Fix Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top on Win­dows 11/10

Windows can be full of bad surprises. Suddenly, your Windows may not work the way they should, leading to unwanted problems. One such issue is icons disappearing from the Desktop. If you are facing the same issue and looking for a way to fix it, I have got your back.

I have mentioned some of the best ways to bring back your desktop icons in this post. So let’s quickly get into the topic.

Why Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top on Win­dows?

  • There is a good reason that icon cache files have been corrupted on your Windows system. And you have to repair them to fix the issue.
  • You might have hidden the desktop settings by mistake. So try enabling show desktop icons or re-add icons on your desktop.
  • Maybe, your File Explorer process is stuck. So try restarting it, and it might fix the issue for you.

Fix Icons Disappearing from Desktop on Windows

How To Fix Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top on Win­dows 11/10?

In this article, I will share with you some of the best ways to help you fix desktop icons disappearing issue:

  1. Enable Show Desktop Icons
  2. Check Desktop Icons
  3. Restart Windows Explorer
  4. Scan And Fix Corrupt Windows Files
  5. Update Windows
  6. Check Group Policy Setting
  7. Reset Windows

Now let me talk about these methods one by one in brief below:

1. Enable Show Desktop Icons

Show Desktop Icons on Windows

If you use Windows 11 or 10, you might have disabled show desktop icons. As a result, desktop icons are not showing up. To enable it, follow the below steps:

  • Right-click on an empty area on your desktop.
  • Go to View > Show desktop icons.

That’s it. Now your desktop icons should be visible. If it doesn’t work, then move to the other fixes.

2. Check Desktop Icons

Are shortcuts like Computer, User’s Files, Network, Recycle bin, and other icons have disappeared from your Desktop? If yes, then you can re-add them by following the below steps:

Desktop Icon Settings Windows

  • Right-click on your Desktop and go to Personalize.
  • Then click on Themes from the available options.
  • Scroll down and select Desktop icon settings.
  • Now choose the icons you want on your Dekstop and click on Apply and OK.
  • Once done, the icons should be visible on your Desktop.

3. Restart Windows Explorer

Windows desktop icons are part of the explorer.exe process. So in case the explorer.exe program is not responding or having any issues, then the desktop icons might not appear. In such a case, a simple restart may fix the problem, and to do so, follow the below steps:

  • Right-click on the Start Menu and select Task Manager.
  • Click on More details from the bottom to expand your task manager.
  • From the Processes tab, look for Windows Explorer.
  • Finally, please select it and click on the Restart button at the bottom right corner.

Restart File Explorer in Windows

  • After that, check if it helped you to fix the issue. If not, then move to other fixes.

It will refresh everything on the desktop, bringing back the missing icons.

4. Scan And Fix Corrupt Windows Files

run system file checker Windows

If your Windows files are corrupted, it can also lead to icons disappearing on Windows. You can repair the system files and see if it works for you in such a case. For this, go ahead and follow the below steps:

  • Right-click on your Start Menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin) or Command Prompt.
  • On Windows Terminal, type down sfc/scannow and press Enter.
  • Now let Windows run the process and repair your corrupted files.
  • Once done, give your PC a restart and see if your desktop icons have appeared or not.

5. Update Windows

The issue could also appear because of any bug in the Windows system or outdated drivers. To fix this, the best solution would be to update Windows. For this, you can follow the below steps:

  • Go to Windows settings (Win + I)
  • Click on Windows update.
  • Click on Check for updates and see if there is any update available.
  • If it is available, download and install it and check if it works.

6. Check Group Policy Setting

If all the desktop icons have disappeared from your Desktop, and you cannot right-click on Desktop, the issue could be with group policy settings. In such a case, you can follow the below steps to fix it:

Group Policy Hide Desktop Icons

  • Go to Windows search, type down Edit Group Policy, and launch it.
  • Then go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop.
  • Double-click the Hide and disable all items on the desktop policy on the right side.
  • If this policy is enabled, select Not Configured and click OK.
  • Finally, restart your computer, and the desktop icons should appear again.

7. System Restore

Find System Restore Point

System Restore is a great feature that creates a backup of existing OS whenever a significant change happens. It includes software installation and updates.

  • Press Win + S to open Search
  • Type System Restore and click on Recovery from the list
  • Then click on Open System Restore link to launch the wizard
  • Click on the Next button, and select a restore date where the Desktop icons were visible
  • Lastly, follow the process unless it competes and restarts.

7. Reset Windows

If nothing works out for you in the end, then resetting your computer would be the best idea. Luckily resetting Windows will not delete your files. But yes, it will take a lot of time. So make sure to have a few hours in your hands before resetting your PC. It is equally important that you also have a backup of essential data on your PC.

Once you are ready, follow the below steps:

Reset Windows PC

  • Go to Windows settings and navigate to System > Recovery.
  • Then click on Reset PC and select Keep my files.
  • Next, follow all the onscreen steps to complete the process.

So those were all the methods to fix icons dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top on Win­dows 11/10. I hope the above fixes did help you to get rid of the error. If you are stuck at anything, feel free to drop a comment below.

How to Customize Icons on Desktop?

Windows allows you to customize desktop icons. You can use a Windows icon for any of your folders and files. Alternatively, you can also use your image as a folder or file icon. To do so, follow the below steps:

  • Right-click on your Desktop folder or file and select Properties.
  • Click on the Customize tab.
  • Select Change icon.
  • Now choose from the available icon set and click on OK to change the folder or file icon.
  • If you wish to use your image, click on browse, select an image file, and click OK to change the icon.
Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.

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