FIX: Desktop Icons Disappeared After Upgrading to Windows 11

Recently upgraded to Windows 11? Did the desktop icons disappear? Don’t worry! This is quite natural and is one of the most commonly reported issues by users. If the blank desktop screen is making you anxious, you can easily bring back the missing desktop icons by following a few simple steps.

windows-11

Image source: Creative Bloq

In this post, we have listed a bunch of solutions that will allow you to fix the “Desktop icons disappeared after upgrading to Windows 11” issue.

Here you go!

How To Fix Desktop Icons Disappeared After Upgrading to Windows 11

Method 1: Enable Desktop Icons

One of the most effective hacks to bring back the missing desktop icons is by using the “Show Desktop Icons” option.

view

Right-click anywhere on the blank desktop, select View, and then tap on the “Show Desktop Icons” option. And that’s it! All the hidden icons will appear on the desktop in a snap.

Also read: Quick Ways To Show or Hide Desktop Icons On A Mac Desktop

Method 2: Manage Desktop Icons Settings

Even if the basic desktop icons like the Recycle Bin, This PC, and so on went missing after upgrading to Windows 11, here’s something you can try.

Tap the Windows icon placed on the Taskbar, select “Settings”.

Switch to the “Personalization” section from the left menu pane. Scroll down and then tap on “Themes”.

settings

Image source: Guiding Tech

In the Themes section, tap on the “Desktop Icons Settings” option. Check on all the icons that you want to add to your desktop and then hit on the Apply button.

Method 3: Restart the File Explorer App

If you’re unable to view any of the desktop icons after upgrading to Windows 11, here’s something you can try.

Tap on the search icon placed on the Taskbar, type “Task Manager” and hit Enter.

In the Task Manager window, switch to the “Processes” tab.

task-manager

Scroll down through the list of active processes to locate “File Explorer”. Once you find it, right-click on it and hit on the “Restart” button.

Reboot your device when done.

Also read: Desktop Icons Not Showing on Windows 10, 8, 7? Find Fixes

Method 4: Run the SFC Scan

System File Checker is a built-in Windows utility that scans and fixes corrupt system files and settings. To run the SFC command on Windows 11, follow these quick steps.

Tap on the search icon placed on the Taskbar, type “Command Prompt” and then select the “Run as Administrator” option.

When Command Prompt launches in the Admin mode, type the following command and hit Enter to execute it.

sfc-scan

sfc/scannow

Wait for the command to complete. Reboot your device after the scan and check whether it fixed the issue.

Also read: Overhaul Your Windows 10 Desktop With These Tricks!

Method 5: Modify the Group Policy Editor

Press the Windows + R key combination, type “Gpedit.msc” and hit Enter to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.

run

In the Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following folder location.

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop.

local

In the desktop folder, look for the “Hide and Disable all items on desktop” service. Double-tap on it to configure this file. Now, check whether this service was enabled by default.

Method 6: Switch to the Tablet Mode

The Tablet mode modifies the setting of how desktop icons are placed on the window. So, another simple hack to resolve the “Desktop icons disappeared” issue by switching to tablet mode on your Windows PC.

laptop

Image source: Make Use Of

NOTE: There’s no dedicated Tablet Mode on Windows. Only certain devices with touch-screen functionalities can switch to tablet mode. So, if you happen to own a Windows device with touch-screen support, you can try out this hack.

Launch the Settings app and then switch to the “System”. Tap on the “Display Orientation” option and then enable the “Rotation Lock”.

After enabling the Rotation Lock, you can either choose Portrait or Landscape setting as display orientation.

Also read: How to Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU (DWM.exe)

Method 7: Update the Graphics Driver

Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run dialog box, type “Devmgmt.msc” in the textbox, and hit Enter.

hit-ok

In the Device Manager window, tap on “Display Adapters”. Select the graphic card, right-click on it and tap on “Update Driver”.

cancel

Follow the on-screen instructions listed in the wizard to update the graphics driver installed on your Windows PC.

Conclusion

Here were a few simple yet effective methods to fix the “Desktop icons disappeared after upgrading to Windows 11” issue. So, if you are missing your old desktop icons, you can follow any of these above-listed methods to retrieve the missing icons to personalize your desktop.

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