How to Fix Desktop Icons Missing or Disappeared in Windows 10

It is well-known that Microsoft releases new updates to Windows 10 every now and then. Some users are eager to get the updates as soon as possible, while others are desperately trying to disable Windows Home/Pro automatic update. No matter which group you are in, there are always some unknown issues happening and causing troubles. Desktop icons missing is one of the most common one. In this tutorial, we are going to introduce 5 solutions to fix the desktop icons disappeared problem on Windows 10 as well as Windows 7.

How to Fix Desktop Icons Missing or Disappeared in Windows

Why Do the Desktop Icons Disappear?

Possibly no one can name all the causes, but they are usually due to mistaken settings, a system glitch or the error on third-party apps. The methods in this tutorial are designed accordingly. Therefore, don’t worry when the desktop not showing in Windows 10 all of a sudden.

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Nevertheless, the following instructions can only fix the issue when the icons were missing. If the icons or files were deleted, you will need the best data recovery software to recover lost photos, videos and documents from Windows 10.

Method 1. Fix Desktop Icons Disappeared Windows 7/10 on Right-click Menu

If you have all of your icons missing, then it is highly likely that you may have triggered an option that hides all desktop icons. Fixing this is easy.

The solution is straightforward. If it did work for your case, then the problem was possibly caused due to an unconscious mistake or a naughty trick.

Method 2. Fix Desktop Icons Missing in Windows 10 Settings

If only the default desktop icons, like Recycle Bin or Computer, disappeared, then there is possibly a visible issue on desktop icon settings.

Method 3. Disable Tablet Mode to Fix Desktop Icons Missing in Windows 10

Tablet mode is a very cool feature in Windows 10 providing a touch-friendly experience as long as the hardware is qualified. In case the above methods do not work, please try to recall if you have enabled the Tablet mode in Windows 10.

Method 4. Check If You Have Installed Third-party Desktop Managers

Third-party desktop utilities, like Fences by Stardock, enable many possibilities to customize Windows computer. When there is a glitch or a wrong operation, the apps may hide the desktop shortcuts. Most of the apps are set to run along with the operating system, so it may be hard to identify in the normal situation.

Method 5. Fix Desktop Icons Disappeared in Windows 10 by SFC Scan

SFC, short for System File Checker, is a utility allowing users to scan for malfunctions or corruptions in the operating system. If none of the above methods works for you, you can try the steps below.


We have learnt how to fix desktop icons missing on Windows 10/7 with up to 5 methods. Each of them has been proven working for some users, so you’re suggested try with them one by one until your missing desktop shortcuts come back. Feel free to share your experience or question with us in the comment so that more people will benefit.

/ Public by Jihosoft

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