Online Computer Tips Home
Home All Tips OCT Newsletter Free Tutorials Tech News Resources
Home > All Tips > Microsoft Windows

Windows Questions and Answers - Desktop Icons Disappear and Reappear

Darlina writes in with a Windows question

Question:
The icons on my computer appear then disappear.

Answer: Usually when something like this happens where your icons or taskbar disappear it means there is a problem with the explorer.exe file. The executable module in Windows that contains the Start menu, taskbar, desktop and file manager. Explorer.exe is a Windows process that is run automatically at startup and remains an active process. As a test you can go to Task Manager by right clicking on your task bar and selecting Task Manager or pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and then clicking on Task Manager. From the Applications tab click on New Task and type in explorer.exe and see if it brings your icons back.

Here is a fix that works for Windows 2000 and may work for XP.

1. Make sure you are in Task Manager as described above.
2. On the File menu, click New Task (Run).
3. Type cmd.exe, and then press Enter.
4. If necessary, change to the Windows folder by typing cd\windows.
5. Rename the Shdocvw.dll file by typing ren shdocvw.dll shdocvw.old.
6. Restart the computer.

You can also type in msconfig from the New Task (Run) box and uncheck any items from the Startup and Services tabs that you don't need or that look like they don't belong just in case something is starting with your computer that is causing the problem.

I would also try running the Windows System File Checker from the New Task (Run) box by typing sfc /scannow to have it check your system files for errors. You may need the Windows XP CD in case it asks for it.

Another option is to try a System Restore back to a point before this problem started happening. You can type %systemroot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe from the New Task (Run) box as well.

You can also try the fix recommended for another visitor with a similar problem.

 

Back to the Windows Questions Index

Back to the Main Answers Index

 
BROWSE PC HELP INFORMATION
Computer Categories:
 - PC Troubleshooting
 - Networking
 - Windows
 - Microsoft Office
 - Spyware
 - Virus
 - Hardware
 - Software
Learn More:
 - Computer Tutorials
 - Video Tutorials

 - Networking Terms
 - Hardware Terms
 - Virus Terms

Visitor Questions:
 - Free Tech Help
 - Q & A Archive
 - Common Questions
OCT Newsletter
OCT Tech Blog
JOIN US ON GOOGLE+
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
Get insights into the computer industry and regular updates on our site. Click Here
 
CHECK US OUT ON YOUTUBE

New tech tip videos posted on a regular basis. Subscribe today! Click Here

Back To The Top

Copyright © 2005-2015 Online Computer Tips.com
HOME | ALL TIPS | COMPUTER TUTORIALS | TECH NEWS | RESOURCES | ADVERTISING | ABOUT US | PRIVACY POLICY
Home All Tips OCT Newsletter Free Tutorials Tech News Resources