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Windows 10 desktop icons missing

If you are experiencing the “Windows 10 desktop icons missing/disappeared” issue and don’t know what causes this, you can check the 8 ways in this post to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem and recover the possible lost data and files for free.

Quick Navigation :

Some of you may encounter “Windows 10 desktop icons missing” issue like below.

  • Why did my icons disappear from my desktop Windows 10?
  • How do I get my desktop icons back on Windows 10?
  • Why did my desktop icons disappear?
  • Why are my desktop icons not showing up?

If you start your Windows 10 computer and find all desktop icons in your Windows 10 computer are disappeared, and don’t know how to fix it, check these 8 ways below to restore desktop icons Windows 10 and show desktop Windows 10 icons. An ultimate data recovery guide is also attached to help you recover possible lost files on Windows 10 PC for free.

Quick Video Guide:

Way 1. Turn on Show Desktop Icons to Unhide All Desktop Icons Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop icons missing issue may be caused by accidentally hiding desktop icons. You can restore desktop icons Windows 10 by enabling Show desktop icons.

Step 1. Right-click the empty space on Windows 10 computer screen and click View option.

Step 2. After you click View tab, you can see several options for managing desktop icons. Navigate and check if the option Show desktop icons are ticked, if not, make it ticked. Then check if you get all missing desktop icons back.

show desktop icons

If you even can’t right-click the desktop, you can continue to check other ways below.

Way 2. Fix Windows Desktop Icons Missing by Checking Desktop Icon Settings

Your Windows 10 icons may be hidden, the second step you can take is to show desktop icons in Windows 10 through Settings.

Step 1. You can right-click the computer screen and click Personalize. If you can’t right-click the desktop screen, you can click Start -> Settings -> Personalization.

Step 2. Then choose Themes, and click Desktop icon settings.

Step 3. Then you can select which kinds of desktop icons you’d like to show on Windows computer, and click Apply and OK.

check desktop icons settings

Check if Windows 10 desktop icons are shown now, it not, continue to try other ways.

Related: How to Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode to Fix Issues and Recover Data

Way 3. Turn off the Tablet Mode to Show Desktop Icons

If you have a touch screen, the computer may have two screen modes: Desktop Mode and Tablet Mode. If your Windows 10 computer is in Tablet mode, the desktop icons may not be shown properly. You can turn off Tablet mode to see if “Windows 10 desktop icons disappeared” problem can be solved.

Step 1. You can click Start and Settings to open Windows 10 settings.

Step 2. Click System to open system settings window, and select Tablet mode in the left panel.

Step 3. Make sure the status of Table mode is Off, to turn off tablet mode.

Way 4. Run SFC Scannow to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing Issue

SFC (System File Checker) is a Windows built-in command line tool mainly designed for helping users to scan and repair corrupted system files. If the Windows 10 icons missing issue is caused by system corruption, you can try SFC Scannow to show desktop Windows 10.

Step 1. Open Windows Command Prompt. You can press Windows logo and R keys on the keyboard at the same time. Then type cmd in the box, and hit Enter. When a window pops up asking you if you want to run it as Administrator, click Yes. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + Enter at the same time after typing cmd, to run Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 2. Then in the Command Prompt window, you can type this command line: sfc /scannow, and hit Enter.

run SFC Scannow to fix Windows 10 icons missing

Wait patiently to let the SFC Scan process finish. After that, you can check if the “desktop not showing in Windows 10” issue is fixed.

Recommended reading: How to Repair Windows 10 with Startup Repair, SFC Scannow, etc. (6 Ways)

How to Recover Missing Desktop Files in Windows 10

If you Windows 10 desktop icons are disappeared, some of files you stored in computer may also get lost. Don’t worry, you can easily recover lost data and files with the help of the professional best data recovery software.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a clean and free data recovery program, helping you to recover any deleted/lost files from computer hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, SD card and more.

You can use this tool to recover lost data from almost any data loss situations, incl. system crash, virus attack, hard drive error, etc.

Free download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on your Windows 10 computer, and follow the 3 simple steps below to recover lost data on PC.

Free Download

Step 1 – Launch the Windows 10 File Recovery Software

Open MiniTool Power Data Recovery software to enter into its main UI. Then you can choose a partition and click Scan to start scanning the chosen partition for lost and deleted files.

scan lost files in Windows 10 PC

Step 2 – Preview and Find Lost Files

When the scan process is finished, you can browse, preview and find the lost files and folder in the scan result window.

You can click Find to search the lost file or folder by name, or click Filter to find the files by file extension, file size range, create date, etc. You can also click Show Lost Files icon to only show lost files in the scan result, to quickly find needed files.

Step 3 – Recover Lost Files and Folders in Windows 10 PC

Check all you needed files and click Save button to choose a destination folder to store the recovered lost files. Please remember to choose a different partition to save the recovered files to prevent data overwriting.

recover lost files Windows 10

With this free file undelete software for Windows 10, you can easily restore lost desktop files or any other lost or deleted files in your Windows 10 computer.

Free Download

Way 5. Run CHKDSK to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing

Another Windows built-in command line utility CHKDSK can also help diagnose and fix some computer issues. It can verify the file system integrity of a partition and repair hard disk logical file system errors.

Since your Windows 10 desktop icons are disappeared, you can also try CHKDSK to see if it can get back lost Windows 10 icons.

Step 1. Press Windows + R key on the keyboard, type cmd, and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.

Step 2. Then you can type this command line: chkdsk c: /f /r, and hit Enter. You can replace “c” with the drive letter of another partition or volume, to check and repair errors on other partitions or drives.

run CHKDSK Windows 10

Way 6. Rebuild Icon Cache Windows 10

If nothing helps with the above methods, you can continue to try to rebuild icon cache in Windows 10 to fix Windows 10 desktop icons disappeared error. Check below for how to rebuild icon cache in Windows 10.

Step 1. Still, you should open Command Prompt window. You can press Windows and R key on the keyboard, type cmd, hit Enter and run command prompt as administrator.

Step 2. Then you can type the commands below to rebuild icon cache. Please hit Enter to execute the operation after typing each command line.

  • taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
  • cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
  • attrib –h IconCache.db
  • del IconCache.db
  • start explorer.exe

Way 7. Reset this PC to Fix Windows 10 Icons Missing

You can also try to reset your Windows 10 PC to see if the Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem can be fixed.

Step 1. You can also click Start and click Settings. Then click Update & Security and choose Recovery option.

Step 2. Next you can click Get started under Reset this PC to carry out the resetting process.

Step 3. In the pop-up window, you can choose Keep my files and proceed to reinstall Windows while keeping all your personal files.

reset this PC Windows 10

Also read: Create Windows 10 Repair Disk/Recovery Drive/System Image to Repair Win 10

Way 8. Perform a System Restore to Show Desktop Windows 10

You can also try to conduct a System Restore to see if it can restore desktop icons in Windows 10.

Step 1. Click Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Recovery -> Restart now, to enter into Windows recovery environment.

Step 2. Next you can click Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> System Restore.

System Restore Windows 10

Step 3. Then you can click your computer account and enter the password, and select a restore point to restore your Windows 10 computer to a previous state.

If the 8 ways introduced in this post don’t help you fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing issue, then you may try the last draw: reinstall Windows 10.

As for how to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data and without CD, you can check the details in this post: How to Reinstall Windows 10 without CD/USB Easily (3 Skills)

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Icons Disappeared from Taskbar Windows 10 Solved

If icons are missing from Taskbar in Windows 10, you can try to use SFC or DISM to fix this issue.

  • At first, you can press Windows + R key on the keyboard, type cmd in the Run box, open and run command prompt as administrator. Then type sfc /scannow and hit Enter to let the File System Checker scan and fix Windows 10 issues.
  • If SFC doesn’t fix “Icons Disappeared from Taskbar Windows 10” issue, you can type this command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth, and hit Enter.

After that, you can reboot your Windows 10 PC to see if Windows 10 taskbar icons invisible problem has been fixed. (Windows 10 Taskbar Not Working? 6 Fast Fixes)

Fix “Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 10”

Still, if some of you encounter this issue: can’t move desktop icons on Windows 10, you may try these methods below to fix this problem.

  • Press Esc key on the keyboard three times.
  • Change icons arrangement configuration. You can right-click the blank space on desktop and click View -> uncheck Auto arrange icons.
  • You can also change icon size after you right-click the desktop and click View
  • You can follow the guide above to turn off Tablet mode
  • You can also follow the guide above to go to Troubleshoot and perform a system restore, etc.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, you can try the 8 methods in this post to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem. If you also suffer some data loss because of this error or any other errors on Windows 10 computer, you can also follow the data recovery guide in this post to easily recover lost data and files in Windows 10 with MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

Still have issues about how to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem or how to recover data from Windows 10? Please contact [email protected].

Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing FAQ

How do I get my desktop icons back on Windows 10?
You can turn on Show Desktop Icons, check desktop icon settings, run CHKDSK or SFC Scannow to repair hard drive errors and corrupted system files which might cause the Windows desktop icons missing issue. This post introduces 8 ways with detailed guides to help you get back desktop icons, you can check above.
Why did all my desktop icons disappear Windows 10?
If all your desktop icons are missing, you may have unintentionally turn on an option to hide desktop icons, you can unhide the desktop icons by right-clicking the blank space of screen, click View, and enable Show desktop icons option. If this doesn’t get back the desktop icons, you can try the other 7 ways in this post.
How do I restore my desktop files?
To restore desktop files, you can use a professional data recovery tool like MiniTool Power Data Recovery software to easily recover desktop files on Windows 10/8/7.
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