6 Best Ways To Fix Windows Desktop Icons Not Showing

Many times we can solve the problem that we are facing with our PC by some simple setting changes, but we tend to waste time and money by going to the PC repair shop and fixing it. 

Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Not Showing

Don’t worry about the solution to every problem regarding your desktop icons here. In this article, I am going to walk you through 6 different ways through which you will be able to solve any kind of desktop icon related problem in Windows 10.

1. Tablet Mode

Sometimes when you start your PC you find that your desktop icons are not displayed. This issue may be due to the modes that the Windows Operating System selects while starting. Windows offers two types of modes Desktop Mode and Tablet Mode, and if your OS selects the tablet mode you then your PC will not show icons on the desktop. So, to check in what mode your PC is currently working follow the below steps. 

Step 1: – Click On Notification from the taskbar

Windows 10 notification bar

Step 2: – Click on Tablet Mode to disable it 

Now to make sure your PC doesn’t switch again to the Tablet Mode follow the steps: – 

Step 1: – Click on Windows and then Settings

Step 2: – Click on System

Windows 10 system settings

Step 3: – Scroll down the list and Click on Tablet Mode

Step 4: – Select Desktop Mode in the first and Don’t ask and Don’t Switch in the second.

Windows 10 tablet mode settings

This way your PC will not be switching to Tablet mode ever by itself.

2. Show Desktop Icon

If you have accidentally disabled the show desktop icon, this action will also make your icons disappear from your desktop. To simply check that the show desktop icon is enabled follow the steps. 

Step 1: – Right Click on the Desktop Screen 

Step 2: – From the Option Hover on View

Step 3: – Now again from the available option Click on Enable Show Desktop Icons if disabled 

3. Restoring the Default Settings

Whatever may be the problem you are facing with your PC whether it’s due to some bug, software, setting changes, etc. There is a solution which will solve 99% of your problem. You may be familiar with that, Restore Your Default settings. To do so in windows 10 follow the below steps.  

Step 1: – Search and Click on the Control Panel

Step 2: – Keep the View By option set to Large Icons on the top right corner

windows 10 view as option

Step 3: – Find and click on File Explorer Option

windows 10 file explorer option

Step 4: – Click on Restore Default Option on the new window 

Windows 10 restore default settings

Step 5: – Click Ok 

4. Fix This PC & Recycle Bin Icon missing

Whenever you install a new Operating System you may find that some of your important icons like This PC or Recycle Bin are missing from your desktop, this issue may also be faced by other users who may have accidentally changed their personalization. You can make them appear on your desktop by personalizing your desktop icon settings. To personalize your desktop icons settings:

Step 1: – From the Window click on Settings

Step 2: – From the given Options Click on Personalization 

Windows 10 personalization option

Step 3: – Click on Themes Option from the left sidebar

Step 4: – from the list of Related Settings Click on Desktop Icon Settings 

Windows 10 themes related settings

Step 4: – Now select the Icons you want to have on your desktop

windows 10 personalize your desktop icons

Step 5: – Click on Apply

5. Creating new Shortcut Icon

Sometimes we may accidentally delete icons from our desktop that we want to show on our desktop screen for the quick response. Maybe in your case, this would be the main reason causing the missing desktop icon issue. To make the icon reappear on your desktop in windows 10  you can again create the shortcut link to your desktop, to do that 

Step 1: – search the name of the software icon you want to have 

Step 2: – right-click on it and then click on Open File Location

Step 3: – Now find the software and Drag and Hold on the Desktop Screen

Now you will have to Option either to Move to Desktop or Create Link in Desktop 

By default Move to the Desktop is selected as you can see when you drag and hold the software on the desktop

Step 4: – to change the default option press “Alt” button from your keyboard 

Step 5: – Drop the software on the desktop when you see Create Link in the Desktop

6. Trick for showing any folder icon on your desktop

If you are done with all the above solutions and still you are missing some of the icons that you want to have on your desktop, whether it’s a software or any simple folder that you have created in other drives. You can make them appear on your PC desktop by just creating shortcut links to the desktop. Many of you may be familiar with this step but for beginners to this tech world, this might be helpful. So to create shortcut links to your desktop follow the below steps. 

Step 1: – find the folder and click and drag and hold to the desktop 

Now you will have two option either to Copy to Desktop or Create Link to Desktop

By default as you can see Copy to desktop option is selected 

Step 2: – to change the default option press “Alt” button from your Keyboard

Step 3: – Drop the folder when you see Create Link to the Desktop option 


If you have checked and performed all the above steps correctly and still you are not able to fix your problem then you must head to the repair shop and get your PC fixed. 

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Amit Mishra
Member of Team TJ - Love to explore ins and out of Technology, Web developer & Programmer by education.

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