How to fix desktop icons disappeared problem in Windows 10?

November 29, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

Windows 10 brought back the popular desktop icons that you were used to in Windows 7. The icons give you quick access to folders, programs or files that you use frequently.

What if the desktop icons disappeared on Windows 10 when you turn on your computer? You’ll have to use the long process to locate your folders or programs. This problem can be caused by deleting the icons unknowingly or modifying some settings by mistake.

If you find yourself in such a dilemma, don’t get worried. Here are 7 tips on how to fix the Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem.

Fix 1: Ensure the “Show desktop icons” feature is enabled

This simple step ensures that you’ve not configured Windows 10 to hide the desktop icons. It’s the first option to look at if your desktop icons are missing.

  1. Right-click on your desktop.
  2. Hover your mouse pointer over to “View.”
  3. Click on the “Show desktop icons” option to enable it.
  4. This fix should restore the desktop icons. If it doesn’t, go on to the second fix.

Fix 2: Enable Desktop icons in Settings

  1. Right-click Start, and select Settings.
  2. Open Personalization > Themes. Alternatively, right-click anywhere on your desktop, and select Personalize > Themes.
  3. Go to “Related Settings,” and then click on the “Desktop icon settings” option.
  4. Under Desktop icons, mark the icons you want to appear on your desktop.
  5. Click “Apply,” and then OK.
  6. If your desktop icons are still missing, try the third fix.

Fix 3: Disable Tablet mode

When Tablet mode is enabled, your desktop is optimized for touch functionality. As a result, your desktop icons and the taskbar are reduced or hidden from your desktop. To disable Tablet mode:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. Click Tablet mode.
  4. If the button is set to On, click to toggle the button to Off.
  5. If that was not the issue, proceed on to the next fix.

Fix 4: Disconnect the second monitor

Occasionally, when you’re using multiple displays, some settings might move the desktop icons to the second display. Try to disconnect the second monitor to see if the desktop icons will be restored.

Fix: 5 Rebuild icon cache

Rebuilding icons cache is another fix worth trying if the above fixes don’t resolve Windows 10 missing desktop icons.

  1. Click Start, and type file explorer.
  2. Select the top result, and hit Enter to open File Explorer.
  3. Click the “View” tab located at the top of the File Explorer window.
  4. On the right side of the window, click on “Hidden items.” This displays hidden folders and files.
  5. Now, go to drive C:\Users\(Your User Name)\AppData\Local.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and right-click IconCache.db.
  7. Click Delete, and then Yes.
  8. Open the Recycle Bin from the Start Menu.
  9. Right-click on it, and select Empty Recycle Bin.
  10. Click Yes to confirm.
  11. Restart your computer to check if the missing desktop icons are restored.

Fix 6. Restore your system

A System Restore can fix the windows 10 desktop icons missing problem. The issue might have been caused by a program or software you installed that modified system settings without your knowledge.

To perform a system restore:

  1. Press the Windows Key+S, and type recovery.
  2. Select Create a Restore Point from the options.
  3. Click the System Restore button.
  4. Click “Choose a different restore point.”
  5. Click Next, and mark the box next to “Show more restore points.” This opens a list of dates that show the several restore points saved on your computer.
  6. Try to remember the date when the desktop icons disappeared. The date you pick will revert your computer to the settings of that particular day.
  7. Click Next, and then Finish.

If none of these solutions work, resetting your PC might do the trick.

Fix 7: Reset your PC

  1. Press the Windows Key and select Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security, and select Recovery.
  3. Under the first option titled “Reset this PC,” click Get Started.
  4. The screen that appears gives you two options. Choose the most appropriate one to start the process of resetting your computer.

Another common cause of your desktop icons disappearing on Windows 10 is outdated drivers. To update a graphics driver, you must know the exact model that’s compatible with your computer and Windows 10 version.

This can be a complicated process. That’s why Auslogics Driver Updater is the recommended tool to automatically update your drivers. The software not only checks your computer for missing or outdated drivers, but it also installs the correct drivers that are compatible with your machine.

Even better, Auslogics Driver Updater creates backups so that you can revert to the previous version if you don’t like the new driver update. Updated graphics drivers ensure the smooth operation of your PC.

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