How-To Geek

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


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.


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


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.


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


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

Comments (247)

  1. zak

    Thanks a ton for the reference on restoring the icons. I installed a non-compliant application that wiped a good portion of them out.

  2. aiden

    Thank you so much for the info how to restore ICONS, that was usefull info, THANKS AGAIN

  3. patrick

    thanks a zillion for the clear directions on restoring the icons. it was neat. thanks!

  4. Kara Kittle

    Good info, i deleted mine for a month before i looked here, had it back in 2 seconds.

  5. Jazmin

    Thank you very much, you have no idea how much you helped me out, I thought my aunt was going to kill me because I had accidently deleted the recycle bin from her brand new computer……

  6. ted strong

    extremly helpful very valuble and helpful site

    clear and descriptive

  7. Lardi2007

    Thanks soooooooooooooo much I have been going mad trying to find the RECYCLE BIN icon to restore it to my desktop.

    Thanks again!.

  8. Frazil

    hey do you how to activate and put up the shortcut for IE as it was for XP, with advanced functions like that of going to properties of IE through it and all.

  9. Mike

    COOL!! I deleted my recycle bin twice. I used system restore to get it back. This is much easier. I knew there had to be a simpler way. Thanks!

  10. Bones

    Thank you… Thank you… Thank you.

  11. pooja

    Need help. Although this has nothing to do wid d tip u provided. Somehow my desktop shortcut icons and desktop files have got deleted mysteriously. Its a hp vista. Plzzzzz help me recover my files. Can u tell me wat could have caused tht?

  12. betaluva

    this arrticle was a lifesaver for me,i lost the recycle bin icon (i still dont know why it dissappeared) and now i have it back thanks to you.

  13. Alex

    Muchas gracias por la info. Muy util!!!

  14. Wayne

    Many thanks for info on how to restore recycle bin – much appreciated

  15. Dan

    It ain’t helping. Logging into my other accounts will show the desktop icons, but my main account still has the icons missing from my desktop, no matter if i check/uncheck them in the “Personalize>Change desktop icons>” setting. Help?

  16. karthik

    Try going to start > type command prompt in the search box > And then
    Type regsvr /u shell32.dll
    The icons should start working fine after that.

  17. Dennis


  18. Unknown Stranger

    omg u saved my life.. i almost feel like reinstalling os

  19. nikos

    thanks a lot dude!

  20. Mayno

    I need help. I need restore the icon of Internet Explorer (not shortcut)

  21. vinod

    Thanks soooooooooooooo much I have been going mad trying to find the RECYCLE BIN icon to restore it to my desktop.

    Thanks again!.

  22. Beth

    Thanks had been looking for my recycle bin for weeks…. any idea on how to get Windows mail back? it disappeared and I have to go to search>mail> open any message> help> open windows mail…

  23. M J Walters

    I need to configur a Microsoft Exchange type email account, and it requires the use of the Mail icon in the Control Panel. Except that on all of these stupi HP Pav notebooks it doesn’t appear, and nobody at HP has a clue about it.

    Any ideas? I have ran out of aptions doing what I knew or could think of. thank you guys in advance. I am in a real pickel here, as I am beginning to travel tomorrow, and I need my notebook to access that particular email acount from the read.

  24. J C Storey

    My recycle bin icon picture is still missing along with going through the start menu all of my programs pictures for the icons are missing. crazy weird. any help with this. hopefully i was able to discribe it correctly.

  25. J C Storey

    Well my recycle bin icon picture is missing…but my buddy told me that it is the folder’s displays? that are missing. I so hate vista…

  26. jodie

    hi recently has windows xp on my pc and have now updated to windows vsta ultimate but i have no start menu or desktop icons its driving me crazy can anyone please please help ive been trying for days lol!!

  27. sneka

    Thanks a lot for this useful info. I restored the icon back…

  28. greg

    cool, but my windows vista icons arnt displaying properly still. there is a small black box covering each one on the bottom left side :(

  29. Enrique P

    thank you so much!
    oh my gosh
    i freaked out for a minute because i thought i too had deleted my bin
    you are a lifesaver
    and thank you for being straight to the point about figuring out what to do
    usually info sites take you on about 7 or 8 or 9 links
    before you can actually find the info that you need
    thank you again so very much

  30. dan mccarty

    hey your way did not work i am still missing my entire background…and i cannot use my “right click” all the icons are missing as well as my toolbar and start button….help?

  31. June Reich

    My desktop icons are all missing. I tried your suggestion above. I tried:

    “C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe” Shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,@Web

    from Run.
    Nothing works. Help

  32. kerwan mc gowan

    can you help me to restore my missing desk top icon.i am running windows xp.

  33. lisa

    wow. this is exactly what I was looking for. :)

    thank you for making the world a little bit brighter by being not only helpful (apparently for no personal gain either – way to go!!!) but also doing it in a clear and easy to follow way. you just made my day, computer geek!

  34. The Geek


    Thanks for the compliments! We try hard to be as helpful as possible.

  35. Ray

    Thanks a bunch, you the man

  36. Lou

    Thanks, I would have been searching for hours!

  37. Ralph Galardi

    I believe this site is the greatest idea since the wheel!!!!!!!!

  38. Anna

    Thanks a million! I’m not sure how I deleted it in the first place, but now it’s back!

  39. Joris voorn

    any idea how it should work, when my computer doesn’t show up if I check or uncheck box, no changes at all ! Help plz to restore, it disturbs me in a lot of ways when i go to browse folders from some programs i can’t see My computer icon, no matter WHAT, i can send you a screenshot if you colud help me?

    Thanks in advance

  40. flabdablet

    If you see no desktop icons at all, try right-clicking on the desktop, then selecting View, and making sure Show Desktop Icons is checked.

    Yes, this is a deeply stupid option.

    Yes, it’s doubly stupid to bury it in a submenu.

  41. ANton

    hi im anton my computers icons go missing a few minutes after i log into my main profile on the computer there is no start, no icons, the only way i can log off or shut down the computer is to press ctrl alt delete……pliz i need help.

  42. Kim

    Thank u so very much. I lost my desktop months ago and had no idea how to find it until i found this. And it worked. Thanks again.

  43. Don

    Thanks lots for the simple fix . I lost my recycle bin (dont know how) and didnt know how to get it back.
    Losing the bin wasnt a real pain but each time I deleted something the files were just sitting in the invisible bin.
    Now the bin is back I am able to delete the 4000+ files in it which were wasting disk space .

  44. Marlene

    My Internet Explorer was deleted from my desktop and anywhere else it was at. I cant find it on Start or when I search My Computer or all the programs on the computer. When I tried to re-download it from the website, a message showed up saying that I already had Internet Explorer7 so it wouldn’t let me download it again. What can I do to get it back? Now, there’s Internet Explorer ( No add-ons) but i searched the add ons and they were all enabled. What can I do? Thanks!

  45. jay lamoncha

    my icon for yahoo is missing from my desk top how do i get it back on there someone please help

  46. Pat

    A friend of mine has just got a Laptop with Vista Premium installed,he had a little play?? and now the Desktop Icons have gone very large, the screen resolution is correct at 1440X900, the DPI is OK, the icons in any application are OK it,s just the Desktop Icons??. Any Ideas please.

  47. whs

    Pat, for the large Icons right click on the desktop, go to VIEW and here you can set the Icons the size you like

  48. Anusman

    Thx for tip its realy useful for alot of people like me who accidently delited recycle bin and are new to vista

  49. Luvlie

    Thank you so much for the info how to restore my recycle bin, i dont know where dat thing went, it was driving me crazy, that was usefull informantion, THANKS.

  50. Kay Malm

    My email was not working correctly. I reinstalled Outlook 2007 and now I cannot get the Mail icon in Control Panel to open. Outlook says I need to setup a profile. How do I get the Mail icon back?

  51. David

    I get to those steps, but when i get to the personalization part I hit the Cahnge desktop Icon and I get this message Your system administrator has disabled launching of the Display Settings Control Panel. Can you help me in how to enable this please???????????????

  52. Sean the SLUG

    big help Thanks

  53. Don

    Thanks Mr (G) ,I need lots of help.Cant belive I found you,newbee and dont know anything, hope what I read works.I will be back.

  54. Don

    I wasnt able to try what you sead, newbee is perpelxed,Cant even get out of here without unpluging.

  55. Fance

    thank you so much for your help,i could’t find recycle bin in my vista,so you help me,thank you for your help.Fani

  56. Rebecca

    If you cannot see your ‘mail’ icon, you likely have 64bit vista ultimate…or other 64 bit and I am truly sorry and feel your pain :)

    If so, Under the X64 version of Vista, you need to first look under an icon called
    32 bit control panel items. There’s the mail icon.

    Nothing but trouble connecting to anything, vpn, etc with 64 bit.

  57. luckyea


    If you see no desktop icons at all, try right-clicking on the desktop, then selecting View, and making sure Show Desktop Icons is checked.

    Yes, this is a deeply stupid option.

    Yes, it’s doubly stupid to bury it in a submenu.

    Thanks man. I knew right away that it must be some new dumb arss option. Of course I couldn’t find that sucker. Thanks!

  58. A Fan

    Rebecca, you lifesaver! Took me a minute or two to find it, since it’s called ‘View 32-bit Control Panel Items’, but that did the trick! Can’t believe such basic things are hidden away like that…

  59. JAMES

    I removed everything about YAHOO and now I want it back. I don’t know how to get to the control panel to restore it and the icon

    just got this computer and don’ know how to use it

  60. jenn

    Thanks for the easy to follow instructions!

  61. kiten785yahoocom

    hi,i hope u can help me,my icons in my desktop are missing and no right click in my mouse,i hope u can help me on how to restore my missing icons immediately.thank you.

  62. Rosalyn Waldron

    Missing the system icon for network activity on the lower right taskbar in Vista. The selection box for that icon is grayed out on the “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties”, “Notification” tab.

  63. Pattie

    OMG! Thank you SO MUCH! I stupidly deleted my trash and then couldn’t get it back, I thought I’d never find that icon again. YAY!

  64. Cherie Le Bozec

    Thank you for making that so easy.Other suggestions I got were all so complicated. Keep up the great work!

  65. MissingLink

    Works gr8, thx

  66. Vivian


  67. Rob

    That made it so easy. Thankyou

  68. tonya

    that was so easy, thanks so much

  69. any

    thank soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much

  70. Sheldon

    i dont have admin rights to change the desktop icons, can u tell me how to restore it using the registry interface…

  71. SpaRda

    OMG 1 billion thanks :) Thankie thankie again :D

  72. Adam

    omg, thank-you, SO MUCH! on how to restore icons, my roommate accidentally deleted the recycle bin when he meant to empty it, and this happened the first day I’ve bought my laptop, and I’ve just been deleting and not emptying the recycle bin for around 8 months now!, again, thank you so much!

  73. Ken Mason

    Thanks very much, I couldn’t find anywhere else to learn how to recover the Computer icon on my Vista desktop. VERY useful!

  74. Wonder Boy

    Thanks very much, mine was deleted and now that i know how to get it back I can show friends who lost theirs

  75. oidicle

    Hi, nice tip, do you happen to know of a way to have the documents folder on the desktop other than as an actual shortcut(.lnk)?

  76. Aseem Kishore

    I wrote a post similar to this, but when all your desktop icons disappear along with your taskbar or Start Menu also!

  77. tonya m

    my recycle bin icon disappeared too. I cannot choose the change desktop icons option because it as well as almost every other desktop icon gives the error “not a valid win32 application”. one minute they worked and the next they didn’t any suggestions?

  78. Vee

    Thanks for this. (New to Vista. Wanted to empty Recycle Bin. Deleted it instead!)

  79. Shannon

    OH MY GOD!

  80. Patrick

    Thanks for the quick and informative howto article!

  81. Bokbok

    Ayt, thanks. People need these kind of stuff. Hopefully more people start searching the web for answers, it really helps.

  82. Taz

    Thanks worked perfect !!

  83. Joe

    Hope you can help me out.Im trying to add my icons and taskbar back on my dell 1521.When i turn pc on icons show up for a few mins then they disappear the funny thing is my gadget or still on the desktop.I tried adding icons back in control panel with no luck please help Joe thanks

  84. Abbie

    So, I’ve tried that and my desktop icons (while visible in the desktop folder in the toolbar thing) are still missing. Is there anything else I can try?

  85. jd2066

    @Abbie: It sounds like you have all your desktop icons hidden.
    Try this to enable them:
    Right click on the desktop.
    Move over View and if unchecked check Show Desktop Icons.

  86. Ritamarie

    Thank you for the clear and direct instructions. Restored my Recycle Bin icon in a few seconds.

  87. Mary

    I bought a new comp it has windows Vista I have tried to set up my IM expressions my Icon nd such,I can’t see it if it has been added –one message ws that my color is not capatable? or something what do I do?

  88. Matt

    Thanks flabdablet, for NO reason my icons disappeared and even in the submenu “Show desktop icons” was ticked. I unticked it, then reticked it again and they came back. Vista you are STILL flakey after 18 months!

  89. Georgia

    Thank you sooo much Rebecca (March 29). I have Windows Vista and have been pulling my hair out trying to find the mail icon in order to setup my Outlook.

  90. gedas

    so much for the images how to rextore the recycle bin it was really hard to find it this help really helped me thanks again!!:D….

  91. margie

    The volume mixer icon disappeared from my toolbar [I’m using Vista] and I’ve followed various recommendations without success. One problem is the areas are greyed out but there are others. I’m a silver surfer and need all the help I can get – simply explpained please!!!
    Many thanks for whatever. Margie

  92. Aisha

    thank you! was wondering how to get my Recycling bin back! YAY!

  93. patrick

    Thanks man your post saved the day

  94. Roberta

    Oh God thank you for the how to Geek people or i be still at my computer trying to figue how restore my recycle bin… Thank you And God Bless you all in your Staff..

  95. Colin

    I could not find answer to my missing desktop Icons. I lost the somehow and found them when I typed in desktop in the search area ( I have window vista) and clicked on it and the Icons showed up on desktop in a window that had all Icons and said it was file D, tried to make a short cut and it came up and said the source and destination file are the same–Please getting too old for these problems (82) and tried hard to find out myself but NO luck !! glad to pay you for help if you can solve this

  96. jd2066

    @Colin: Have you tried right clicking on the Desktop, moving over view and clicking “Show Desktop Icons” (Note: Only helps if “Show Desktop Icons” is unchecked, if it’s checked then there is a different problem and this won’t help)?

  97. Chris

    The right click –> Show desktop icons worked for me… Thanks a bunch!

  98. John

    I have no icons on desktop, have no icons on taskbar, can not right click on desktop, tried the step you have suggested for others, no luck with me, can you help?

  99. jd2066

    @John: Is there a taskbar at all? If there is no taskbar, no desktop icons and you can’t right click then that means the Windows Explorer shell is not loading.
    If that is the case then the fix will not be simple thing. There are many causes for Windows Explorer not loading and some are not easy to fix.
    I would suggest posting on the forums, as posts there do not need approval before they are posted so it’s a lot faster to work out problems like this there instead of in the comments.

  100. Tone

    I have lost all my desk top icons and have tried the right mouse click, view and show desk top items are clicked, I have also tried the command prompt solution and that did not work, any other ideas?

  101. Ross

    You may have also un checked the Show Desktop Icons selection on the right mouse menu of the desktop.

  102. Engr. Abdul Rehman Chaudry

    Thanx I found the solution for my problem

  103. Omar

    Perfect!!!! Just what I needed, and done.

  104. Irisa

    i have get back my recycle bin!
    happy now!!!!!

  105. Igor

    When I choose the link for “Change Desktop Icons”, I get the window: “You system administrator has disabled launching of the Display Settings Control Panel’. How do I fix it?

  106. Oriana

    Thanks! This worked even when CCleaner made the icon (image, not presence) of my Recycle Bin go invisible. I just deleted my Recycle Bin and restored it from Preferences!

  107. shaba

    cheers pal you’re the man

  108. tibi

    I have deleted by mistake my “recycle bin” icon. I have restored but now it don’t indicate when I dump files in there…

  109. matt

    or one thing you can do is right click on your desktop pic and under view it will have the option just click show desktop icons

  110. Elliot

    Thanks a lot!! :D

  111. Angie

    I had tried everything to get my icons back. I followed the steps you had and still nothing. I just glanced up and saw Matts comment so I tried that. It worked. Thanks Matt. I have been trying for two days to get them back. Something as simple as that.
    Thanks for having this website. You are a life saver.

  112. tony

    hi i just got mine back thanks now sure how it went missing but thanks. now for some reason i got it back but when i out stuff in it the icon don’t show me how i fix that.

  113. Lee Openshaw

    After trying almost every single suggestion on this webpage to bring back my icons……flabdablet finally hit the solution on the head for me. Turns out the simplest solution of them all worked out best. Thanks a million for this invaluable information. Even though the other suggestions weren’t the right ones for me, it still gave me a number of options to try that i would never have thought of. Most of all, THANK YOU FLABDABLET for solving my problem.
    How my icons disappeared is still a mystery, however. Must be a Vista gliche cause i didnt touch my computer until todays bootup, and hey presto, the icons were gone. Thought it may have been a virus but now i know that it wasn’t. Thanks again.

  114. Holly

    Thanks! It worked great!

  115. Narissa

    This is great advice!! Thxx very muchh..It works very well! xx

  116. vishal

    Guys! try this for resolving no icons on desktop……
    right-click an open area of the Windows Desktop, click View , and make sure Show Desktop Icons is selected…….try this

  117. bee

    Thanksss heapss !! i accidently deleted my recycle bin and i was panicing so much
    u helped soooo much ! :)

  118. sukh

    hi, i have ticked the boxes in desktop icon settings, but still the icons dont appear on my desktop. is there anything else that i can do?

  119. senthil

    Unfortunately I was deleted the desktop recycle icon. It is so much supportive.
    Thank you very much

  120. joseph

    yea… i did wat u said…. anout the icon but… my icon is still not showing up… please help….

  121. kris

    Thank you for the help it was so easy…

  122. Dan Linstedt

    Amazing… I set the icons back, changed the theme from windows classic to vista and back again, and poof, all icons restored.

    Thank-you so much!

  123. kelly lou

    Thank you this was very helpful indeed…

  124. ratana

    Thank you for your helping. I hope you still do like this.

  125. Ben

    just help.. I havewindows vista and my desktop is completely blank. If i creat any shortcut , nothing comes and shortcut is created only on desktop folder….

    plz suggest me ..


  126. Kevin

    Ben apparently the last windows update has guffed something up. Same thing happened to me. After the update I had no internet, then I reboot and internet is back. Next reboot and same as you poof no desktop or task manager. I went into windows system update and restore to prior to the most recent windows updates and everything was back to normal. That is totally shoddy of MS. Someone is going to get their ass chewed out for that.

  127. Roberta

    Thanx so much for this info. I’ve been trying to recover my recycle bin icon ever since a long night of work left me so groggy that I deleted instead of emptying. Never thought it would be so easy to restore

  128. Travlain

    flabdablet thank you so much..I know a bit about comps and had tried all the other suggestions and virus searchs..My daughter had played with the comp while i was asleep and must have unchecked it..I didnt even think to look for show desktop icons under view with a right click

  129. fsk

    I have lost all the icons on my vista desktop

  130. ColdFusion Developer

    Unfortunately this trick didn’t work for me. I think that the problem occurred when I switched monitors. I believe that Win7 thinks the icons are in view but actually they seem to be off the screen somewhere.

  131. Carlos

    lost mi folders on my desktop (vista Comp) it gives me an error message that reads as follows:
    C:\windows\desktop refers to a location that is unavailable.
    This happens every time I turn on my computer. all files and shorcuts I had on desktop are gone.
    Please help me!

  132. Shinil

    thnx…. its very Esy na///////

  133. roger jeffries

    I have the moving icons problem on the desktop. I run windows 7 so hoped the vista layout pack would work but sadly it does not.
    What should i do next.
    should i delete the layout file or the layout.dll file

  134. Gareth

    Even Though Mine are ticked they still do not appear

  135. alina

    THIS DIDNT WORK! my problem is that, the icons show up only when i press a little button on the taskbar, but accidentaly i put that button in the icon section and now, when they disappear (after i open a new window) i cant get them back no matter wat i try! im not a tech person so please can sum 1 help!!

  136. pudu

    This did not work for me. I still do not have icons on my desktop. Nevertheless when I right click on mouse to create a notepad file for example it creates it in the desktop folder… just does not appear on the desktop!

    Can someone help?

  137. Mahmood

    Thank you very much. I lost my recycle bin long ago. you saved me 3.9 GB of space. Thank you again.

  138. Andrew

    This didn’t seem to work for Windows 7..

  139. tagfin

    I have Vista. and no icons on my desk top. if i right click, it shows View and show desk top icons is checked. but there are no icons. If i de-select it and then Re-select it, i get my icons back, until shut down and have to go through the same process again.

    I did try the suggestion command prompt, regsvr /u shell32.dll but the computer didn’t recognize it.

  140. Lincoln

    whenever I click the ddesktop icons it tells me to choose a program then it closes on me, my computer has no viruses but i think this resulted from pervious viruses? please help

  141. Plaza

    Hi guys,

    I found the cause of the misteriously disappearing Windows 7 desktop icons and the reaon why Show desktop icons now and then gets unchecked.

    It’s INFRARECORDER !! Try for yourselves, when you start Infrarecorder and close it again, go have a look at “Show desktop icons”, it is unchecked (but the icons are still there). Check it on again and start Infrarecorder…. it is unchecked again.

    This Windows 7 “bug” is irritating me since the beginning and now I found the cause: It’s Infrarecorder which is causing this problem.

    Test it, please let me know and spread the news :-)

  142. BDGFN

    Thanks, dude. I knew there had to be a way to restore the recycle bin icon.

  143. dijoe

    dude….firstly windows vista is not loading…and above that i run it in directory services restore mode…..
    thn i deleted the recycle bin by mistake and i did all wht u said.i.e..changed desktop icons thn checked the recycle bin box…clikd ok…still its showin no changes….pls help me out wid dis…get ma recycle bin ….thanx,,

  144. Alora

    Alright. So I have Windows 7 and every time I start up my computer, the desktop icons are gone. The first time it happened, I found the ‘Show’ option when you right click on the desktop, and even though it was ticked, I couldn’t see the icons. I unchecked it and rechecked it and they appeared. But then next time they were gone again. This has happened every single time I’ve started my computer. And I’m tired of having to uncheck and recheck th ‘Show’ option everytime I need to use my laptop.
    Please help?

  145. Damir

    Tnx God blas you people you help me whit that /…

  146. diego

    thank u so much …. =)

  147. Peter


    Right click your desktop and go to personalize (vista) and look at the top right corner where it will say “Change desktop icons”

    click on it and check all boxes

    then click the “restore default” button and all your icons will be back

  148. Zac Efron

    thank you so much! i have been searching for that thing for so long but now i found it thanks to who ever wrote these instructions!! thank you SO MUCH!!!

  149. rheanne

    hi there all my icons are still missing i can see my background picture but no icons still but when i open up my desktop folder there all still there or if u create a shortcut or click and drag to the desktop it doesnt work!

  150. MZD

    I did those steps above but it’s still hidden?!!!! I can’t see the desktop icons :(

  151. Amy

    i have just retrieved files from my recycling bin but they are not the same format and it wont let me acess them these files are really important help me !

  152. E

    in windows 7 i solved the problem by right clicking on the desktop then selecting view then placing a check next to the “show desktop icons” option

  153. a

    it worked wen i did wat E sed

  154. chad

    where do i find items that have been dumped from the recycle bin ? i dont know how to locate them with windows 7. i need to restore a program .

  155. Patrici

    i have tried everything you sggest to restore the icons on my desktop but i still didnt see show up.

  156. Marie

    I can’t find my recycle bin in Vista Ultimate. I have gone to personalized and desktop icons and I unclicked it and clicked it again. It still doesn’t show on my desktop. I also used the *regsvr /u shell32.dll* command in the command prompt and it says that it is not a recognized command. Help please.

  157. Ramesh Kumar

    My LAN (Ethernet/NIC) Card is not working so how can i findout that my LAN card is faulty or otherwise.

  158. Armaan Tehlan

    Sir there is no sound in my computer, how can i verify that my sound card is faulty or no sound driver are upated

  159. bryan

    how can i put back my icons on the top of my desktop? when you put the cursor on a icon it used to zoom. when you click it, it pops twice

  160. Robbie

    Hey i have a Acer Veriton M480 win7 pro and my icons are missing the names of the icons are still there and i can still use them but my start button wont work, i can do a sys restore but it comes back the same the only way i can fix it is create a new user profile but it keeps happening every 2-3weeks and this isnt the only m480 thats its done it to can you help me fine the reason why its doing it thanks ?

  161. wyatt

    hi, my thing is that i dont have internet explorer any more because i uninstalled it from my laptop i need to get back. i tryed to download explorer 8 but it told my this pc has a version of internet explorer already, but the thing is i dont. what to do?

  162. Gilda E. Kurcz

    I want to restore my original Internet Explorer 8 icon and personalized pre-installed google desktop homepage that disappeared after Norton Internet Security rearranged everything. I now no longer have direct access to the Web or my homepage! They seemed to have resolved my immediate problem, but refuse to discuss the subsequent problems caused!

  163. jovie

    i lost my “my Computer” even if i tried to right click on the desktop and open properties i cannot click the my computer… but i have a computer icon in my rocketdock but when i open it.. its empty.. no hard drives and dvd roms… what im going to do??? i think its a virus…. plzz help….

  164. Finnigan

    Hi. My OS is Vista. Until two hours ago I had an icon in my quick launch that brought me to my desktop where I have various shortcut icons. It’s disappeared for some strange reason and for the life of me I can’t remember how I put it there. All I can figure out how to do is add the desktop to the start menu which shows me everything on my desktop in a list. Anybody know what I’m talking about? Help, please and thank you!

  165. Alex

    My computer has a problem.
    all the icons have changed so they now have to go through the internet.
    i was downloading a demo and when i clicked on the demo it gave me a choice and i choose the bottom one but i dont remember the choices but when they go through the internet i cannot get them open

  166. asdf

    Another method if the first doesn’t work:

    1. Right click on the desktop
    2. View
    3. Show Desktop icons (make it ticked so the icons will appear)

  167. ADUDE

    That didn’t work :[

  168. Abc123

    Hi, tried the following and this did not work.

    i turned my pc on this morning and everything was on my desktop, come home after work turned on my pc and no icons are showing. any idea how i can get these back?

  169. mouse

    it worked for me thanks heaps lost my desktop icon and replaced and refreshed more, thanks again.

  170. peteb

    my desktop icons are not missing but some of the logos on the icons have changed and do not appear in the icon list help please

  171. Sherry

    So easy even a dumbly can do it .. Thanks you made it so easy to do I didn’t even have to ask my kids to do it for me. I am dyslexia and I freak out over even the simplest things. And it took me literally only minutes to replace my deleted trash can.

  172. Trace

    STILL DOESN’T WORK!!!!!! Am I the only person on the entire web that’s having this much of an f***ing pain?!?!?! I’ve consulted everyone, everywhere on the Internet that I can and still can’t find a solution. I consider myself to be computer savvy but this is killing me! Where’s the Recycle Bin?! I’m running an Alienware M11x with Windows 7 BTW….

  173. Jason

    Trace you are not the only one it dont work for!! My recycle bin just went one day and never returned.. I am still looking for it but i may as well give up!! Are you running a genuine windows?

  174. KcJames

    when i uninstalled tune up utilities then suddenly my desktop icons are gone i mean hiding i cant move bcuz its like a blind desktop i check some solutions also and followed but still notyet solved the problem do i know the right solution pls….step2step?i remain ur instructions-james

  175. Piar


  176. Tom

    I’m amazed that so many people are upset about a missing Recycle Bin desktop icon. All applications I know of have Delete functions that send stuff to the Recycle Bin. The only time I ever access it is every few months to Empty it, and you can always get to it through Windows Explorer, so why would you want it cluttering up your desktop? I’m just happy that in W7 it’s easy to get rid of it. It took a lot of effort to delete it from my previous XP desktop.

  177. kwong

    I like to say thank you. The article is easy to understand. Instruction is easy to follow .

  178. Obersturmfuhrer

    Hey I got a better idea! Why don’t u click on START, COMPUTER, then drag it to ur desktop? It does the same exact thing buddy.

  179. JMartinez

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

  180. smith

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! you guys are awesome!

  181. Shaner

    Thanks Geek! Easy Peasy.

  182. oldskier

    I am not asking about desktop icons – I wonder what happened to the old-fashioned icon on every folder in program files. Windows 7 seems to ignore the tedious but effective way of right clicking-properties-customize etc. It lets you do all this but the icons just do not get put on.

  183. piper

    ” flabdablet

    If you see no desktop icons at all, try right-clicking on the desktop, then selecting View, and making sure Show Desktop Icons is checked.

    Yes, this is a deeply stupid option.

    Yes, it’s doubly stupid to bury it in a submenu.”

    this is the comment that helped me. thank you

  184. Brian

    Dear Sirs,

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Yours faithfully,


  185. Mary


  186. patrick

    My recycle bin is grayed out and uncheckable? what do you suggest?

    picture of it here:

  187. pyot

    thank you for the help. my weed icons went missing and I got scared cuz I gotta have my weed even if it is virtual weed. your a life saver man thanks

  188. Diane

    I have a notebook with all my Tips in But Find it Easier to search this forum ;-)

  189. Leon

    I am looking to restore the icons on my Windows 7 desktop that were at the top of the screen when I first boot up. When I personalize and restore my icons, they only show up as the other desktop icons and not the larger original ones that automatically populate the top of the screen. Can you tell me how I can get those icons to reappear?

  190. saima atif

    Hi thanks sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much it worked and solved my problem

  191. ahmed

    im using windows 7 ultimate. my p.c is not showing any desktop and menu bar its all black. only task manger is working, im unable to open any file….im using task manger>New task to open any file………..Can u kindly help me out to recover my desktop and menu bar

  192. scott

    Thanks got it!!!

  193. nicole

    if i restore default, would my other icons, afar from the original, be deleted as well?

  194. Ryuu

    this doesn’t help me at all :/

  195. Francis Alvarez

    Also need to check, right click then view and make sure the show desktop icons is checked….

  196. duy


  197. umesh

    thaanks for helping everytime i can restore my desktop icon

  198. jackson

    am trying to download pictures from my samsung camara and when i clik on the dcim , it appears E:\DCIM.exe is not a valid win32 application

  199. john

    please help it didnt work

  200. Nagaraj

    i am nagaraj, bangalore
    i have problem, that is
    all icon are hidden on desktop, how to restore on desktop

  201. DR RnR

    Another area to check is this, right click on desktop, click on view and make sure there is a checkmark next to show desktop icons.

  202. Mary

    tried this on my windows 7 and I still cannot get the icons to show back up! Help!

  203. jim

    icon will not restore when l use this method…have tried drag and drop of shortcut icon from desktop file to taskbar, but that doesn`t work either…any help would be appreciated…

  204. Gautam Malik

    There is a better way to do. right click on the desktop. A pop window appears, click on the view tab and tehn click on the show desktop icons it willl bring back the icons which you have hidden or added to the toolbar..

  205. Yoram Vulkan

    Restore outlook icon in windows 7
    Type: Outlook
    Outlook will show up
    Right click on outlook Icon on taskbar
    Pin this program to taskbar

  206. Carol Jones

    I have had no luck restoring my desktop icons.Windows 7. Help, PLEASE!

  207. RL

    I am in the same situation…my icons such as “safely remove hardware” and the sound icon have disappeared and I cannot get them back. Help me too please!

  208. Mohamed Sultan

    I found my desktop black and nothing is found (task bar,start menu and desktop icons).Please what can I do?
    Thanks in advance.

  209. JR

    for the last two weeks I have lost my desktop ICON and shortcuts that I had created, even when I create new desktop shortcuts I cannot find them. My system (Windows 7) recently went crazy, it started telling me I needed administrative rights to change or install anything then it would stop the install. I can see the icons on the taskbar but not my desktop. Any ideas would be appreciated.


  210. JR


    Thanks for the hint, that was the only thing that I could not find how I over looked it is a mystery to me.

    Thank you,


  211. Sudhakar

    Hi am using windows 7 OS, few of the my desktop icons got chaged how to restore old stage.


  212. Javeed

    I’ve been tring to do this a month now.

  213. Javeed

    And I never knew how to ^

  214. Angelo

    Thank you so much you saved me BIG TIME from loosing my mind!

    Thanks again

  215. Nainesh Nagekar

    hii.. maa brother had i dont know what do then after the all the icons of the destop of mine are changed into the word . then when we open just mozila or else then it opens word file of mozila not browser. but from the file location i can open the browser or all the other just tell me that how can i get all icons as they are in normal conditions. i had scan maa all pc with avast licence version 5-10 times n all virus are nw deleted…plz swend me the your favorable suggetions..

  216. Lauren

    You rock you rock you rock you rock! Thank you cool guy!

  217. Juancab

    ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡Your advice is still going strong! ! ! ! ! ! !.
    Thank you very much!!!

  218. eli

    oh my god ..thak u so much!!!!!!!!
    u saved me

  219. Bradford Collins

    If you see no desktop icons at all, try right-clicking on the desktop, then selecting View, and making sure Show Desktop Icons is checked.
    Yes, this is a deeply stupid option.
    Yes, it’s doubly stupid to bury it in a submenu.

    Another Victim Ransomed,
    Thank you
    Very stupid indeed

  220. derek ainsbury

    hi please help ive read the forum here and ive tried everything posted and nothing helps i cannot see my computer icon and my network icon on the desktop ive been to the properties settings the boxes are unchecked so i check them and save the options but as soon as i close the screen the options reverts to being unticked i have also have a problem any option i change to do with the task bar or the desk top will not save they revert back to the way they was before i tried to change them does anybody have any suggestions please

  221. derek ainsbury

    please note i am running windows 7 proffessional

  222. Andrew


  223. navazkhan

    What has to be done for windows7 home basic

  224. Wayne

    I tried this remedy, but to no avail on vista, show icons is checked, the desktop icons do not show up, they in my c:/users/USER/desktop folder, but not on the desktop, even when i create a folder or text file the icons do not show on the desktop but they are created in this folder, also, the click-drag to create a bluish box to select multiple items does not show on the desktop. i am lost. any help would be appreciated

  225. mike

    I tried that but when i go to that window it wont let me click on the recycle bin its a grey color n it cant be selected…

  226. Pamela

    Useless information as far as I’m concerned.

  227. DC

    Doesn’t work at all.

  228. Paul

    Excellent work , I’m a professional and it helped me a lot.

  229. Paul

    Guys, If this method does not fix the issue on windows vista you probably have a virus attack.

  230. Kitzen

    My PC with Windows 7 has a bit of a different dilemma in that if left idle for a while ALL of the icons, the tabs; including the MS Icon for the Start Menu…. everything disappears with the exception of the screen saver.

    I have not been able to find a ‘cure’ except to manually shut the entire system down and restart. There must be a key to strike on that keyboard to reinstate at least the Start icon such that one can access the Start Menu to get into the computer and see what’s going on.

    Thanks for any helpful suggestions

  231. Kitzen

    Message for Bradford Collins re: right clicking, clicking to see if you have ‘show all desktop icons’.. tried that as well… Nada! Nothing whatsoever happens. All the correct items are properly checked but does not resolve the problem I just described above. The monitor retains only the screen saver picture not a single other thing is displayed.

    Sure wish that would have worked, my problem would have long been resolved. ;o)

  232. no one

    i have dell inspiron 1011, its like a netbook, and using Windows 7 Starter. Anyways I couldn’t follow up the instruction because its a modified win7. The only way I could restore my trash bin is by typing:

    desktop icon settings

    in the search box of control panel, maybe you could update your howTo and add that in there?

  233. cherry

    i dont have option ”change desktop icons” on my computer. is there any other way to solve this problem? i relly dont know what to do without recycle bin.

  234. Kel

    I just bought a computer that has windows 7 on it. For some reason, a couple of times when it started up there were no icons on the desktop, no task bar, start button, absolutely nothing on it. I restarted it, same thing, nothing. So I restarted it in safe mode, then did a restart from there, and they came up. But, I need to find out why its doing this so it doesnt happen anymore. I shouldnt have to cold boot my computer in safe mode to make it work right. When I say its new, I havent had it maybe 2 weeks tops.

  235. Ehsan

    Ty about this articel it was so helpfull for me

  236. HELP!!!!!!


  237. Brian

    Great! Now here’s a dilly of a pickle!

    I got the icon on my Desktop using the regedit. Wonderful! After a while I right-clicked on it and chose to delete it. I got the usual “To restore the icon go to the Control Panel” message but I can’t find where to go to restore it. I know the normal Desktop icon list (Recycling Bin, Network, etc.) is available but IE is not listed. I tried to re-apply the regedit but no luck. It simply won’t come back.

    I’d love to see an answer for THIS one!

  238. Stephen

    re:If you see no desktop icons at all, try right-clicking on the desktop, then selecting View, and making sure Show Desktop Icons is checked.
    Yes, this is a deeply stupid option.
    Yes, it’s doubly stupid to bury it in a submenu.

    Another Victim Ransomed,
    Thank you
    Very stupid indeed

    My computer is still reacting slowly- I need to dbl-click everything instead of single for most links, but this is indeed one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen as an option. I know I didn’t select it- it just started happening after a reboot.
    Thanks again.

  239. sourav


  240. Mike

    I tried typing in regsvr /u shell32.dll and it said that regsvr is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

  241. Carl Smith II

    Right click desktop and go to view and click show icons if the original step does not work or the above.

  242. rupesh

    unable to restore desktop icons, help me its needfull

  243. Neal

    Somehow I mistakenly deleted the PICTURE used for the recycle bin. Now I just have the generic “folded corner of the page” Windows uses when it doesn’t have the proper picture of something. I’ve tried the restore instructions listed above, and it brought back AN icon, but its not the picture of the clear or full recycle bin, just this generic thing. Any suggestions?!?!

  244. Linda

    I.E. icon and Microsoft Word icon have disappeared from my desktop following a “clean-up” of my computer’s Software. How do I restore when these options are not available. There is only a set choice of icons to restore.

  245. Musti

    My friend has Home Edition and there is no “Personalize” option in it. How can i restore the icons at Home Edition??

  246. Musti

    I found the solution after i wrote :) In Home Edition, right click on the My Computer icon from Start Menu and choose “Show in desktop”. Also for “My Documents” and “Control Panel” it is possible.

  247. obsidian

    i still cannot see them and it is pissing me off
    i clicked apply

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