Cannot delete icons, files or folders on Windows desktop

If you are for some reason, unable to delete your desktop icons, files or folders in Windows 10/8/7, and receive error messages like Item Not Found, Could not find this item, Location is not available, then you may try one or more of the following suggestions. This happened to me recently on my Windows PC. I saw a folder named New folder, and I went on to delete it, I found that I was unable to and received error message boxes.

If you go to delete the file or folder, you may receive the following error message:

Item Not Found, Could not find this item

Item Not Found or Could not find this item

If you try to delete or rename the item, you may see the following error box:

Location is not available

location is not available

Cannot delete icons, files or folders

If you too face a similar problem, first, simply restart your computer and see if you are able to delete it. If not, then here are a few things you could try.

1. Refresh the desktop and see if you can now delete them. Run Check Disk too.

2. Boot in safe mode and try deleting them.

3. Go to the desktop folder/s and try deleting from there. The typical path is C:\Users\UserName\Desktop or C:\Users\Public\Desktop.

4. Open and elevated command prompt and:

Use the del command to delete undeletable files: del “Path of File”

Use the RMDIR or RD command to delete undeletable folders: rd /s /q “Path of Folder”

  • /S : Delete all files and subfolders in addition to the folder itself. Use this to remove an entire folder tree.
  • /Q : Quiet – do not display Y/N confirmation

5. Use freeware Delete Doctor utility to lock and delete the files on reboot. To delete undeletable folders, try Unlocker instead.

6. If they are leftover icons after un-installing a program, install the program again, delete the desktop icons and then uninstall the program.

7. Open Regedit and navigate to


Double click on NameSpace and check inside each of the GUID folders. If you are able to identify the icon by name, delete it. This is especially useful for deleting some un-deletable system icons.

Hope something helps.

Read next: Error 0x80070091 The directory is not empty.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.