Non-Persistent Desktop

What Does Non-Persistent Desktop Mean?

A non-persistent desktop is a desktop where nothing gets saved at the end of the user session. Any files that have been saved on the desktop, settings or shortcuts are all lost at the end of the session.


Techopedia Explains Non-Persistent Desktop

A persistent desktop is more desirable than a non-persistent desktop for many projects. A persistent desktop mimics the earlier network systems where users were accessing physical disk images, and could permanently change that disk image with commands. With a non-persistent desktop, on the other hand, it is impossible to change the desktop permanently or store files or folders.

A non-persistent virtual desktop may not serve companies well in most cases. One exception is where the company actually wants a consistent single-session presentation for a public workstation. If the desktop is meant to be shared by many different public users, it may be a good choice to have a non-persistent desktop where users cannot save items, change settings or create shortcuts. Examples would include university, airport or public library kiosks or other settings where user privileges should be limited. However, for most workplaces, a persistent desktop makes more sense.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.