Lost desktop icons?

I'm a relatively new Win-7 user and have been using Win-7, 64 bit, for several months w/o problems. All of a sudden I've lost the desktop icons. No taskbar or start menu present. Gadgets & the dock are present. If I rt-click on the desktop I get nothing. I've set up a separate folder w/ shortcuts to various pgms. I wish to access. Some pgm's won't allow me to add the shortcut to the folder but rather to the desktop . . . when I do so, no icons appear on the desktop. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanx.


Noob Whisperer
If this is truly a recent issue "all of a sudden", have you considered trying a system restore to an earlier point in time before the problem occurred.
Does the problem occur for all users on your computer, you may try creating a new user to see if the issue persists.
The problem can be a result several different causes, like;
1. Registry corruption at
the values for "Shell" and "Userinit" may be a problem, you can check them and see, I've included an image of their respective correct values.
2. File corruption of explorer.exe
Both of which can be a result of malware infections, download, install, update and run Spybot Search and Destroy as well as Malwarebyte AntiMalware and see if they find any issues.
You may also want to run the built in system file checker. Run a command prompt with administrative privledges and type sfc /scannow see if that produces any information.
As well as from an administrative command prompt chkdsk /r to check for any issues with the hard drive.

Hi Randy, Thanx for your quick reply w/ this. I ran Norton which found a bunch of problems . . . repaired and rebooted and all icons are back as usual.
Cheers, OkinawaBob.


Noob Whisperer
Glad to hear it and thanks for the followup. Hope to see you around the forums.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.