Can’t Delete or Rename a File from the Desktop Despite Admin Permissions

Over the course of the last few days, I’d searched for images and dragged ones I wanted on to the desktop. This morning, I saw a shortcut on the desktop, what looked like a broken link with the name “data image_jpeg;base64 [whole buncha’ hex values]

The problems with this file were:

  • Can’t delete it
  • Can’t drag it to Recycle Bin
  • Can’t edit its file name
  • Attempting to delete with CMD or PowerShell results in “file not found” (IT’S RIGHT THERE!!!!!)

All permissions are as expected. I’m the admin on my machine. It didn’t come from a badly written GPO.

The Fix

Open WinRAR, of all things. Navigate to the file’s location (in my case, the desktop). Delete the file from within WinRAR’s explorer with Shift+DEL.

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