Windows 8 and the Missing Desktop

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by trclac, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. trclac

    trclac Member

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    I made three mistakes over the weekend -- 1) built my in-laws a new computer; 2) installed Win 8 Pro (64 bit); 3) let them use it. After browsing around the new OS, my mother-in-law said the desktop icons (in the "classic" desktop that is accessible from the Win 8 tiles) "just disappeared". I used the usual techniques to show them that I would use in Win 7, to no avail.

    The desktop icons and shortcuts exist on the drive; I see them in Windows Explorer. But the desktop, itself, is empty. It's like looking at the Win 7 desktop with nothing on it.

    She swears she has no idea how the icons disappeared. (Yeah, right.) I went through all the steps I could think of, even determining whether she tried to place them on a "second monitor" (which they don't have), but I can't seem to get them to show up on the desktop. The only way to launch any of the shortcuts is by opening Windows Explorer and launching them from there.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. DirkGently1

    DirkGently1 Senior member

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    Right click Desktop, View, Show Desktop Icons.
     
  3. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    I've used Windows for nearly as many years as there has been a Windows, and I never once noticed that option.:eek:
     
  4. DirkGently1

    DirkGently1 Senior member

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    As i've never in the history of Windows had the Recycle bin enabled, i've always used that option to hide all icons from my Desktop. I prefer it devoid of everything except my Wallpaper.
     
  5. xSauronx

    xSauronx Lifer

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    i used to be that way, but over the last couiple of years ive gotten to keep a browser, one note and wmp open...i can barely see the wallpaper and i have no fucking idea how many icons are on my desktop now. a bunch, i notice only when i reboot or upgrade chrome.
     
  6. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Diamond Member

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    ROFL - not at you, with you :) I hate it when that happens, that I consider myself to be a seasoned Windows user and someone points out something I feel I should have known that I had no idea existed :)

    Start + R was one I wished I had known much sooner, though admittedly I always did Start then R which usually did the trick (until Vista came along or someone had something starting with the letter R on the Start menu). I am sure there have been other ones that would have made better examples, but I guess you know what I mean.

    To be fair to ViRGE I think that option first appeared in Vista, maybe XP.
     
    #6 mikeymikec, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  7. trclac

    trclac Member

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    Amazing. I could have sworn I had already done this, but when I clicked View, sure enough Show Desktop Icons was unchecked. Can't imagine how I missed that, since I tried virtually everything else. Anyway, I really appreciate the suggestion. Now, next time they screw up their new machine, they're on their own. :p
     
  8. GrumpyMan

    GrumpyMan Diamond Member

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    I do the same. I have a great collection of wallpapers, so I hide all the icons and have some gadgets in the background too. And I love Aero w/the Object Plus toolbar. That's all I want to see on my desktop.

    [​IMG]
     
    #8 GrumpyMan, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  9. trooper786

    trooper786 Junior Member

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    Read the previous posts but still have a problem. My start screen comes up with the wallpaper but still doesn't show the icons. I've tried the"right click" and nothing happens. What did I screw up?
     
  10. bradly1101

    bradly1101 Diamond Member

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    It sounds like Explorer has stopped. Reset?
     
  11. lbartley

    lbartley Junior Member

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    May I try to complicate things? Windows Update recently decided to remove my icons completely... but left the text titles. This isn't just on the desktop, it's also in the "Computer" folder and everywhere else. "View desktop icons" is enabled. I've tried running windows update again, i've tried removing the updates, i've tried restoring to a save point, and nothing seems to be working. I'd rather not reinstall the system. Any thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Underclocked

    Underclocked Platinum Member

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  13. lbartley

    lbartley Junior Member

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    Hello,
    Thanks for the suggestion... i tried rebuilding the icon cache, ran sfc several times, without luck, and gave up for a while. I want to try again because having no icons anywhere is really kind of a pain. Anyone have any other ideas?
     
  14. Underclocked

    Underclocked Platinum Member

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    Have you tried just changing the icon size?
     
  15. lbartley

    lbartley Junior Member

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    yep, no dice.
     
  16. amailuk

    amailuk Junior Member

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    Begin by checking your icons still exist and are still visible, you check by using windows explorer.
    Paste the path; %UserProfile%\Desktop in he path bar, select the path in the bar and paste the above path where the present file path is and enter. If your Desktop Icons appear in the explorer window then you are good to go. ():)


    Right clicking anywhere on the blank (empty) desktop, then select VIEW (second from top on my PC) on the menu it provides; it gives another dropdown. From which select SHOW DESKTOP ICONS (second from bottom; it should be de-selected) you should now have your icons back.



    VIEW -----> SHOW DESKTOP ICONS


    I found this problem is also caused with the installing "InfraRecorder" when you open it. It is a CD Writing Software. It leaves you with a cleaned out desktop next time you open your PC! :mad:

    It is best you uninstall it, unless you do not mind reinstating your Desktop each time you use InfraRecorder.

    :whiste:
     
  17. TheBadgerEB

    TheBadgerEB Junior Member

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    I had the same problem as you, no desktop items on my screen though in the desktop folder I could see them all and use them.

    I recently had a second monitor plugged in so that may have something to do with it... can't say for sure however.

    I right clicked on the desktop and selected screen resolution, When I changed the resolution one step down (I was getting pretty desperate at this point) and clicked apply the items appeared on the right hand side of my screen (where they are usually organised across my screen in groups) either way I have them back.

    Can anyone explain why this happened? "View>Show Desktop item" wasn't working, I'm assuming because they weren't hidden in the first place?

    I hope this helps people.
     
  18. bruceb

    bruceb Diamond Member

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    May not be of help but on my computer (XP) I do not let Windows Auto Align the icons. I set it to Align To Grid .. also you need to check and see if maybe the Hide Inactive Windows setting is checked (not sure where that is on Win 7 or Win 8 but it is in there somewhere) Also turn off Desktop Cleanup as both of those will mess with the Icons
     
  19. Imaginer

    Imaginer Diamond Member

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    My honest opinion? Take all the desktop icons, pin them to the Start screen, in the forefront, make the desktop tile the biggest of the bunch. Teach them that this is the new "desktop icon" launch area.

    Two fold, they are going to have to minimize desktop windows to access shortcuts on the desktop. A start button press or windows key press reveals what they need off the bat without minimizing or doing the same motions in hitting "Show desktop" hot corner on the right corner of the taskbar.

    Second, this will give them even more space for "shortcuts" on the start screen, and it will align with no though, be of any size of importance, and tiles can grouped by name. A scroll wheel can shift the Start screen to reveal as much pinned items as one pleases, and programs deemed most used can be to the further left.

    Also, pin the browser of your choice and file explorer to the taskbar. Minimal clutter on the desktop, maximum utility of the Start screen.
     
  20. nerdposse

    nerdposse Junior Member

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    My icons were on my 2nd display that was turned off. I usually don't use that one. It happened after my son used my PC! win8
     
  21. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    XP, I think. I've heard of a prank, where you take a screenshot of the desktop (with icons), save that as wallpaper, and use that option to disable the actual icons.

    Person comes back to their PC, and attempts to click on their "icons", and gets puzzled.
     
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