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How to Restore Desktop Icons on Windows 11

May 10, 2024

Desktop icons provide quick access to applications we use frequently, which greatly saves us time in launching programs. However, sometimes you may find that the icons have disappeared from the desktop, which may cause you problems. If you encounter this trouble, you can refer to this guide to recover lost desktop icons in Windows 11.

Method 1: Enable Show Desktop Icons

If all desktop icons are disappearing, they may have been hidden. Before we move on to other advanced solutions to fix this, please make sure to enable this setting from the View menu.

Enable Show Desktop Icons
Method 2: Check Desktop Icon Settings

If only some of the system icons are missing from your desktop, such as This PC, Recycle Bin, etc., it may be because you have disabled them in desktop icon settings. In this case, you can use the following steps.

go to Personalization
Go to Themes
 Check the icons you want to display

Method 3: Rebuild Icon Cache

Another reason why desktop icons on Windows may be missing is that the existing icon cache data is corrupted, in which case you can rebuild the icon cache to fix it.

cd/d %userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsExplorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
del iconcache*
Explorer.exeType the following command

Method 4: Check Group Policy Settings

In addition to the above three methods, you can also make relevant settings for hiding and disabling items by going to the Group Policy Editor.

type gpedit.msc
Hide and disable all items on the desktop
 Select Not Configured

Method 5: Manually Add Desktop Shortcut Icons

So far, if your desktop icons are still missing, our recommendation is to manually add shortcut icons to your desktop.


In conclusion, you can try the 5 methods in this article to fix Windows 11 desktop icon missing issue. Hope this guide is helpful for you.