Restore Missing Desktop Icons in Windows 7, 8, or 10

By Lowell Heddings on July 21st, 2015

Windows_10

If you’ve removed your recycle bin icon, or you previously added the some of the “special” icons like Computer, User or Control Panel to the desktop and they are now missing, you might want to know how to add them back.

Adding Icons to the Desktop in Windows 10

If you want to add Computer, Recycle Bin, Control Panel, or your User folder icon to the desktop in Windows 10, there’s an extra step you’ll need to know how to do.

First, right-click on the desktop and choose Personalize.

Windows_10

Now select Themes on the left-hand menu, and then once you are there, you can select Desktop icon settings under the “Related Settings” section.

Windows_10

And now you can click the checkboxes for the icons that you want back.

Windows_10

You should see the icons show up as soon as you click Apply.

Adding the Desktop Icons Back for Windows 7 or 8

Go to Control Panel \ Personalize (or right-click on the desktop and select Personalize), and then choose the link for “Change Desktop Icons” on the left-hand side.

change-desktop-icons.png

Now you can chose the icons you want back on the desktop by checking the box next to the name:

desktop-icon-settings.png

Click the Apply button, and you should see the icon show up on the desktop immediately.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/21/15
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