desktop icons are gone!

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desktop icons are gone!
something weird happened on my computer about a half an hour ago and now all of my icons on my desktop have disappeared, as well as the task bar at the bottom. The picture I have set as my background is still there but everything else is gone. I can access different applications by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL and everything seems to be running smoothly but everything is still gone on my desktop. It won't even let me right click on it...can anyone tell me what is going? Any advice would be much appreciated!



Re: desktop icons are gone!

 Just for kicks, press ctrl alt del...... if explorer.exe is NOT on your list of processes, go to the file menu, click New Task (Run...)  and type in 'explorer.exe' without the ' marks......

If it was running.... then try to end it and start it again (doing the New Task thing I just listed).....

If still nothing... well... I've just bumped your topic up on the comment board and maybe someone else can help 


Anonymous Visitor
Re: desktop icons are gone!

I am having this exact same problem. But my Explorer file is missing. haha

My tech friend said a reformat is the only way to fix it. Is this true?

Anonymous Visitor
Re: Desktop icons and Task Bar are gone! (So has explorer.exe!!)

I had this problem for 2 days.

Symptoms of the fault were:

No explorer.exe
No Task Bar on boot.
No Desktop icons.
Only Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Task Manager

The above symptoms were repeated in every account on the pc.

I’ve concluded that after removal of a virus these programmes were disconnected from their correct paths.

I used all the methods listed by others to restart these programmes to no avail!
e.g. Use Task Manager to try to run the non existent explorer.exe file.
Tried to “right click” the desktop to change or view settings. (Unsurprisingly the left and right mouse buttons were not working on the desktop!)
Used a number of registry programmes on but none of these worked for my particular problem.

This is the only thing that worked!

After running the programme and then restarting the pc my MASTER USER* desktop was back. (Including all my Internet history, personal files etc.)
*This is my main account for this pc hence the most important to me and the first one I tried to restore.

The only down side is that the all the other users on the pc had their profiles wiped as soon as I tried to sign into them! (So be warned!!)

Anonymous Visitor
Re: desktop icons are gone!

thank you soooooo much. I did just as you suggested and there they are. this site will definitely be on my favorites list now!!


Anonymous Visitor
Re: desktop icons are gone!
Thanks alot...
Re: desktop icons are gone!

So nothing is on your desktop at all including the taskbar??  I'm assuming Windows XP and you have done a restart.  You could try to do a "System Restore".  I've had good luck using it for stuff like this.  If you are opening applications manually in Task Manager it's at: C:\WINDOWS\system32\Restore\rstrui.exe.

What you will want to do is select the option to "Restore my computer to an earlier time" .  Pick a bold date on the calandar that is closest to the moment that your desktop dissappeared.

Anonymous Visitor
Re: desktop icons are gone!


Re: desktop icons are gone!
Thank U Sooo Much i use your sugession And desktop icons has return back..
Re: desktop icons are gone!

...yes try running things from the command line... should still be able to run executables one at a time... ctrl+alt+delete...
...then new task, run...
...try cmd.exe...
...then you can navigate around and find executables for firefox or whatever you need... might hurry the computer along if its having boot troubles...

Re: desktop icons are gone!

I had the exact same problem and was terrified that i would have to reformat. instead i pressed ctl alt del and i went to New Task, typed 'explorer.exe' and my taskbar and desktop icons showed up. thank you so much for posting something so i know someone else has had this problem. It was a good scare into teaching me to back up my discs.


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