8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (2022)

If you are experiencing the “Windows 10 desktop icons missing/disappeared” issue and don’t know what causes this, you can check the 8 ways in this post to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem and recover the possible lost data and files for free.

Some of you may encounter “Windows 10 desktop icons missing” issue like below.

  • Why did my icons disappear from my desktop Windows 10?
  • How do I get my desktop icons back on Windows 10?
  • Why did my desktop icons disappear?
  • Why are my desktop icons not showing up?

If you start your Windows 10 computer and find all desktop icons in your Windows 10 computer are disappeared, and don’t know how to fix it, check these 8 ways below to restore desktop icons Windows 10 and show desktop Windows 10 icons. An ultimate data recovery guide is also attached to help you recover possible lost files on Windows 10 PC for free.

How to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing/Disappeared

  1. Unhide All Desktop Icons Windows 10
  2. Check Desktop Icon Settings
  3. Turn off the Tablet Mode
  4. Run SFC Scannow
  5. Run CHKDSK
  6. Rebuild Icon Cache
  7. Reset this PC
  8. Perform a System Restore

Quick Video Guide:

Way 1. Turn on Show Desktop Icons to Unhide All Desktop Icons Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop icons missing issue may be caused by accidentally hiding desktop icons. You can restore desktop icons Windows 10 by enabling Show desktop icons.

Step 1. Right-click the empty space on Windows 10 computer screen and click View option.

Step 2. After you click View tab, you can see several options for managing desktop icons. Navigate and check if the option Show desktop icons are ticked, if not, make it ticked. Then check if you get all missing desktop icons back.

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (1)

If you even can’t right-click the desktop, you can continue to check other ways below.

Way 2. Fix Windows Desktop Icons Missing by Checking Desktop Icon Settings

Your Windows 10 icons may be hidden, the second step you can take is to show desktop icons in Windows 10 through Settings.

Step 1. You can right-click the computer screen and click Personalize. If you can’t right-click the desktop screen, you can click Start -> Settings -> Personalization.

Step 2. Then choose Themes, and click Desktop icon settings.

Step 3. Then you can select which kinds of desktop icons you’d like to show on Windows computer, and click Apply and OK.

(Video) How To Easily Restore Missing Desktop Icons | Windows 10

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (2)

Check if Windows 10 desktop icons are shown now, it not, continue to try other ways.

Related: How to Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode to Fix Issues and Recover Data

Way 3. Turn off the Tablet Mode to Show Desktop Icons

If you have a touch screen, the computer may have two screen modes: Desktop Mode and Tablet Mode. If your Windows 10 computer is in Tablet mode, the desktop icons may not be shown properly. You can turn off Tablet mode to see if “Windows 10 desktop icons disappeared” problem can be solved.

Step 1. You can click Start and Settings to open Windows 10 settings.

Step 2. Click System to open system settings window, and select Tablet mode in the left panel.

Step 3. Make sure the status of Table mode is Off, to turn off tablet mode.

Way 4. Run SFC Scannow to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing Issue

SFC (System File Checker) is a Windows built-in command line tool mainly designed for helping users to scan and repair corrupted system files. If the Windows 10 icons missing issue is caused by system corruption, you can try SFC Scannow to show desktop Windows 10.

Step 1. Open Windows Command Prompt. You can press Windows logo and R keys on the keyboard at the same time. Then type cmd in the box, and hit Enter. When a window pops up asking you if you want to run it as Administrator, click Yes. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + Enter at the same time after typing cmd, to run Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 2. Then in the Command Prompt window, you can type this command line: sfc /scannow, and hit Enter.

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (3)

Wait patiently to let the SFC Scan process finish. After that, you can check if the “desktop not showing in Windows 10” issue is fixed.

Recommended reading: How to Repair Windows 10 with Startup Repair, SFC Scannow, etc. (6 Ways)

How to Recover Missing Desktop Files in Windows 10

If you Windows 10 desktop icons are disappeared, some of files you stored in computer may also get lost. Don’t worry, you can easily recover lost data and files with the help of the professional best data recovery software.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a clean and free data recovery program, helping you to recover any deleted/lost files from computer hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, SD card and more.

(Video) 5 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing

You can use this tool to recover lost data from almost any data loss situations, incl. system crash, virus attack, hard drive error, etc.

Free download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on your Windows 10 computer, and follow the 3 simple steps below to recover lost data on PC.

Free Download

Step 1 – Launch the Windows 10 File Recovery Software

Open MiniTool Power Data Recovery software to enter into its main UI. Then you can choose apartition and click Scanto start scanning the chosen partition for lost and deleted files.

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (4)

Step 2 – Preview and Find Lost Files

When the scan process is finished, you can browse, preview and find the lost files and folder in the scan result window.

You can click Find to search the lost file or folder by name, or click Filter to find the files by file extension, file size range, create date, etc. You can also click Show Lost Files icon to only show lost files in the scan result, to quickly find needed files.

Step 3 – Recover Lost Files and Folders in Windows 10 PC

Check all you needed files and click Save button to choose a destination folder to store the recovered lost files. Please remember to choose a different partition to save the recovered files to prevent data overwriting.

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (5)

With this free file undelete software for Windows 10, you can easily restore lost desktop files or any other lost or deleted files in your Windows 10 computer.

Free Download

Way 5. Run CHKDSK to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing

Another Windows built-in command line utility CHKDSK can also help diagnose and fix some computer issues. It can verify the file system integrity of a partition and repair hard disk logical file system errors.

Since your Windows 10 desktop icons are disappeared, you can also try CHKDSK to see if it can get back lost Windows 10 icons.

Step 1. Press Windows + R key on the keyboard, type cmd, and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.

Step 2. Then you can type this command line: chkdsk c: /f /r, and hit Enter. You can replace “c” with the drive letter of another partition or volume, to check and repair errors on other partitions or drives.

(Video) Fix Desktop Icons Missing or Disappeared

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (6)

Way 6. Rebuild Icon Cache Windows 10

If nothing helps with the above methods, you can continue to try to rebuild icon cache in Windows 10 to fix Windows 10 desktop icons disappeared error. Check below for how to rebuild icon cache in Windows 10.

Step 1. Still, you should open Command Prompt window. You can press Windows and R key on the keyboard, type cmd, hit Enter and run command prompt as administrator.

Step 2. Then you can type the commands below to rebuild icon cache. Please hit Enter to execute the operation after typing each command line.

  • taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
  • cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
  • attrib –h IconCache.db
  • del IconCache.db
  • start explorer.exe

Way 7. Reset this PC to Fix Windows 10 Icons Missing

You can also try to reset your Windows 10 PC to see if the Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem can be fixed.

Step 1. You can also click Start and click Settings. Then click Update & Security and choose Recovery option.

Step 2. Next you can click Get started under Reset this PC to carry out the resetting process.

Step 3. In the pop-up window, you can choose Keep my files and proceed to reinstall Windows while keeping all your personal files.

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (7)

Also read: Create Windows 10 Repair Disk/Recovery Drive/System Image to Repair Win 10

Way 8. Perform a System Restore to Show Desktop Windows 10

You can also try to conduct a System Restore to see if it can restore desktop icons in Windows 10.

Step 1. Click Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Recovery -> Restart now, to enter into Windows recovery environment.

Step 2. Next you can click Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> System Restore.

8 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing and Recover Data (8)

Step 3. Then you can click your computer account and enter the password, and select a restore point to restore your Windows 10 computer to a previous state.

(Video) How to Fix Desktop Icons Missing or Disappeared [HINDI] I 100% Permanent Solution I Windows 10 issue

If the 8 ways introduced in this post don’t help you fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing issue, then you may try the last draw: reinstall Windows 10.

As for how to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data and without CD, you can check the details in this post: How to Reinstall Windows 10 without CD/USB Easily (3 Skills)

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Icons Disappeared from Taskbar Windows 10 Solved

If icons are missing from Taskbar in Windows 10, you can try to use SFC or DISM to fix this issue.

  • At first, you can press Windows + R key on the keyboard, type cmd in the Run box, open and run command prompt as administrator. Then type sfc /scannow and hit Enter to let the File System Checker scan and fix Windows 10 issues.
  • If SFC doesn’t fix “Icons Disappeared from Taskbar Windows 10” issue, you can type this command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth, and hit Enter.

After that, you can reboot your Windows 10 PC to see if Windows 10 taskbar icons invisible problem has been fixed. (Windows 10 Taskbar Not Working? 6 Fast Fixes)

Fix “Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 10”

Still, if some of you encounter this issue: can’t move desktop icons on Windows 10, you may try these methods below to fix this problem.

  • Press Esc key on the keyboard three times.
  • Change icons arrangement configuration. You can right-click the blank space on desktop and click View -> uncheck Auto arrange icons.
  • You can also change icon size after you right-click the desktop and click View
  • You can follow the guide above to turn off Tablet mode
  • You can also follow the guide above to go to Troubleshoot and perform a system restore, etc.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, you can try the 8 methods in this post to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem. If you also suffer some data loss because of this error or any other errors on Windows 10 computer, you can also follow the data recovery guide in this post to easily recover lost data and files in Windows 10 with MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

Still have issues about how to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem or how to recover data from Windows 10? Please contact [emailprotected].

Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing FAQ

How do I get my desktop icons back on Windows 10?

You can turn on Show Desktop Icons, check desktop icon settings, run CHKDSK or SFC Scannow to repair hard drive errors and corrupted system files which might cause the Windows desktop icons missing issue. This post introduces 8 ways with detailed guides to help you get back desktop icons, you can check above.

Why did all my desktop icons disappear Windows 10?

If all your desktop icons are missing, you may have unintentionally turn on an option to hide desktop icons, you can unhide the desktop icons by right-clicking the blank space of screen, click View, and enable Show desktop icons option. If this doesn’t get back the desktop icons, you can try the other 7 ways in this post.

How do I restore my desktop files?

To restore desktop files, you can use a professional data recovery tool like MiniTool Power Data Recovery software to easily recover desktop files on Windows 10/8/7.

(Video) How to Fix Desktop Icons Missing/Disappeared windows 10/8/7 Easy fix 2019


How do I fix missing icons in Windows 10? ›

How to Fix Disappeared Desktop Icons by Turning on Desktop Icons Visibility. The commonest fix for this issue is to turn on desktop icons visibility. Right-click on an empty portion on your desktop. Hover on "View", then make sure the "Show desktop icons" option is checked.

How do I get my missing desktop icons back? ›

Restore Icons to the Desktop
  1. Right-click the desktop and click Properties.
  2. Click the Desktop tab.
  3. Click Customize desktop.
  4. Click the General tab, and then click the icons that you want to place on the desktop.
  5. Click OK.

How do I recover my desktop in Windows 10? ›

In the Control Panel search box, type recovery. Select Recovery > Open System Restore. In the Restore system files and settings box, select Next. Select the restore point that you want to use in the list of results, and then select Scan for affected programs.

Why did all my desktop icons disappeared Windows 10? ›

Right-click anywhere in the Windows desktop area and select View from the menu that appears. You'll see a list of items to customized desktop icons. At the bottom, you'll see Show desktop icons. If it isn't enabled already, that's the reason icons have disappeared from your Windows 10 desktop.

How do I restore default files and icons in Windows 10? ›

In Windows 10 & Windows 8.1: Right click on the Start menu and then choose Control Panel. Set the View by to Small icons and then choose Default Programs. At Default programs options, choose Set your default programs.

How do I restore Windows 10 without deleting apps? ›

  1. Type and search [Reset this PC] in the Windows search bar①, then click [Open]②.
  2. In the Reset this PC field, click [Reset PC]③.
  3. Select [Keep my files]④.
  4. Select [Local reinstall]⑤. ...
  5. Click [Change settings]⑥.
  6. Set the [Restore apps and settings which came with this PC] option as Yes⑦, then select [Confirm]⑧.
1 Sept 2022

Does Windows 10 have recovery mode? ›

From the Windows Desktop:

Select Start, Power, and then press and hold Shift key while clicking Restart. Select Start, Settings, Update, and Security, Recovery. Under Advanced startup, click Restart now.

How do I restore Windows 10 without a restore point? ›

System Restore via Safe More
  1. Boot your computer.
  2. Press the F8 key before the Windows logo appears on your screen.
  3. At Advanced Boot Options, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt. ...
  4. Press Enter.
  5. Type: rstrui.exe.
  6. Press Enter.

Why did I lose everything on my desktop? ›

The reasons for the computer restarted and deleted everything are various, like human error, virus attack, software conflict, corrupted system files, power failure, and more.

How do I recover all my files in Windows 10? ›

Press the Windows key, enter Windows File Recovery in the search box, and then select Windows File Recovery. When you are prompted to allow the app to make changes to your device, select Yes. There are 2 basic modes you can use to recover files: Regular and Extensive.

Can I reset my PC without losing everything? ›

Refresh your PC to reinstall Windows and keep your personal files and settings. Refresh also keeps the apps that came with your PC and the apps you installed from the Microsoft Store. Reset your PC to reinstall Windows but delete your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your PC.

How do I reinstall Windows if I delete everything? ›

Method 2: Reinstall Windows via Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
  1. First, please let your computer enter Windows Recovery Environment. ...
  2. After the computer enter Windows Recovery Environment, select [Troubleshoot]①.
  3. Select [Reset this PC]②.
  4. Select [Remove everything]③.
  5. Select [Local reinstall]④.
1 Sept 2022

How do I reinstall Windows 10 from BIOS? ›

To perform system recovery from the BIOS:
  1. Power on or restart the workstation.
  2. Enter the BIOS by tapping either the right or left bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap Advanced, and then tap Special Configuration.
  4. Tap Factory Recovery.
  5. Select Enabled from drop-down menu.
  6. Tap Home.
  7. Tap Save and Exit.

How do I force recovery mode? ›

Press and hold down the Volume Down button and keep holding it, then press and hold the Power button as well for a few seconds, and let go when you see the Android mascot on its back on screen. Use the Volume Down button to cycle through the options until you find Recovery mode and press the Power button to load it.

What is repair mode? ›

Repair mode can be turned on from the settings menu, and Samsung says (through Google translate), "You won't be able to access your personal data, such as photos, messages, and accounts," and anyone with the phone will "only use the default installed apps." Repair mode can be exited the same way, though you'll need to ...

What is PC recovery mode? ›

The System Recovery Options menu contains several tools, such as Startup Repair, that can help you recover Windows from a serious error. This set of tools is on your computer's hard disk and on the Windows installation disc. Note: You can also create a system repair disc that contains the System Recovery Options menu.

How do I recover permanently deleted files? ›

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10
  1. Method 1: Check the Recycle Bin.
  2. Method 2: Use Data Recovery Software.
  3. Method 3: Restore From a File History Backup.
  4. Method 4: Restore Previous Versions of Files on Window 10.
  5. Method 5: Recover Lost Files with the Windows File Recovery App.
8 Nov 2022

How do I restore my system restore files? ›

To use the System Restore feature:
  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Type "system restore" or "system protection" . ...
  3. Select "System Restore" option.
  4. Select the backup which you want to restore by clicking on it once.
  5. Click "Next" and confirm that you want to revert your computer to the selected restore point.
24 Mar 2022

How do I restore deleted files? ›

If you put a file in your trash but decide that you still want it, you can put it back in your Drive.
  1. In the upper left, tap Menu. Trash.
  2. Next to the file you'd like to save, tap More. Restore.

Why did my desktop icons suddenly disappear? ›

Right-click anywhere on the desktop and expand "View". In the pop-out menu, look to see if there is a check mark next to the "Show desktop icons" setting. If this is missing, this is exactly why you suddenly cannot see your desktop icons. The good news is nothing is lost, you just need to re-enable the setting.

Why do my icon pictures disappeared? ›

If you've customized your icon settings, it might have caused your icons to disappear from your desktop. You can head into the Settings and configure the options there to fix the issue. Right-click anywhere blank on your desktop and select the Personalize option.


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