How to Modify the Desktop Cleanup Wizard Run Frequency

The Desktop Cleanup Wizard can be of help in cleaning up shortcuts that you haven’t used within a particular time frame.  The default period is usually 60 days.  However, if you like enabling your Desktop Cleanup Wizard, you can customize the default period.

Changing the default period requires registry modification.  This tweak will work for Windows XP based computers.  Since changes to the registry will be made, you should create a back-up prior to making any edits to the registry.  The back-up file will allow you to restore the registry to the previous settings in case issues arise.

To change the default period for the Desktop Cleanup Wizard to run:

  1. Click Start and go to Run.  Type in regedit in the little box that pops up and press OK.

  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER.  This is found on the left side of the box.

  3. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER to get to the Software folder.

  4. Once you’ve found the Software folder, expand this and go to Microsoft.

  5. Expand Microsoft and look for the Windows folder.  Expand Windows.

  6. This should take you to CurrentVersion.  Expand this folder and find the Explorer folder.

  7. Expanding the Explorer folder should take you to the Desktop folder.

  8. Expand the Desktop folder to go to the CleanupWiz folder.

  9. Look at the right hand side of the registry editor.  Check if you see a REG_DWORD value with the name “Days between clean up.”  If you see this value, jump to Step 10.  If this value is not listed, you will have to run the Desktop Cleanup Wizard manually.  This will create the value automatically for you.  Instructions for manually running the Cleanup Wizard follow.

    1. Click Start and then click on Control Panel
    2. Click on Appearance and Themes
    3. Look in “or Pick a Control Panel Icon” for Display.  Click this value.
    4. A small box will pop up.  Click on the Desktop tab on the upper left.
    5. Click on Customize Desktop.  Another box will appear.
    6. Click on Clean Desktop now.  Wait for the procedure to finish.
  10. Double click on “Days between clean up.”  A new box should pop up.
  11. The default is 60 days between clean up. You may change this value to be more or less than 60 days depending on your need.  Do this in decimal form.
  12. Exit registry and reboot.