Desktop shortcut reappears after deletion? Desktop files keep reappearing after deletion? This post from MiniTool focuses on the “deleted shortcut still on desktop” issue and gives you a couple of useful solutions to help you get rid of it.

Desktop icons keep reappearing after deletion, or files keep reappearing after deletion are annoying issues that are troubling lots of users. Here is a true example.

Now the system is about 3 months old and I have this, minor (I hope), yet annoying, little issue. On the desktop, when I delete files, shortcuts, and folders, they reappear again after some time has passed, but those are then no longer "deletable" because they no longer exist. Is there a simple fix or explanation for this issue? I'd rather not set up the whole PC again because I am using it a lot currently. Thanks in advance!

In our previous post, we talked about how to fix the “USB drive keeps showing deleted files“ issue. Today we will tell you what should do when deleted desktop items keep reappearing.

Why Is Deleted Shortcut Still on the Desktop

Various reasons can cause the problem of “deleted desktop items keep reappearing”. In general, this issue is often caused by the following reasons.

  • The Recycle Bin is corrupted.
  • The desktop icon is broken.
  • The desktop icon permission is misconfigured.
  • The system file is corrupted.
  • Your computer is infected by a virus.
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How to Fix Desktop Shortcut Reappears After Deletion Windows 11/10

Fix 1. Disable the Application in Task Manager

If your application icon on the desktop such as the Edge shortcut keeps reappearing after deleting, you can try to disable the program startup listing in Task Manager. To achieve this goal, you can follow the steps below.


Note: It is recommended that you do not disable all startup programs, for doing this may cause the computer to crash. To know what startup programs are safe to disable, you can refer to this article: Windows 10/11 Startup Programs to Disable to Speed up Your PC.

Step 1. Right-click the Windows logo icon and select Task Manager.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, move on to the Startup section. Select the program that needs to be disabled, then click the Disable button in the lower right corner.

disable the startup program

Now you can delete the desktop icon again and check whether the “desktop shortcut reappears after deletion” issue persists.

See Also: Microsoft Edge Shortcut Keeps Appearing [5 Solutions].

Fix 2. Rebuild the Icon Cache

As said before, if the desktop icon is broken, it may show up after deleting. In this situation, rebuilding the icon cache is an effective way to fix the broken icon. You can follow the steps below to accomplish this task.

Step 1. Press Windows + E key combinations to open File Explorer.

Step 2. In the top address bar, navigate to the following location path:


Step 3. Select all files beginning with iconcache and right-click them to delete those files. After that, restart your computer to make sure the problem has gone.

delete all the iconcache files

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Fix 3. Change the Desktop Icon Settings

You are allowed to set whether to display desktop icons in Desktop Icon Settings. This way only works for some items such as the Computer, the Recycle Bin, the Control Panel, etc.

Here you can see how to do that.

Step 1. Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcuts to open Windows Settings, then select Personalization.

Step 2. Move on to the Themes tab and click the Desktop icon settings button in the right panel.

Step 3. In the new window, uncheck the icon that you do not want to show on your desktop. Here we take the Recycle Bin for example. Finally, click OK to save this setting.

uncheck the Recycle Bin

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Fix 4. Repair the Corrupted Recycle Bin

When the Recycle Bin is corrupted, the deleted desktop icons, files, or folders may not be moved to the Recycle Bin. In this case, the “deleted shortcut still on desktop” issue occurs as well.

So, to get rid of the reappearing desktop icon issue, you need to repair the corrupted Recycle Bin.

Fix 5. Change the Desktop Icon Permission

If you do not have permission to modify the desktop icon, you will face the matter of “desktop shortcut reappears after deletion”. To fix this issue, you need to gain permission by applying the steps below.

Step 1. On your desktop, right-click the problematic icon to select Properties.

Step 2. Under the Security tab, select your username and click the Edit button.

Step 3. Make sure you have full control of this object. If you do not have this permission, you need to check the box next to Full control and then click the OK button.

allow full control

Fix 6. Scan Your Computer for Viruses

Virus infection causes lots of computer issues, such as data loss, computer crash, hard drive corruption, and more. Also, it may cause the problem of “shortcuts keep appearing on desktop Windows 11/10”.

In this case, you can use Windows Defender, the built-in Windows antivirus to scan your computer for viruses or malware.

Now you can follow the steps below to scan for viruses.

Step 1. Open Windows Settings and click Update & Security.

Step 2. In the left panel, select Windows Defender. Then click Open Windows Defender Security Center > Virus & threat protection.

Step 3. Click Quick Scan.

click the quick scan button

Step 4. Wait for the scanning process to complete and follow the on-screen instructions to remove viruses.

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Top Recommendation

As mentioned before, a virus attack may cause data loss. Here a piece of free data recovery software – MiniTool Power Data Recovery, is recommended to help you recover files deleted by a virus.

This data restore service can help to restore the missing Pictures folder, retrieve the missing Users folder, and recover Office files, videos, audio, etc. from internal hard drives, external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, CDs/DVDs, and so on.

Just click the button below to download MiniTool Power Data Recovery and give it a try.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

the main interface of MiniTool Power Data Recovery

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Fix 7. Run DISM and SFC Scan

Corrupted system files can be responsible for the matter of “desktop shortcut reappears after deletion”. Running the System File Checker (SFC) tool is the best way to repair missing or corrupted system files. You can read this guide to finish the repair process.

Wrapping Things Up

In a word, this article talks about how to address the problem of “desktop shortcut reappears after deletion”. Hope the tips above help you.

If you have any questions about MiniTool software, welcome to contact us via [email protected].

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