How to Show, Hide, or Restore Windows 10 Desktop Icons

Can’t find Windows 10 desktop icons? Want to hide desktop icons on A Windows 10 computer? Unable to find specific Windows icons? Here are various ways on how to show, hide or restore desktop icons.

Last updated on February 2nd, 2020 at 2:18 pm

We normally create a lot of desktop icons to use them as a shortcut for most frequently used programs and files. At the same time, there are people who keep their desktop wallpaper absolutely clean and hide icons for better visibility. If you don’t know how to hide icons or how to show desktop icons or how to create one on the desktop wallpaper, we are going to explore these very basic hacks to show / hide / restore Windows 10 desktop icons.

How to Show, Hide, or Restore Desktop Icons on Windows 10

Activate ‘Show Desktop Icons’ Option

Show Desktop Icon

Step 1. ‘Right Click’ anywhere on the clear space of the desktop wallpaper.

Step 2. Click on ‘View’ option Go to ‘Show Desktop Icons’ and put a check to enable viewing desktop icons.

Note: You should be able to get all your desktop icons back on the screen.

Deactivate ‘Show Desktop Icons’ Option

Step 1. ‘Right Click’ anywhere on the clear space of the desktop wallpaper.

Step 2. Click on ‘View’ option Go to ‘Show Desktop Icons’ and remove the check mark to disable viewing desktop icons.

Didn’t work? Try the next solution!

Turn Off ‘Start Full Screen’ Mode

start full screen mode

While using windows in ‘Full-Screen Mode’ somehow hide the Desktop icons. Here are the steps to turn off the Start Menu Full-screen mode.

Step 1. Right-click on the Start button and click on ‘Settings’ Select ‘Personalization’ from the list click on ‘Start’ tab on the left hand side list toggle off ‘Use Start Full Screen’.

You may also ‘Right Click’ on on clear area of desktop wallpaper and click on ‘Personalization’ go to ‘Start’ tab on the left-hand side toggle off ‘Use Start Full Screen’.

Also Read: Common Windows 10 Problems & Solutions

Restore Default Windows 10 Desktop Icons

Desktop Icon Settings

If you’ve previously added or removed some of the ‘Special Icons’ like This PC, Network, User, Computer OR Control Panel to the desktop, OR if you want to know how to add computer icons on Windows 10 desktop background, you may follow these steps to do it.

Step 1. ‘Right Click’ on the clear area of the desktop wallpaper Click on ‘Personalize’ option.

Step 2. Go to ‘Themes’ tab on the left-hand side panel Under ‘Related Settings’ on the right-hand side of the window, Click on ‘Desktop Icon Settings’.

Step 3. Check to Add or Uncheck to Remove the Windows Desktop Icons from the list and Click on ‘Apply’ & ‘Ok’.

Also Read: How To Speed Up Windows 10 Boot Time

Toggle ‘Tablet Mode’ Off

Disable Tablet Mode

Step 1. Right click on ‘Start’ button to go to ‘Settings’ option click on ‘System’ and choose ‘Tablet Mode’ from the left-hand side panel.

Step 2. Scroll through ‘Make Windows More Touch-Friendly When Using Your Device As A Tablet’ and turn it Off.

Step 3. Select ‘Use Desktop mode’ under ‘When I Sign In’ drop-down list.

You should be able to see your desktop icons now. Try turning On and Off ‘Tablet Mode’ a few times If that doesn’t work. Still No Go? Try below steps!

Disable Any Secondary Monitor

One should also check if the secondary monitor is Enabled OR Disabled.

Step 1. ‘Right Click’ on the clear area of the desktop wallpaper Click on ‘Display Settings’ option.

Step 2. Under ‘Multiple Display’ select ‘Display 1’ as your primary display.

Restart ‘Explorer.exe’ Service

End Task - Windwos Explorer Service

At times, restarting ‘Windows Explorer’ also get the default settings back on the system. To perform the following, try out these steps.

Step 1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete key together and select ‘Task Manager’. You can also right-click on ‘Task Bar’ and click on ‘Task manager’. Or press ‘Win + R’ and type ‘taskmgr’ to open ‘Task Manager’.

Step 2. Go to ‘Processes’ tab and look for ‘explorer.exe’ or ‘Windows Explorer’.

Step 3. Select the process and click on ‘End Task’ / ‘Restart’ button at the bottom right corner of the window. You may also do the same by right clicking on the process and clicking on ‘End Task’.

Step 4. Go to the ‘File Menu’ of Task Manager and click on ‘New Task’. In the command run box, type ‘explorer.exe’ and hit enter. A New ‘Windows Explorer’ window should open on your screen.

Note: Once the service is restarted, you should get your desktop icons back on the screen. If not, you may restart the system and check if it comes up or not. Still not lucky? Try another solution!

Registry Edit To Show/Hide Desktop Items

Registry Edit For Desktop Icons

Note: Registry Editor is a very critical section of Windows and you need to be very accurate while tweaking it. Below steps are based on Windows 10 OS and needs to be followed with accuracy.

Step 1. Press ‘Win + R’ key together to open Run Dialogue Box.

Step 2. Open ‘Registry Editor’ by typing ‘regedit’ and click on ‘Ok’. You may also type the same in Search Bar and press enter to open.

Step 3. From the left-hand side panel, go to the following path and create a new 32-bit DWORD value with NoDesktop name and press enter. You may also copy-paste below address in the registry address bar. Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Note: Regardless you are using 64-bit Windows, you will need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.

Step 4. Set the ‘Value Data’ to 1 to hide and 0 to show the desktop icons.

Note: A logout and login will be required for changes to take effect. To apply the same option for all users, you need to ensure that you are logged in using an Administrator account.

Then, go to the following Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Create and configure the same value here, NoDesktop as described above.

Also Read: Best PC Cleaner Software

Using ‘Group Policy’ To Show / Hide All Desktop Icons in Windows 10

Group policy edit to show hide desktop items

Group policy is one of the important and sensitive step to show / hide all desktop icons in Windows 10.

Step 1. Press ‘Win + R’ key together to open Run Dialogue Box.

Step 2. Type ‘gpedit.msc’ and click on ‘Ok’ to open ‘Group Policy Editor’. You may type in the same in search box and press enter.

Step 3. Go to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Desktop.

Step 4. Look for ‘Hide and disable all items on the desktop’ and enable the policy option to hide icons and disable to show icons. Click on ‘Apply’ and ‘Ok’.

Summing Up

We have covered various options to Show OR Hide Desktop Icons and hope these steps worked for you. If still, you are not able to see your desktop icons then you will need to perform Windows troubleshooting like running sfc.scannow or system restore or repair/reinstall to the extent.

Do let us know which one worked for you to show or hide Windows 10 desktop icons. We hope that this blog turned out to be useful and accurate for you. Do share your experience in Comments section to value add the information.

Next Read: Best Disk Defrag Software for Windows

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Post

Recent Post

Best Instagram Photo Recovery Software for PC, iPhone, and Android

By TechCommuters / May 7, 2021

Losing your Instagram pics due to accidental deletion or careless usage of the app can be very frustrating. Especially if it happens to be your favorite photo with the most likes and comments. But you don’t have to worry because there are many ways through which you can recover deleted Instagram photos with ease. In […]

Friendspire Review – Access Movies, TV Shows, Books on the Go

By TechCommuters / May 4, 2021

Stop Searching on Google what to eat, watch or drink. Start searching with Friendspire. Everyone loves foods, drinks, movies, TV shows, but are you, everyone? You’re not! You don’t just love these things you want to watch, eat, drink, read and listen to the best, right? So, what do you do to accomplish this? Like […]

10 Best Email Tracking Software in 2021

By TechCommuters / May 2, 2021

Most email tracking software only tells you whether an email is opened or not. Whereas they should tell you why a person opened your email and how ready he or she is to become your customer. In the marketing funnel, emails play a king-size role.  Therefore, you need an email tracker that answers — when […]

10 Best Barbie Games in 2021

By TechCommuters / April 30, 2021

Video games are only for boys! Do you also think that? Well, no, digital games are for everyone — whether you want to kill monsters or dress up a Barbie. Today, girls can have all the gaming fun; they can cook, dress up, do makeup, and so much more.  If you want to relive your […]

10 Best Diet Planning & Tracking Apps for iOS and Android in 2021

By TechCommuters / April 29, 2021

What do you eat? How do you eat? When do you eat? — directly reflects on how you feel or look. Today, planning your diet isn’t a cosmetic luxury; it is a way to lead a healthy life.  But, it is easier to say than to do. When you have your favorite sugar-loaded dessert calling […]

7 Key Advantages of Internet and Mobile-Learning

By TechCommuters / April 28, 2021

Mobile Learning combined with the internet is becoming increasingly popular nowadays because it is one of the most successful programs developed by technical inventors in the times of COVID-19. People are more attracted to multimedia platforms than they were to the traditional learning system. In addition to this, e-learning offers much more advanced learning than […]

iOS 14.5 Update: All New Features

By TechCommuters / April 27, 2021

The long-awaited, iOS 14.5 is officially released for all users and this update comes with a vast list of features. The most prominent among them are: Apple Watch iPhone unlock. AirTags App Tracking Over 200 new emoji New Siri Voices and more. Here’s what you need to do to download and install iOS 14.5 and […]

10 Best Audiobook Apps for iOS & Android in 2021

By TechCommuters / April 26, 2021

Are you a hardcore reader? Then, you definitely want to use every minute of the day to unveil a new story. With audiobook apps, you can get that opportunity. Whether you are driving, walking, or working out in a gym, your audiobook app can supply unlimited stories to you.  For our busy readers, the TC […]

Types and Importance of Digital Marketing

By TechCommuters / April 24, 2021

Digital marketing utilizes the internet, cell phones, web-based media, web indexes, and various channels to reach out to their customers. Some advertising experts consider digital marketing to be a completely new venture that requires a different method of moving customers and better ways to see how customers move forward with traditional promotions. Relativity with Digital […]

What Everybody Should Know About Instagram Marketing

By TechCommuters / April 24, 2021

Instagram marketing is how different brands mainly use Instagram to connect with their target audiences and market their products. This method has mainly gained popularity as an exciting method for brands to showcase their culture, engage with their customers, and show off their products in a new light. Steps to be used in creating the […]

All About Digital Marketing

By TechCommuters / April 23, 2021

Digital marketing, online marketing, internet advertising, whatever you call it, marketing your agency online is a big deal these days. Digital Marketing This is a very vast term. Marketing done using technology and digitization is digital marketing. This is a form of direct marketing that establishes a link between sellers and customers. This is done through different […]

Digital Marketing: The Definition Of Marketing and the Impact Of Digital Media On Marketing

By TechCommuters / April 23, 2021

Marketing can be defined as actively promoting the services and products a business has to offer to its customers. This is done by keeping in mind market supply and customer demand. Marketing is now not looked at as just a door to door to sales. It is much more than that. Marketing is now an […]

Top Internet Providers with Unlimited Data 2021

By TechCommuters / April 21, 2021

Nowadays, with so many activities to perform on the internet like streaming movies, downloading files, and working from home, having an internet plan with unlimited data has become crucial for almost every household. However, finding an internet provider that offers the best internet service along with unlimited data is not an easy task. Therefore, to […]

10 Best Action-packed Train Games for iOS in 2021

By TechCommuters / April 19, 2021

The train journey is a wholesome experience. Getting to know different places, meeting new people, lazy talks, speed rush, and so much more. Now, imagine what if you get all the train experience while sitting at your home? Cool, right? By playing train games on your iOS gadgets, you can ride, drive or perform stunts […]

10 Best Simulator Games for iOS in 2021

By TechCommuters / April 17, 2021

The simulation gaming genre is hard to ignore in 2021. A game that can lift the barrier between real life and virtual life. These games can stimulate your senses and let you live your gaming fantasies. Simulator games are a perfect combination of fun and technology that you can’t afford to miss out on.  Today, […]