Fix: Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top in Win­dows 11/10

Are you facing the problem of missing or disappearing icons on the Windows 11/10 desktop? In this article, we will fix the problem where Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top is becoming an annoying issue.

Why People Use Desktop To Keep Icons?

Desktops are often the fastest way to access essential files system folders and give users quick access to applications. Although we all like to keep icons and files on the Desktop for quick access, it creates too much clutter. As we all know, Windows is full of wonders and hiccups. It allows you to hide the desktop icons so everything looks cleaner.

It can be very distressing, primarily if you rely on the Desktop to quickly access your stored data. Don’t worry, here you will find the best solutions for rapidly restoring your Desktop and regaining access to your icons, shortcuts, and files.

Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top

Fix: Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top in Win­dows 11/10

Desktop icons can go missing for various reasons; however, there are a variety of fixes you can apply to restore them. Here we provide you with the most reliable and tested methods for troubleshooting this issue efficiently. Follow these methods given below to bring the icons back on your Windows Desktop:

  1. Enable Show Desktop Icons
  2. Check Desktop Icons Settings
  3. Restart File Explorer
  4. Scan and Fix Corrupt Files on Windows

Let’s try all of them one by one.

1] Enable Show Desktop Icons

 Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top

There’s a possibility that the desktop icon visibility settings is off, and they’ve disappeared. This issue can result from human error or an application you recently installed or used. You can quickly turn it back on by following the steps given below:

  • On your Desktop, right-click any empty space.
  • Click on the View to expand options.
  • Enable the Show desktop icons option from the context menu.

Now you will be able to see your desktop icons appear. If not look at the next solution for the problem where icons dis­ap­pear­ing from desk­top happens too often.

2] Check Desktop Icons Settings

 Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top


The Desktop Icons Settings feature of Windows lets you enable and disable shortcuts for Computer, User’s Files, Network, Control Panel, and Recycle Bin. You can manually add several desktop icons to the Desktop, such as This PC, Network, Recycle Bin. You can access and enable those icons on your Desktop by following the steps below:

  • Press Windows + I to open Windows Settings on your Desktop
  • Click on Personalization or Right-click on the Desktop and go to Personalise.
  • Click on the Themes menu in Windows Settings.
  • Navigate to Desktop icon settings under Related settings. 
  • You can choose which desktop icons will appear on your Desktop in another window.
  • Once you select it, click on the Apply button and then on OK.

It won’t take long for those icons to appear on your Desktop. You can also customize the appearance of the icons in this menu.

3] Restart File Explorer

Restart File Explorer in Windows

The quick fix for icons that previously existed but suddenly vanished is to restart File Explorer. A Windows desktop icon is part of an explorer.exe process on your computer. It is possible to fix Windows 10/11 disappearing icons from the Desktop by ending the task and then relaunching it. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc key on your keyboard to open Task Manager. 
  • Locate Windows Explorer under the Processes tab.
  • Right-click on Windows Explorer > Select Restart

Immediately after the Desktop refreshes, icons should appear on the screen.

4] Scan and Fix Corrupt Files on Windows

SFC Scannow Windows

In addition to the corrupt system files on the Desktop, the issue can occur in some of the files on the Desktop. As part of the Windows OS, Microsoft has built a command line to search for and fix corrupt files on your PC. You might need to run the command to bring back disappeared icons from the Desktop, for example, if you download files from unknown sources on the web.

System File Checker is the correct method to fix it. Corrupt files can be repaired and replaced with new ones using the built-in tool. Follow these steps below to fix it:

  • Press Windows + R key on your keyboard to open the Run menu.
  • Type wt > Press Shift + Enter to launch Windows Terminal with admin permission.
  • Type the command sfc/scannow in the command prompt window > Press Enter.
  • Restart your device after the scan is complete.

The Windows will run the command and fix corrupt files for you. If there is a corrupt file, you will get a message about it.

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to fix the problem— Icons Dis­ap­pear­ing from Desk­top in Win­dows 11/10.

Why am I Unable to Click on the Desktop Icons?

When a shortcut or Desktop fails to launch, the problem is with the file association. To fix the desktop icons issue, you need to go to Windows Settings > Personalization > Themes and click on Desktop Icon settings. Remove the icon which is causing the problem, and apply the changes. Add the icon again, and it should resolve the issue.

If you have issues with all the icons, restart File Explorer and check if the problem is anymore.

How Come My Icons Aren’t Showing up in my Start Menu?

There was always a quick way to access folders and settings from the Windows Start menu. Windows lacks this feature out of the box and allows users to customize what appears in the Start menu. To fix this, follow these steps below:

Press Windows + I key on your keyboard to open the Windows Settings app. Then Click on  Personalization > Start > Folders. Finally, select which icons should appear here.

How to Show Hidden Icons in Windows System Tray?

Any application can add an icon to the system tray. You may see this icon sometimes. Other times you may not. However, you can use the Taskbar Settings to keep an icon visible if you want it to show up when there is activity. Follow these steps to make it visible:

Press Windows + I key on your keyboard to open the Windows Settings app. Then Click on Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar corner overflow. Lastly, toggle on the settings next to the app icon you want to appear. It should now be possible to see the icons in the System tray.


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