Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Your desktop is really just another directory in your computer. It's more a matter of organization than speed.
Does storing files (for example, Word files) directly to my Windows 7 desktop as opposed to storing the files in the Documents folder and creating shortcuts as desired on my desktop, slow the computer's performance? I'm getting conflicting opinions on this matter. Thanks for any guidance you can give me.
In this excerpt from Answercast #8, I discuss using the desktop as a storage for documents and icons, and give my preference.
No, it doesn't really have any performance impact at all. Certainly not with respect to accessing the documents. It's more of an organizational thing: do you put documents on your desktop or do you put shortcuts to documents that actually live somewhere else on your computer?
The only thing that comes to mind is that if you have a desktop that has lots and lots of icons (be they for documents or shortcuts to documents), then it's going to take longer for the desktop to redraw: but it doesn't make any difference whether you're using documents or shortcuts to documents for that.
That's one of the reasons I personally tend to keep a very clean desktop with just a couple of icons on it. I tend to throw things into menus, either off my Start menu or off custom menus.
But, the short answer to your question is no. I can't see how it can make any noticeable difference whatsoever.