcut.

But many times, the program doesn’t ask, and just places it. Or, it asks, you can unselect it, and it will STILL drop it on the desktop.

This is one reason why I prefer the Mac. Beyond the fact that installing applications is usually no more complicated than copying it into the “Applications” folder, there isn’t a paradigm of putting shortcuts on the desktop to foster quick launching.

Needless to say, I have over 30 shortcut icons on my desktop, none that I put there intentionally, and most of them placed even though I selected to not have one copied there on install.  About 2x a year, I go and delete all the useless desktop icons.


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By geoffand


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May 2013

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