Computer

This error prevents the desktop from appearing in Windows: fix it

In the event that we have come across this error window, the important thing is not to panic, our files are safe and nothing has happened to them, it is simply the system that, for some reason, is not capable of find them. For this reason, we are going to see what could be due to it and how to solve it.

Why does this error occur?

Desktop location error is an issue that many users are facing while using their Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. In the event that we encounter this error, we can see how the message displayed on the window indicates that the system is looking for the folder corresponding to the desktop, but cannot find it. This message it usually appears right after login.

The most common fault is usually related to user profileSince each user is required to use their own profile, Windows needs to start from somewhere, so a bad registry or user profile setting may not be correct.

Other reasons why it usually occurs can vary, and may be related to problems related to system files that are damaged or corrupted. At the moment the desktop location error appears, we will check how the desktop is shown as blank without us being able to observe any available file or folder.

In the event that we have seen ourselves in this situation and we do not know how to act, we will tell you the different ways that we can carry out to try to solve the problem.

Steps to get rid of the desktop error

Next, we are going to see different actions that we can carry out to try to solve this annoying error. In many cases it will be necessary to have administrator rights for the computer.

Manually copy desktop folder in system profile

When we come across this error, we check how the message shown in the window indicates that the system is looking for the folder corresponding to the desktop, but it is not able to find it. Specifically, the system tries to find our desktop in the following folder:

C:/Windows/system32/config/systemprofile

However, the correct location should be:

C:/Users/<username>/Desktop

In order to solve this, we are going to copy the Desktop folder from this last path and we are going to copy it inside C:/Windows/system32/config/systemprofile. Once this is done, we restart the computer to check if the problem has been solved.

Add desktop location from Registry

If the first method doesn’t seem to work, we can also try adding the desktop location via the Windows registry. To do this, the first thing will be to press the key combination “Windows + R” to launch the Run command. Here we write regedit and press Enter or the OK button.

Once it is inside the Windows Registry, before modifying anything, we will make a backup copy as a preventive measure, since any unwanted modification can cause damage to the system. To do this, click on “File” and “Export”. Then we specify All in the export range, give it a name, select the .reg format and click “Save”.

Next, we navigate to the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer / User Shell Folders

In there, we find the string value with the name Desktop, double-click to edit it, and assign the value %USERPROFILE%/Desktop either C:/Users/%USERNAME%/Desktop. Now we restart the computer and check if the error indicating desktop location not available has been fixed.

Update Remote Procedure Call (RPC) settings

To try to solve the error we can also use the service manager and verify that the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is started and the start type is automatic.

To do this we are going to press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + R” to launch the Run command. Later we write services.msc and press Enter or the OK button.

Remote Processing Call (RPC)

Then we scroll through the menu until we find the section of Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and we double click. In the new window that appears, we make sure that in the Service Status section, put Running and the Startup Type to Automatic.

Repair damaged user profile

This error may be caused by a corrupted user profile. If so, to fix it we have to log in to the computer with an administrator user who can start the computer in safe mode and then update some registry values ​​to repair the damaged user profile by following the steps shown in the previous link.

Subsequently, we press the keyboard shortcut Windows + R, which will open the Run command. Here, we write regedit and press Enter or the OK button.

Next, we navigate to the following route:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows NT / CurrentVersion / ProfileList

Here, we click on the S-1-5 folder and then double-click on the entry “ProfileImagePath” to find out which account it is linked to. If it does not have a .bak ending, we double click on the entry «State»we change its value data to 0 and click OK.

Register state value 0

Next, we double-click the entry RefCount to open a pop-up window and change its value to 0. If this value is not available, we must create it by right-clicking on a blank space and selecting New and DWORD (32 bits). Once finished we close the Registry Editor and restart the PC.

Restore Windows to a previous version

If at this point we still cannot solve the problem, we can choose to restore Windows to a previous version that we have saved where everything worked correctly and the desktop location error did not appear.

To perform the system restore we must access the Control Panel. Later in the upper right part in the “View by” option, we select “small icons”.

Open System Restore in Windows 11

Subsequently, we click on “System” and then on the “Recovery” section, located on the right side. This will open another window where we must click on “Open restore Sistem”. Next, a new window will open where we must click on “Choose a new restore point”. We select it and Windows will start the process.

Restore system select restore point

Once the restore process is finished, the system will run again in the latest version that we have selected, where this annoying desktop location error should no longer appear. We must bear in mind that we will lose the changes we have made after that restore point, so it is convenient to carry it out as a last resort.

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