Fix: Desktop Icons Missing In Windows 10


Showing or hiding desktop icons is fairly easy in Windows 10. You just have to right-click on the desktop, click View option, and then click Show desktop icons option to show/hide desktop icons. While there is no keyboard shortcut exist to show or hide desktop icons by default, yo can create a keyboard shortcut to show/hide desktop icons.

At times, you might not be able to see icons and other files on the desktop even when the desktop view is configured to show icons.

desktop icons missing in Windows 10 pic4

If you cannot see desktop icons in Windows 10, you can try out the solutions given below.

Solution 1 of 5

Check desktop icon settings

Have you used the default way to show desktop icons? Here is how to show desktop icons.

Step 1: Right-click on the desktop. Click View and then click Show desktop icons option.

desktop icons missing in Windows 10 pic1

If you have already done this, please skip to the next solution.

Solution 2 of 5

Auto arrange icons

If desktop icons stopped appearing after disconnecting from an external monitor, here is what you need to do to get them back.

Step 1: Right-click on the desktop, click View and then click Auto arrange desktop icons option.

desktop icons missing in Windows 10 pic2

This option does nothing but puts back icons that were previously outside the viewing area of the screen.

Solution 3 of 5

Turn off the tablet mode

When your Windows 10 device is in tablet mode, you cannot see or access desktop icons/files. Here is how to turn off the tablet mode:

Step 1: Open Settings (Windows logo + I). Click System category.

Step 2: Click Tablet mode. In When I sign in drop down box, select Use desktop mode option.

desktop icons missing in Windows 10 pic3

Step 3: Close running applications and then sign out. Sign in again to see desktop icons. If you cannot see them, right-click on the desktop, click View, and then click Show desktop icons option.

Solution 4 of 5

Restore Windows 10 to a previous date

If desktop icons were appearing until a few days back, you could try restoring Windows 10 to an earlier date to fix the issue. Refer to our how to restore Windows 10 an earlier date guide for step-by-step directions.

Solution 5 of 5

Create a new user account

If you cannot live without desktop icons, you can create a new user account and move all your data from your current user account to that account.

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Dylan Austin


Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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