How to Troubleshoot Desktop Icons are Missing on Windows Computer

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The desktop is often the fastest way to access important files and system folders, and provides quick access to applications. However, many Windows 10 users report that desktop icons are missing.

This can be a very frustrating problem, especially if you rely on the desktop for quick access to your saved data. In our article, you’ll find the best solutions to quickly restore the desktop and restore access to icons, shortcuts and files.

What causes desktop icons to disappear?

There are several reasons why desktop icons can disappear. These include

  • Caching problems
  • Damaged system files
  • Your computer is in tablet mode
  • Randomly setting your desktop to hide all your desktop icons.

How to restore missing desktop icons?

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Launch an SFC scan

  1. Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously, type cmd and press Enter.
  2. Type the following command in the CMD window and press Enter.
    sfc /scannow
  3. Wait for the program to find and restore the corrupt files on your computer.

Restart your computer

  1. Open the Settings app on your computer.
  2. Click on Update and security.
  3. Select Restore on the left sidebar.
  4. Under Reset this PC, click Start.

Restart Windows Explorer

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard.
  2. Select Task Manager from the options available on the screen.
  3. Click the “Processes” tab if you’re not already there.
  4. Find a process called Windows Explorer, right-click it, and select End Task.
  5. Click the File menu at the top and select Run New Task.
  6. Type explorer.exe in the window that appears on the screen and press Enter. This will restart Windows Explorer.

Return to your previous restore point

  1. Open the Control Panel and click Restore.
  2. On the next screen, click Open System Restore.
  3. On the first screen, click Next.
  4. Select the system point to which you want to restore your computer, and click Next at the bottom.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select Properties.
  2. Click the Desktop tab.
  3. Click the Customize Desktop button.
  4. Click the General tab, then click the icons you want to place on your desktop.
  5. Click OK.

Settings - System - Tablet Mode - turn it off and see if your icons reappear. Or right-click on your desktop, click Show and make sure the Show Desktop Icons option is disabled.

  1. Select the Start button, then Settings -> Personalization -> Themes.
  2. Under Themes -> Related Settings, select Desktop Icons Settings.
  3. Select the icons you want to place on your desktop, then select Apply and OK.

Right-click on your desktop, select Show and make sure the Show Desktop Icons option is checked. If you only want the default icons (system icons), right-click on the desktop and select Customize. Go to the Themes section and select Desktop Icons Settings.

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