|Home > All Tips > Microsoft Windows
Windows Questions and Answers - Missing Desktop Icons and Taskbar
Maria writes in with a Windows question
Q. I am missing all of my desktop icons and start up task bar. I go to system restore in safe mode and will get to another date and it has been temporarily working now even w/system restoring it when I turn it on it will only show my background picture but still not icons or my start up task bar. I spoke w/dell for hours and their suggestion was to save everything to back up disks and then get it all installed again. They also said it was not a hardware issue but a software issue. Any suggestions?
Answer: Its hard to pinpoint the cause of this problem but here are a few things you can try. If you have more than one user account on the computer I would try logging on with one of those accounts. If you have desktop icons and a taskbar then you may have a corrupt user profile. If that's the case you may want to use this method to repair your Windows shell. For this to work you will need to be online so hopefully you have DSL or cable internet.
1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete
2. Go to File then pick New Task (Run...)
3. Type ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/anti-virus/tools/shellfix.reg
4. Click Ok and you will be prompted to download shellfix.reg file
5. Click Run rather than Save.
6. Windows will ask you if you want to add information from the
Reg file to the Registry, click on Yes
7. After it runs, restart your computer and see if its fixed
If not then you may want to make a new user account and transfer your files from your old one over to your new account. The location of your files will be under
C:\Documents and Settings\username where username is the name you login to your computer with.
You will mainly need to copy the files from the Desktop, Favorites and Documents folders to your new profile.
Back to the Windows Questions Index
Back to the Main Answers Index