Desktop Icons Missing or Disappeared &# 45; Windows Shows Blank?

Were you working on something and then suddenly your desktop icons, taskbar and start menu button are all gone? Well, this can happen often especially if you have any bad software installed in your computer, or if your system has a virus or spyware.

It's extremely annoying because when the desktop icons disappear, the start menu button along with the taskbar will usually be gone too. All that's left is your desktop wallpaper. That would leave you with nothing much to click on. This is what commonly known as a blank desktop.

This problem can be caused by 2 possible reasons.

Crashed explorer.exe. It is a process that handles everything on your desktop.

Your desktop icons are simply hidden.

The below solutions can be applied to Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP.

Restart your computer - Desktop Icons Missing or Disappeared

The very first thing you should try is to restart your computer. It sounds dumb, but it usually just works. By restarting your system, bad processes are terminated and windows will run a fresh explorer.exe upon launching. If windows opens as usual without any problem, you can continue your work. If you're still worrying if it will ever happen again, continue reading this post.

Enable Show Desktop Icons - Hidden Desktop Icons

If only your desktop icons disappeared and your taskbar is still there on your screen, it probably means your desktop icons are simply hidden. To redisplay your desktop icons, first, right click anywhere on the desktop and then choose View In Windows XP - choose Arrange Icons By. Next check the Show Desktop Icons item.

Re-launch explorer.exe - Bringing back your missing desktop icons

If everything's gone and the only thing that's left is your desktop wallpaper, you can re-launch your desktop. To do so, hold CTRL + ALT + press DEL, and then select Task Manager. From there, go to Applications tab and then click New Task. Type explorer.exe into the open field and then press OK. Your desktop icons and start menu taskbar should show up again.

Replace explorer.exe - It may be corrupted

If Windows shows you that the explorer.exe is either crashed or missing when you try to launch it, you'll have to replace the explorer.exe with a new one. Here's how:

Copy explorer.exe from other clean computer which has the same version of Microsoft Windows as yours (from C:WINDOWS), save it into your pendrive or other storage medium.

In your computer, follow the Fix 3 steps until you clicked New Task, in the open field, type your pendrive directory (e.g. E:/), or simply click Browse to locate your pendrive.

Select the new explorer.exe then press CTRL + C to copy.

Click New Task again, type C:Windows in the open field, and then hit OK.

Explorer.exe is hidden by default. Show hidden files from (Tools - Folder Options - View - Show hidden files and folders)

Delete the existing explorer.exe.

Paste the new explorer.exe.

Reboot your PC and the problem should be gone now.

Click to go back

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