Desktop shortcuts disappear in Windows 7


The System Maintenance trouble-shooter performs a weekly maintenance of the operating system. The System Maintenance trouble-shooter either fixes problems automatically or reports problems through Action Centre. When there are more than four broken shortcuts on the desktop, the System Maintenance trouble-shooter automatically removes all broken shortcuts from the desktop.


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Keep the number of broken shortcuts on your desktop to four or less.


Method 2

If you must have more than four broken shortcuts on your desktop, you can disable the System Maintenance trouble-shooter.

Note If you disable the System Maintenance trouble-shooter, all the maintenance tasks that it performs are disabled. Therefore, we recommend that you use Method 1.

To disable the System Maintenance trouble-shooter, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.
  3. On the left navigation pane, click Change settings.
  4. Set Computer Maintenance to Off.


Examples of broken shortcuts

You may create shortcuts on the desktop that frequently become "broken." For example, a desktop shortcut for a USB device may be regarded as broken if the USB device is not connected when the System Maintenance trouble-shooter performs its maintenance.