I deleted my favorites folder desktop icon, does that mean the whole file is gone?
The Favorites Folder desktop icon is simply a graphic that points to where the favorites folder is actually stored on your computer ...
So not necessarily. It depends on several factors including:
• Whether the Favorites folder desktop icon was a shortcut
• Whether the Favorites folder desktop icon represented the folder's actual location
• Whether the Recycle Bin has been emptied
• Whether you have a backup of your Favorites folder
Desktop icons can represent either a folder's actual location or they can be shortcuts that point to the Favorite's folder location. How can you tell the difference? Desktop shortcut icons have arrows embedded on top of the icon which indicates that the icon is a shortcut. They are created in Windows Explorer by right-clicking a folder and choosing Send to > Desktop (create shortcut). In contrast, if you drag and drop a folder from Windows Explorer and onto the desktop, the folder is physically moved to its new location.
For example, by default the Favorites folder is located in: C:\users\[user]\Favorites. If you were to drag and drop it to the desktop, you'd see a Favorites folder desktop icon (without the arrow) on your desktop and its new location would be: C:\users\[user]\Desktop\Favorites.
Assuming you don't know whether the Favorites folder desktop icon
represented the folder itself or a shortcut, let's go into Windows Explorer
and see if the original Favorites folder still exists. Right-click the Start
button and choose Open Windows Explorer (or Explore for earlier versions of
Windows). Navigate to the hard disk > Users and select your user name. Is a
Favorites folder listed? If so, the missing Favorites folder desktop icon
was just a shortcut that can easily be recreated by right-clicking the
Favorites folder and clicking Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).
If the Favorites folder is missing from its default location, it's likely that the deleted Favorites folder desktop icon was indeed the entire folder. If you recently deleted it and you haven't emptied the Recycle Bin, you can restore it. On your desktop, double-click the Recycle Bin. You can sort the contents alphabetically or by deletion date. Find the Favorites folder and right-click it. Choose Restore.
What if you recently emptied the Recycle Bin, making it impossible to restore the deleted Favorites folder desktop icon? If you have a backup copy, you can restore it that way. Another option would be to use a data recovery program to recover the deleted folder. These programs work because deleted files and folders aren't technically deleted right away. Instead, they are renamed and hidden. However, you have to work quickly because the space that they occupy on the hard disk is considered "free space" and new data will eventually overwrite the deleted files and folders.
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