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What are DESKTOP files and how to open them

Are you having problems opening a DESKTOP file or are you simply curious about its contents? We're here to explain the properties of these files and provide you with software that can open or handle your DESKTOP files.

What is a DESKTOP file?

DESKTOP files have multiple uses, and KDE/GNOME Desktop Item is one of them. Read more about the other uses further down the page.

KDE/GNOME Desktop Item

Files that contain the .desktop file extension are commonly associated with Linux and Unix-based operating systems. These files provide the Linux and Unix systems with a GUI and let the systems know how to launch the associated application.

DESKTOP files are data files that contain information about an item that is located on the user's hard drive. These configuration details include information about a program's menu, storing details about the program's name, the program's associated icon file, the command used to run the program, and other related program data.

How to open DESKTOP files

Important: Different programs may use files with the DESKTOP file extension for different purposes, so unless you are sure which format your DESKTOP file is, you may need to try a few different programs.

We have not yet verified any programs for Windows that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!

Last updated: February 24, 2023

All known file formats using extension .DESKTOP

While KDE/GNOME Desktop Item is a popular type of DESKTOP-file, we know of 2 different uses of the .DESKTOP file extension. Different software may use files with the same extension for different types of data.

Stardock DesktopX Theme

The .desktop file suffix is also used by the DesktopX utility, which is a program that allows users to change the way their desktop looks. These files incorporate themes and widgets into the DESKTOP file to customize a user's computing experience.

DESKTOP opener for Windows

We have identified one DESKTOP opener that is compatible with this specific type of DESKTOP file.


Help us help others

File.org helps thousands of users every day, and we would love to hear from you if you have additional information about DESKTOP file formats, example files, or compatible programs. Please use the links below or email us at submit@file.org to discuss further.