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How to Recover Data while Windows 10 Desktop Icons are Missing?

If you are experiencing the “Windows 10 desktop icons missing/disappeared” issue and don’t know what causes this, you can check the 8 ways in this post to fix Windows 10 desktop icons missing problem and recover the possible lost data and files for free.

Some of you may have experienced a problem on your Windows 10 laptop i.e. Desktop icons are missing in Windows 10. It is pretty annoying for the users who have a lot of stuff on their desktop and suddenly, they find it disappeared. Keeping that frustration in mind, this post will help you fix this issue.

Way 1. Turn on Show Desktop Icons to Unhide All Desktop Icons Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop icons missing issue may be caused by accidentally hiding desktop icons.

You can restore desktop icons Windows 10 by enabling Show desktop icons.

Step 1. Right-click the empty space on Windows 10 computer screen and click View option.

Step 2. After you click View tab, you can see several options for managing desktop icons. Navigate and check if the option Show desktop icons are ticked, if not, make it ticked. Then check if you get all missing desktop icons back.

If you even can’t right-click the desktop, you can continue to check other ways.

Way 2. Fix Windows Desktop Icons Missing by Checking Desktop Icon Settings

Your Windows 10 icons may be hidden, the second step you can take is to show desktop icons in Windows 10 through Settings.

Step 1. You can right-click the computer screen and click Personalize. If you can’t right-click the desktop screen, you can click Start -> Settings -> Personalization.

Step 2. Then choose Themes, and click Desktop icon settings.

Step 3. Then you can select which kinds of desktop icons you’d like to show on Windows computer, and click Apply and OK.

Check if Windows 10 desktop icons are shown now.

Way 3. Turn off the Tablet Mode to Show Desktop Icons

If you have a touch screen, the computer may have two screen modes: Desktop Mode and Tablet Mode. If your Windows 10 computer is in Tablet mode, the desktop icons may not be shown properly. You can turn off Tablet mode to see if “Windows 10 desktop icons disappeared” problem can be solved.

Step 1. You can click Start and Settings to open Windows 10 settings.

Step 2. Click System to open system settings window, and select Tablet mode in the left panel.

Step 3. Make sure the status of Table mode is Off, to turn off tablet mode.

Way 4. Run SFC Scannow to Fix Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing Issue

SFC (File System Checker) is a Windows built-in command line tool mainly designed for helping users to scan and repair corrupted system files. If the Windows 10 icons missing issue is caused by system corruption, you can try SFC Scannow to show desktop Windows 10.

Step 1. Open Windows Command Prompt. You can press Windows logo and R keys on the keyboard at the same time. Then type cmd in the box, and hit Enter. When a window pops up asking you if you want to run it as Administrator, click Yes. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + Enter at the same time after typing cmd, to run Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 2. Then in the Command Prompt window, you can type this command line: sfc /scannow, and hit Enter.

Wait patiently to let the SFC scan process finish. After that, you can check if the “desktop not showing in Windows 10” issue is fixed.

To Recover Missing Desktop Files in Windows 10

If you Windows 10 desktop icons are disappeared, some of files you stored in computer may also get lost. Don’t worry, you can easily recover lost data and files with the help of the professional best data recovery software.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a clean and free data recovery program, helping you to recover any deleted/lost files from computer hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, SD card and more.

You can use this tool to recover lost data from almost any data loss situations, incl. system crash, virus attack, hard drive error, etc.

Free download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery on your Windows 10 computer, and follow the 3 simple steps below to recover lost data on PC.

Step 1 – Launch the Windows 10 File Recovery Software

Open MiniTool Power Data Recovery software to enter into its main UI. And click This PC in the left column. Then you can choose a PC drive or partition, and click Scan button to start scanning the chosen partition for lost and deleted files.


Step 2 – Preview and Find Lost Files

When the scan process is finished, you can browse, preview and find the lost files and folder in the scan result window.

You can click Find to search the lost file or folder by name, or click Filter to find the files by file extension, file size range, create date, etc. You can also click Show Lost Files icon to only show lost files in the scan result, to quickly find needed files.

Step 3 – Recover Lost Files and Folders in Windows 10 PC

Check all you needed files and click Save button to choose a destination folder to store the recovered lost files. Please remember to choose a different partition to save the recovered files to prevent data overwriting.

With this free file undelete software for Windows 10, you can easily restore lost desktop files or any other lost or deleted files in your Windows 10 computer.


Apart from the mentioned methods, you can also try more methods to fix Windows 10 Desktop icons disappeared issue. Including:

  • Run CHKDSK to fix Windows 10 desktop icons are missing
  • Rebuild icon cache Windows 10
  • Reset this PC to fix Windows 10 icons missing
  • Perform a system restore to show Windows 10 desktop

Icons Disappeared from Taskbar Windows 10 Solved

If icons are missing from Taskbar in Windows 10, you can try to use SFC or DISM to fix this issue.

  • At first, you can press Windows + R key on the keyboard, type cmd in the Run box, open and run command prompt as administrator. Then type sfc /scannow and hit Enter to let the File System Checker scan and fix Windows 10 issues.
  • If SFC doesn’t fix “Icons disappeared from Taskbar Windows 10” issue, you can type this command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth, and hit Enter.

After that, you can reboot your Windows 10 PC to see if Windows 10 taskbar icons invisible problem has been fixed. (Windows 10 Taskbar Not Working? 6 Fast Fixes)

Fix “Can’t Move Desktop Icons on Windows 10”

Still, if some of you encounter this issue: can’t move desktop icons on Windows 10, you may try these methods below to fix this problem.

  • Press Esc key on the keyboard three times.
  • Change icons arrangement configuration. You can right-click the blank space on desktop and click View -> uncheck Auto arrange icons.
  • You can also change icon size after you right-click the desktop and click View
  • You can follow the guide above to turn off Tablet mode
  • You can also follow the guide above to go to Troubleshoot and perform a system restore, etc.

If you also suffer some data loss because of this error or any other errors on Windows 10 computer, you can also follow the data recovery guide in this post to easily recover lost data and files in Windows 10 with MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

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