Fix: Desktop Icons are Missing in Windows 10

Windows 10 was launched months ago and it was a major change in UI over the time. In Windows 10, Microsoft eliminated a numbers of GUI bugs present in Windows 8. Start menu was a major change that was desperately requested by the users. Keeping the start menu aside, there were also a bunch of modifications in GUI as well as performance. This major change in GUI confused a lot of users as it took a while for them to understand what was going on.

Some of the users have experienced a problem i.e. Desktop icons are missing in Windows 10. It is pretty annoying for the users who have a lot of stuff on their desktop and suddenly, they find it disappeared. Keeping that frustration in mind, I am going to try in order to fix this issue.

Reasons Behind the “Desktop Icons are Missing in Windows 10” Problem:

A majority of people are considering it a bug inside Windows 10 but it is not. It can happen accidently and you may have modified some settings unknowingly. Windows 10 has two types of Modes built-in for the users facilitation i.e. Desktop and Tablet. Somehow, you might have enabled the Tablet mode leading towards disappearing of Desktop icons.

Solutions to Fix the “Desktop Icons are Missing in Windows 10” Problem:

There are a number of solutions based on the type of issue you are experiencing with your Desktop icons. You can try these methods to check which one works for you. Before you go ahead with the methods below, Download and run Reimage Plus to scan for corrupt files from here, if files are found to be corrupt and missing repair them and then see if the icons are now back, if not then proceed with Manual steps below.

Method # 1: Checking for Visibility of Desktop Icons

If all of your Desktop icons are missing, then you might have triggered an option to hide desktop icons. You can enable this option to get your Desktop icons back. Follow the steps below.

Right click inside an empty space on your desktop and navigate to View tab at the top.

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Inside the View tab, check for the Show desktop icons at the bottom. In your case, it might be unmarked. So, mark it as checked by clicking over it. See the image below for illustration.

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Method # 2: Enabling the Desktop icons Visibility

If your default desktop icons are missing, you can make them visible inside the Settings. Follow the steps below.

Search for Settings window using Cortana and open it from the search results.

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Inside Settings, click on Personalization. From the next window, select the Themes tab from the left pane.

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On the right pane of the Themes tab, click on Desktop icon settings to open the settings in order to enable the Desktop icons visibility.

Select the icons you want to show on the desktop and click on Apply and OK buttons afterwards.

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Method # 3: Disabling the Tablet Mode

As tablet mode is integrated inside Windows 10 to have a better touch experience for the Windows Tablet users, you might have accidently enabled that mode resulting in disappearing of icons.

Open the Settings again and click on System to open the system settings. On the left pane, click on Tablet mode and turn-off the tablet mode (if it is turned on) from the right pane.

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Close the Settings window and check if your desktop icons are visible or not.

Method # 4: Initiating SFC scan

An SFC scan checks your whole computer for bad drivers or corrupted files and automatically fixes the issues. Therefore, in this step, we will be initiating an SFC scan. For that:

  1. PressWindows” + “R” keys simultaneously to open the RUN prompt.
  2. Type in “cmd” and pressShift” + “ctrl” + “Enter” keys simultaneously.
    Typing cmd in the Run Prompt and pressing Shift + Alt + Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt
  3. Click on “yes” in the prompt to provide administrative privileges.
  4. Type in “SFC /scannow” and pressEnter“.
    Typing “sfc/scannow” in the command prompt.


  1. Thanks! Method #1 worked. My cats are always sitting on my mouse, and I guess this time they changed some settings. 🙂

  2. Thank you, I was having a mini panic attack thinking my pc broke A stupid update did this. Wellp maybe it fixed the disappearing mouse pointer problem, hope so. (I have no driver to roll back a fresh install of windows, weee.) WHY do they do this? What evil compels Microsoft to dink around with our stuff? I don’t care i am saving for a mac even if I end up hating it at least they won’t pull this stuff. They better not…

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Expert Tip

Fix: Desktop Icons are Missing in Windows 10

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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