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Article ID: 2670504 - Last Review: November 28, 2012 - Revision: 8.0

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Summary

At times, you may notice that some of your desktop icons are missing or they may have just disappeared from your desktop. Follow the steps in the section below that best fits your situation.

Resolution

Is Show desktop icons option unchecked?

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Show desktop icons is unselected. To Fix this just turn that option back on. To turn the option back on , Follow the steps: 
  1. Right click the desktop.
  2. Select View and then Show desktop icons.
  3. Make sure the option is checked.
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Are there too many icons on your desktop?

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If your desktop becomes crowded with too many icons, some icons may overlap or seem to disappear.

Turn the Auto Arrange option on and then off again by right-clicking an empty area of the desktop, click View, and then click Auto Arrange. To turn off the Auto Arrange option, click Auto Arrange again, clearing the check mark next to it. You may need to move your icons to the place on the desktop where you want them.

If you still can’t see all of your icons, get help from the Microsoft Communityonline community (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/desktop)
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My desktop is not crowded with icons

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Your desktop icons can sometimes become hidden by malware or other applications. Showing your hidden files and folders can resolve this issue.

Follow these steps to display hidden files and folders.
  1. Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab, click Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and then click OK.
  3. Look for the missing icons on your desktop, right-click the icon you want to display, and then click Properties.
  4. Next to Attributes, uncheck the Hidden box, and then click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each icon you want to display.
    • Important Note: Windows keeps some files like important operating system files hidden by default. Un-hiding all files can lead to serious issues like data loss or corruption, if they are accidentally deleted. To reduce this possibility, follow the steps below to hide these files from view.
  6. Open Folder options by clicking the Start Button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.
  7. Click the View tab, click Don't show hidden files, folders, and drives, and then click OK.

If you still can’t see all of your icons, get help from the Microsoft Communityonline community (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/desktop) .
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My icons change randomly

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When you first access an icon in Windows, it is saved in a cache. Each time you access an icon after that, Windows reads the icon image from the cache to help speed up displaying your desktop. The icon cache can become corrupt and may cause your desktop icons to disappear. You can automatically diagnose and repair problems with the icon cache.

Automatically diagnose problems with your icon cache by running the following Microsoft Fix it:

Diagnose and repair Windows File and Folder problems automatically (http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_file_and_folder_diag/en-us)

If you still can’t see all of your icons, get help from the Microsoft Communityonline community (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/desktop) .
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More information

If your PC still hangs after you follow the steps in this article, select one of the following options for additional support:


Keywords: 
kbcip KB2670504
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Additional support options
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