Why am I missing all icons on my Windows desktop?

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

My computer iconsNote: If you are only missing an icon such as My Computer or My Documents see our Missing My Computer, My Network Places, or My Documents icon document.

If all of your icons are missing from the desktop, it's likely that you have Active Desktop enabled. If you do not want the Active Desktop you can follow the steps below.

  1. Right-click on the desktop
  2. Click on Active Desktop and uncheck "View as a web page."

If you do want to view your desktop as a Web page, to get your icons back follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel double-click on the Display icon.
  3. In Display Properties click the effects tab and un-check the option "Hide icons when the desktop is viewed as a web page.".