How to Fix Icons Disappearing from Desktop on Windows 10/11 2022 Tip

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In early 2021, the likelihood of Microsoft releasing a successor to Windows 10 in the foreseeable future seemed extremely slim. That was the case until late May, when CEO Satya Nadella began talking openly about “the next generation of Windows.” Speculation about a possible “Windows 11” soon took over, especially after Microsoft announced an event for June 24. A preview was leaked even before the official unveiling, but Microsoft still had a few surprises up its sleeve.

By default, when you install a new Windows 11, the only icons you’ll find on the desktop are the ones for Edge and the Recycle Bin. Other important icons like “This PC”, “Control Panel”, “Network”, etc. they remain invisible. Apart from that, you will notice that your desktop icons disappear when you upgrade from Windows 10 to 11. Can’t you right-click anywhere on the desktop to restore the missing icons? Here are some troubleshooting tips to fix desktop icons not showing up in Windows 11. If for some reason your desktop icons are missing on your Windows 11 PC, this gearupwindows article will help you restore them.

How to fix icons disappearing from the desktop in Windows 10/11

Enable Show Desktop Icons

Before going ahead with any advanced solutions to fix icons disappearing from desktop in Windows problems, make sure the setting is enabled from the View menu. Follow the steps below.

  • Right click on any open space on the desktop.
  • Click View.
  • Enable the Show desktop icons option in the context menu.

Check desktop icon settings

Windows offers a handy desktop icon setting that allows you to enable/disable shortcuts for the computer, user files, network, control panel, and recycle bin. Here’s how to access and enable those icons on your desktop.

  • Right click on the desktop and go to Personalize.
  • The Themes menu in Windows Settings will open.
  • Scroll down and select Desktop Icon Settings.
  • Turn on desktop icons for the computer, user files, network, recycle bin, and control panel. Click Apply and click OK.
    • You will soon see those icons appearing on the desktop. From the same menu, you can also change the appearance of the icons.

Try tablet mode

Tablet mode modifies how desktop icons appear in Windows 10. You can enable tablet mode from Settings and check if the change can fix the problem or not.

Microsoft has removed Tablet mode from the Windows 11 operating system. This trick only works on Windows 10.

  • Open the Settings app in Windows 10.
  • Click the System option and select Tablet mode.
  • Select Use tablet mode from the At login menu.
  • Restart the Windows laptop and check whether the icons appear on the desktop or not.

Restart Windows Explorer

Windows desktop icons are part of the explorer.exe process on your computer. You can finish the task completely and then restart it to fix icons disappearing from desktop issue in Windows 10/11. This is what you should do.

  • Press the Windows key and open Task Manager.
  • Click on Windows Explorer and select Restart at the bottom.
  • The operating system will restart the process and allow you to see icons appearing on the desktop now.

Scan and repair corrupt files in Windows

Microsoft has included a command line in the Windows operating system that allows you to find and repair corrupted files on your PC. For example, if someone is downloading files from unknown sources on the web, you may need to run the command to retrieve missing desktop icons.

  • Press the Windows + R keys and open the run menu.
  • Type cmd and press the OK button.
  • Type sfc /scannow in the command prompt window and press Enter.
  • Let Windows run the command and fix the corrupt files for you.

Final words: How to Fix Icons Disappearing from Desktop on Windows 10/11

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