Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing
Desktop icons not showing in Windows 10
Here are a few options to try if your desktop icons aren’t showing up.
1. Enable desktop icons
Many people enjoy arranging stuff on their desktops, but they despise having to look at the resulting chaos. If you activate the option to conceal desktop icons in Windows 10, you might not see any icons on your desktop.
- Go to your desktop.
- Right-click anywhere.
- From the context menu, select View>Show desktop icons.
- Check if the desktop icons appear.
2. Restart Explorer.exe
Explorer.exe isn’t the same as Windows Explorer or File Explorer. It is responsible for a variety of other operations on your computer; for example, if it malfunctions, the taskbar may not function properly or you may be unable to display desktop icons.
- Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
- Go to the Processes tab and look for Windows Explorer.
- Select it, and click Restart at the bottom right.
If you’re having difficulties opening Task Manager, you can try a few alternative approaches.
3. Disable/Uninstall UI modifying apps and themes
Third-party programs and themes can be used to customize the look and feel of Windows 10. Although you, as a user, may just see a new skin given to the OS, the changes can be considerable.
Apps and themes may block specific capabilities to give your OS a new/different look, so if you have anything like that installed, such as UXthemepatcher, disable or delete it.
Check to see whether your desktop icons appear after restarting the computer.
4. Toggle projection mode
If you have a multi-monitor setup or have previously utilized a second (or third) monitor, it may still be detected as a phantom display, and the icons may be hidden there.
- Tap the Win+P keyboard shortcut.
- In the panel on the right, select PC screen only
- Check if the icons show up. If they do, you can set the projection mode back to whatever it was before.
5. Rebuild icon cache
The desktop may not be able to load icons for the numerous files and folders that you’ve stored to it if the icon cache is corrupt.
- Open File Explorer and go to the View tab.
- Enable the ‘Hidden items’ check box.
- Navigate to the following location (replace Username with your own user name).
- Look for a file called IconCache.db.
- Select it and tap Shift+Delete.
- Restart the system.
6. Turn off Tablet Mode
Windows 10 isn’t just for computers. It also operates on tablets, with a slightly altered user interface to make the device easier to use. Users on a desktop can enable Tablet mode if they desire, but it will modify the way some things work.
- Open the Settings app (Win+i keyboard shortcut).
- Go to System>Tablet.
- Open the When I sign in dropdown and select ‘Never use tablet mode’.
- If you have a 2-in-1 device i.e., a touch screen device, open the ‘When I use this device as a tablet’ dropdown and select ‘Don’t switch to tablet mode’.
7. Turn off Start menu fullscreen
The Start menu has two modes: a column view, which most users prefer and is similar to the Start menu in Windows 7, and a fullscreen mode.
- Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
- Go to Personalization>Start.
- Turn the Use Start full screen switch off.
The desktop is one of Windows 10’s most substantial and well-built elements. It rarely has flaws that can’t be solved, and UI changing apps are frequently to fault when something goes wrong with it. If you want to tweak your operating system, prepare a restore point beforehand and only use tried-and-true apps to do so.