Wizards populate the world of Windows just as they do in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Although wizards in the Rings trilogy can be good like Gandalf or bad like Sauroman, most often in Windows XP wizards are only mildly annoying. One of the more irritating wizards in Windows XP is the Desktop Cleanup Wizard. Here’s how you get rid of it.

Banishing the wizard
Right-click on an empty area on the desktop and select the Properties command. When the Display Properties dialog box appears, click the Desktop tab. Then on the Desktop tab, click the Customize Desktop button. You’ll then see the Desktop Items screen shown in Figure A.

Figure A
Turn off the Desktop Cleanup Wizard on the Desktop Items screen.

To disable the Desktop Cleanup Wizard, remove the checkmark from the Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard Every 60 Days checkbox. As you can see, you don’t have the option of changing the frequency of the wizard. You either run it every 60 days or you don’t run it at all. You do have the option of running the wizard immediately by clicking Clean Desktop Now.

Click OK to save your changes. Finally click OK in the Display Properties dialog box to close it, and you’ve said goodbye to the Desktop Cleanup Wizard.