Can’t see the desktop icons? Put a solution

Whatever the origin of the problem, we are going to see different ways that we have available from Windows to be able to solve it.

Steps to fix the problem

Next, we are going to see different steps that we can take to solve the disappearance of the Desktop icons and make sure that these problems disappear.

Update windows

If we have a outdated version of Windows You may be responsible for this issue, so keeping you updated can help us resolve the issue. In addition to ending the problem, it will also allow us to have new features and system security patches.

To do this, press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” and access the “Settings” section. Then we click on “Update and security” and select “Windows Update” in the left sidebar. The system will look for updates, so if we find them we make sure they are installed. Finally, we restart the computer and check if this has solved the problem.

Enable the icons from the View menu

It is possible that the visibility settings Desktop icons may have been disabled. Either by human error or by a failure caused by an application that we recently installed, we can alter this option through the context menu.

Show desktop icons

To re-enable this setting, just right-click anywhere on the Desktop and position the mouse cursor over the “View” option and then select “Show desktop icons.” Once marked they should be visible again. If not, try the next solution.

Check the icon settings

The Microsoft operating system allows us to configure the Desktop icons in a practical way so that we can enable or disable the shortcuts, the Recycle Bin, the Control Panel and the Network. To access and enable them we must right-click on a blank space on the Desktop and select the option “Personalize”.

Desktop Icon Settings

This will take us to the Windows Settings menu where we select the “Themes” menu. On the right side of the screen, click on Desktop icon settings. This will open a new window where we can activate the icons for This Computer, Network, User Files, Control Panel, and Recycle Bin to appear. From this menu it will also be possible to change the appearance of these. Finally, click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

Turn off tablet mode

Windows 10 has a tablet mode that allows us, in case of have a device with a touch screen, use our PC as if it were a tablet. This allows us to change its appearance between two interfaces simultaneously. Although it can be useful in many cases, in others it can cause some problems and unwanted changes.

To solve it, we must press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”, which will take us to the “Settings” section. Later we click on the “System” option. In the new screen, click on the left column on the “Tablet” option. Now on the right side we click on «Change additional tablet settings». If Tablet Mode is activated, click on the button to deactivate it.

Change additional tablet settings

We can also prevent this mode from being started automatically when using the device by changing the “When I use this device as a tablet” setting. Here we display the list of options and select “Ask me before changing mode”.

Windows tablet mode

Rebuild the icon cache

Another way to solve the problem is rebuild your cache. This ensures that Windows has a clean canvas on which to render the icons, restoring any previous problems that may have arisen with the cache files. For this we are going to use the Command Prompt tool, which allows us to reach a deeper level within the system configuration.

To do this, we are going to write cmd in the search box of the Start menu and run the Command Prompt with administrator rights. Later we write the following commands as they appear in the image by pressing the Enter key between each new line.

taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe

cmd taskkill

cd /d %userprofile%/AppData/Local

cmd appdata

attrib -h IconCache.db

cmd iconcache

del IconCache.db

iconcache cmd

start explorer.exe

cmd explorer.exe

Once finished, we restart the computer to see if the changes have taken effect.

Perform a scan with SFC

Windows has its own System File Checker, which takes care of remove corrupt files from the system before replacing them with their cached versions. In this way it helps us to automatically repair the damaged files of the system along with other problems, being able to solve the problem.

In order to run it, we write cmd in the search box of the Start menu so that the Command Prompt appears, which we must execute with administrator permissions. Later we write the following command and press Enter:

sfc / scannow

Run SFC Scannow in Command Prompt

Now we just have to have SFC scan the entire system and repair corrupted files, which may take some time. Once finished, we restart the PC and check if this has solved the problem.

Restart Windows Explorer

Through Windows Explorer we can easily access our files and folders. If this tool is for any reason block or slow down it may cause the desktop icons to disappear. To avoid this, we can choose to restart it.

Restart Windows Explorer

This is something we can do from the Task Manager, by pressing the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Alt + Del”. Next, we look for Windows Explorer from the list of running programs. We select it and click on the “Restart” button that we find at the bottom right.

Reset the system

At this point, we can choose to factory reset Windows to get a clean boot and fix the problem. When carrying out this operation, we can keep all our personal data or choose to erase it completely and start with a new system.

Reset Windows from scratch - 2

To do this, we press the shortcut «Windows + I» to access «Configuration». Later we click on “Update and security” and then on the “Recovery” tab. Within the “Reset this PC” section, click on the “Start” button and continue the instructions that appear on the screen.

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