How-To Geek

Quick Help: Downloadable Show Desktop Icon for XP

It’s amazing how often I get the question “I deleted my Show Desktop icon, now how do I get it back?” arrives in my inbox… so I’ve decided to just zip up the icon and provide it here for everybody.

Most of the articles out there tell you how to recreate it by hand using notepad, but I think you’d probably prefer a downloadable file instead.

Once you download and unzip it, right click on the Quick Launch bar and choose Open Folder.


Copy the icon into this folder…


And there we are, the Show Desktop icon has returned.


Download Show Desktop Icon for Windows XP

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 09/24/07

Comments (15)

  1. Ali Karbassi

    It is fairly easy to restore the “Show Desktop” button that usually resides in the Quick Launch toolbar, if you have removed it.

    Open notepad and paste the following:


    Save the file as “Show Desktop.scf” in C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch where YOURNAME is the username of the account that is missing the icon.

  2. Piculin

    Everytime I use a computer without the “Show Desktop” button I wonder how much time the owner wastes minimizing every window at the end of the day. This will come handy in my pendrive!

  3. Polartribe

    I just use the keyboard shortcut: window+D = instant desktop.

  4. jon

    My computer screen shows only a background there is no toolbar or icons to click on. I have to control alt-delete to bring up the task manager so I can select a funtion to operate by .
    Can you help me restore my icons and tool ber and get rid of this dang background!!

  5. Ted

    When I right click on the quick launch bar there is no ‘open folder’ option.

  6. Mike Wright

    Thanks – this appears to have worked for my XP64 computer – I didn’t delete the show desktop icon – it never existed in the first place..

  7. Nathan

    When my to-desktop corrupted I was searching everywhere for one and now I founf this its too late ! lol

    I just press windows key + D

    Always worked for me :P

  8. Zeidan

    Can’t we just use the windows+D hotkey like Nathan said?

  9. susan nolan

    my desktop has dissapeared and when i right click nothing hapens. what should i do??

  10. Cathy Lee

    My desktop and task bar have disappeared. When I restart from control Alt Del, I get a message saying Explorer exe. SHDOCVW.dll is missing.
    What do I need to do? Help, I am desperate.

  11. Lilyan Wolberg

    How do I reinstall my Recycle Bin Icon on the desktop. I inadvertantly deleted it.
    Many thanks

  12. Jarda

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I´ve tried that notepad way so many times, but for dunno what reason it never worked.

    No is my show desktop button back.

    To download it and copy it to Quick start folder is the easiest and fastest way.

  13. Maytham

    @Lilyan Wolberg

    to restore Recycle Bin just right click on the desktop > properties > desktop > customize desktop icons > mark Recycle Bin :) and finaly hit OK!

    it’s nice & Easy ^^

  14. Rajan

    your solution was right Mr.Ali Karbassi

  15. angela

    WONDERFUL – thanks so much, I don’t know why the Microsoft instructions don’t make it easy like this.

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