Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing

Are your Windows 10 desktop icons missing all of a sudden? Yeah I know, very inconvenient. It’s one of those annoyances that Windows 10 can throw at you. Some people have reported that it happened when they accidentally clicked something, and then they couldn’t figure out how to restore their missing desktop icons. The good news is that this is indeed a “feature” in Windows 10 by design, so the fact that your Windows 10 desktop icons disappeared on you doesn’t mean something’s broken. It’s just one of those little computer tips and tricks that, once you know them, won’t cause any discomfort.

So let me help you understand how you can easily get your Windows 10 desktop icons back (and why they went missing in the first place). All you need to know is right here.

Why Are Your Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing?

Are your Windows 10 desktop icons missing all of a sudden while they were still there moments ago? It may very well be that you accidentally changed the option to show them on your desktop. The first thing you should do then is check the “Show desktop icons” settings in the “view” menu on your desktop.

Not sure how to do that? No problem, I’ll show you.

First of all, you need to minimize or close all open windows, so you have a clear view on your desktop. The easiest and fastest way to accomplish this is by pressing the Windows logo key + letter d (d as in desktop) on your keyboard. This will immediately take you to your desktop.

Windows key + d

Now, anywhere on an empty spot on your desktop, right-click with your mouse and select “View” from the menu. Then make sure that the item “Show desktop icons” has a checkmark next to it.

Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing 01

I’ve seen some cases where this setting mysteriously changes in Windows 10, but now you know: Windows 10 desktop icons missing? => Check the “show desktop icons” setting on your desktop.

There’s another reason why your desktop icons can sometimes disappear in windows 10, Which has little to do with anything else but (evidently) the fact that Windows 10 comes with a feature that allows it to run on desktop computers as well as on tablets. I say evidently, because on tablets you don’t rely on the traditional Windows desktop but rather use the tiles in the start menu to launch apps.

This property that allows Windows 10 to run on all devices, whether it be a desktop computer, a laptop or a tablet or mobile device is called Continuum. This simply means that Windows 10 senses how you’re using your device and behaves accordingly. When Windows 10 runs on a tablet, for example, Continuum enlarges the Start menu and apps to fill the screen with larger buttons, sized appropriately for fingertips to tap. But when you attach a mouse or keyboard to your tablet, your tablet switches to Desktop mode, and the Start menu shrinks to normal size, and apps begin to run in desktop windows. Continuum lets your tablet switch quickly into a desktop PC and then back to a tablet when needed.

That means that, whenever your Windows 10 desktop icons are gone, you should also check the action center icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen, near the clock and date.

Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing 02

Click the action center icon to open the action center pane and make sure that Windows 10 is running in desktop mode (which means the icon should be grey, not blue, and display the text “tablet mode”). The text “tablet mode” may have you thinking that Windows is running in tablet mode, but actually it isn’t. Only when this icon is displayed in blue it means that tablet mode is enabled (and that consequentially your desktop icons may be missing).

This article is pretty much related to another article about the “show desktop icon” which used to be present on the taskbar in previous versions of Windows and served to, um, show the desktop, but there’s a slight difference there. Are your Windows 10 desktop icons missing? Than you need this article. That other article talks about how you can re-create the icon on your taskbar that you can click to immediately show your desktop, while the goal of this article is to show you how you can get back the icons that normally live on your desktop but went missing.

I hope it helped you, please feel free to leave a short message in the section below, I’d appreciate it thanks!

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