8 Ways to Fix Blank Icons on Windows 10

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When someone says they have “blank icons” on their desktop, they can refer either to the absence of icons or the icons becoming plain white color. Unfortunately, icons are essential for navigating through applications, so their sudden absence can cause problems. And while the issue may lie with Windows Explorer, your Windows settings may also be to blame.Here are some fixes to help you resolve the problem if you are experiencing this issue. Several of these fixes will be surface-level, but others may be more technical.

1. Restart File Explorer

Navigation in Windows is controlled by the built-in navigation tool, File Explorer. The program provides a graphical interface for accessing all files throughout your system. Restarting File Explorer may resolve the temporary glitch resulting in blank icons on your desktop. Before we move on to any major fixes, let us restart File Explorer.

To restart File Explorer, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Processes tab and locate Windows Explorer (File Explorer is often referred to as Windows Explorer in a few systems).
  3. Tap Restart on the right-bottom side of the Task Manager window.

Restarting File Explorer usually resolves most navigation issues. If not, try other fixes on this list.

2. Disable Tablet Mode

Tablet mode replaces icons on your laptop or Windows tablet with navigation tiles. Therefore, you should check if tablet mode is enabled and turn it off if it is. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the action center on your taskbar. (It will be located right beside the date and time, represented by a message popup symbol)
  2. Expand it if it isn’t already expanded, and click on the tablet mode tile to turn it off if it’s already on.

If you can’t locate it in the action center, follow the steps below to turn it off.

  1. Go to Windows Settings.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Navigate to Tablet settings on the left sidebar.
  4. Click on Change additional tablet settings.
  5. Turn off the Tablet mode toggle by turning it to the left if it was already on.

The next step is to run an SFC scan if the Tablet mode did not cause the problem.

3. Run an SFC Scan

SFC stands for System File Checker, and an SFC scan helps Windows users locate and restore corrupted files. Corrupt files may interfere with other Windows tools such as File Explorer, which results in blank desktop icons. The SFC scan will hopefully restore the icons after fixing the corrupted files.

To run SFC Scan, follow these steps:

  1. In the Windows search bar, type cmd.
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt app and choose Run as administrator from the menu.
  3. Enter the following command into the Command Prompt and hit Enter:
 sfc /scannow 

The SFC scan will inform the user if any corrupt files have been repaired or replaced with new ones as the process progresses. The Command Prompt will notify you of this at the end of the process.

4. Update Your Display Driver

Your icons can also become plain white due to an outdated display driver. When you update your display driver, you will restore the original settings and replace any corrupted files. Therefore, updating your display driver will likely fix the problem.

To do that, follow these steps:

  1. On the desktop, right-click on This PC and select Manage.
  2. Click on Device Manager from the left-side menu and expand the Display adapters category.
  3. Right-click on the GPU/adapter you are currently using and click on Update driver
  4. Then, click on Search automatically for drivers and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can also reinstall the display drivers if updating the driver does not work.

5. Clear the Icon Cache

By clearing your icon cache, you can restore all those desktop icons that have disappeared from your screen. The icon database will be rebuilt from scratch, restoring any icons that have vanished into thin air.

Follow these steps to clear your icon cache:

  1. Open your File Explorer using This PC.
  2. Click File in the top-left corner, then choose Options from the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the View tab and check the circle for the Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  4. Now, navigate to your C Drive > Users > %Your in-use account% > AppData > Local.
  5. Find the IconCache file with a DataBase File type and delete it.

6. Run a Malware Scan

Running a malware scan will reveal any hidden malicious third-party software that may interfere with Windows functionality. The scan will detect and remove that threat.

Run a scan through your third-party antivirus application or follow the steps below to run Microsoft’s built-in security scan.

  1. Open Windows Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Navigate to Windows Security on the left-sidebar.
  4. Click on the Virus and Threat Protection.
  5. Then, click on Scan Options under the Quick Scan button and select the scan you want to run.

A Full scan is recommended, but it takes longer as it goes through all of the files on the computer. If you are pressed for time, you can also do a Quick scan.

7. Update Windows

Update your Windows if yours is not up-to-date, as this will automatically resolve any pertinent visible problems by itself. You can skip this step if your Windows is already up-to-date. Additionally, if you continually keep the automatic update option on, you will not have to worry about updating Windows.

Follow the steps to update your Windows:

  1. Open Windows Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security and then select Windows Update on the left-sidebar.
  3. Click on Check for updates, and Windows will find the most recent update for you.
  4. Once available, you can click on Download & Install.

If updating Windows doesn’t fix the issue, you can try resetting your PC.

8. Reset Your PC

When you reset your computer, all the settings will be reset to the default factory version, including registries, group policies, and any customizations you’ve made so far. The default setting will likely solve your icon problem if no other fix worked, but you should be aware of the risks involved.

Follow these steps to reset your PC:

  1. Open Windows Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security and then select Recovery from the left-side menu.
  3. Click on the Get Started button under Reset this PC.
  4. In the Reset this PC window, select your preference of keeping or deleting your files on the computer.

It is important to remember that if you choose the remove everything option, all data and files will be deleted, and your drives will be wiped. Don’t make your life more difficult by wiping your data.

Turn Your Windows Blank Icon Into Normal

Hopefully, the fixes in the list will bring back all the icons that disappeared and normalize the blank ones. If nothing seems to work, you may have no choice but to manually change the icons one by one and create shortcut icons for those that have disappeared. If that doesn’t work either, reinstall your OS.

Would you like to give your operating system a unique look? Consider adding custom icon packs to customize your Windows entirely by choosing from hundreds of styles.

— Update: 27-02-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article 8 Quick Ways to Fix Desktop Icons Not Showing on Windows 10 from the website windowsreport.com for the keyword desktop icons not working in windows.

Article post on: us.suanoncolosence.com

Encompassing solutions that will help you get your icons back

Windows 10 is a stunning OS with a series of excellent features. However, it is not a perfect machine, with many users reporting that the desktop icons are not showing.

This can be frustrating, but it is not an issue that is unheard of, just like the desktop icons blank issue. Thankfully, you can fix it easily by applying the solutions in this detailed guide.

Why did all my desktop icons disappear?

There are various factors that can be responsible if your desktop icons are not showing. Below are some of the popular ones:

  • Wrong settings: One of the major causes of this issue is the disabling of some settings. An example is the Show all desktop icons feature that allows you to view the icons.
  • Interference from other apps: If you started noticing this issue after installing an app, it might be the cause. You need to remove the app using one of the best uninstaller software to restore normalcy.

Some of the variations of this issue include desktop icons not showing on the main display, Desktop icons not showing on the second monitor, Desktop icons not showing pictures, and Desktop icons not showing in File Explorer.

However, the solutions below will help you fix all these problems and restore your desktop icons.

How do I fix icons not displaying on Windows 10?

1. Make sure the Show Desktop icons feature is enabled

  1. Right-click on the empty area on your desktop.
  2. Choose View and select Show desktop icons.
  3. Try checking and unchecking Show Desktop icons option a few times, but remember to leave this option checked.

2. Change the Desktop icon settings

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Choose Personalization.
  3. Go to Themes from the left pane, then scroll down on the right and click on Desktop icon settings.
  4. Now, select the icons you want to see on your desktop, then click on Apply and OK to make the changes.
  5. If you are here, you may also uncheck the Allow themes to change desktop icons box but this will only apply to their appearance on the screen.

3. Rebuild the icon cache

  1. Press the Windows key + E to launch File Explorer and click the View tab at the top.
  2. Check the box for Hidden items to display hidden files and folders.
  3. Now, navigate to the path below: C:Users(User Name)AppDataLocal
  4. Right-click on IconCache.db and select Delete.
  5. Next, go to the Recycle Bin and empty it.
  6. Finally, restart your computer.

One of the most common tweaks when resolving the missing desktop icons on Windows 10 is rebuilding the cache. It is always effective in fixing these issues. So, you should try it.

4. Disable the tablet mode

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open Settings and select System.
  2. Choose Tablet from the left.
  3. Now, click the dropdown under When I sign in and select Never use tablet mode.

One of the factors that make the desktop icons not toshow properly on Windows 10 is the tablet mode. Users have been able to fix this issue simply by disabling this feature. So, you should try it too.

Although it may sound banal, it’s quite possible you overlooked this. So, to be sure, check if your Desktop icons are set to appear once again.

5. Run explorer.exe

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager.
  2. Right-click the explorer.exe or Windows Explorer process under the Processes tab and select the End task button.
  3. Now, click the File option at the top left and click Run new task.
  4. Type explorer.exe in the box, and then proceed to click OK.

The explorer.exe process is important for smoothly running your apps and processes. If it is a problem, your desktop icons might not be showing on Windows 10. The solution here is to restart the program.

6. Move the desktop folder from OneDrive

  1. Press the Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  2. Click the OneDrive folder in the left pane.
  3. Now, double-click the Desktop folder and copy its contents.
  4. Finally, select the Desktop option in the left pane and press the Windows key + V to paste them into the folder.

Sometimes, your PC might get too clever and move all the contents of the Desktop to OneDrive. This can be why your Desktop icons are not showing on Windows 10. The solution to this is to copy the contents out.

7. Disable the second monitor

  1. Right-click on a free space on your desktop and select Display settings.
  2. Look for the Multiple displays option, click on the drop-down menu, and select Show only on 1, where 1 is your main display.
  3. You may also simply disconnect the second display.

If you’ve used a dual monitor setup before, desktop icons may be set to appear on the second monitor. So, disable the second monitor if you’re not using it, and repeat solution 4.

Your icons should appear again.

8. Perform a system restore

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type rstrui.exe, and click OK.
  2. Click the Next button on the window that pops up.
  3. Now, select a restore point and click the Next button.
  4. Finally, click the Finish button to confirm the action and follow the onscreen instruction.

If you noticed that the desktop icons are not showing on Windows 10 after making some changes to your PC, you need to restore your device to when everything was working well.

With this, we can conclude this guide on how to fix your desktop icons if they are not showing on Windows 10. All you need to do now is to follow the instructions to the letter, and things should be back to normal.

If your Desktop icons are flashing, you can check our detailed guide dedicated to the issue to fix it quickly.

Source: us.suanoncolosence.com

Feel free to let us know the solution that helped you fix this issue in the comments below.

— Update: 28-02-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article How to Fix the Desktop Icons Disappeared on Windows 10 from the website softwarekeep.com for the keyword desktop icons not working in windows.

The desktop is often the fastest way of reaching important files, and system folders and it provides quick access to applications as well. However, many Windows 10 users have reported that their desktop icons disappeared or are missing.

This problem can cause a lot of distress, especially if you rely on the desktop to get quick access to your stored data. In our article, you can find the best solutions for quickly restoring your desktop and gaining access to your icons, shortcuts, and files back.

Steps to fix missing or disappeared desktop icons

There can be multiple sources of your desktop icons disappearing, however, that also means multiple fixes can be applied to get them back. Our article focuses on bringing you the most reliable and tested methods, allowing you to troubleshoot this issue efficiently.

Let’s not waste any time and get right into it!

Solution 1: Turn on the visibility of desktop icons


It’s possible that your desktop icon visibility settings were toggled off, which caused them to disappear. This can be human error or caused by an application you recently used or installed. You can easily turn it back on by following the steps below.

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your desktop.
  2. Click on the “View” option from the context menu to expand the options.
  3. Make sure that “Show desktop icons” is ticked. If it isn’t, simply click on it once to ensure it wasn’t causing issues with displaying your desktop icons.
  4. You should immediately see your icons reappear. If you don’t, proceed with our next methods.

Solution 2: Disable the Tablet mode

Users have reported that having Tablet mode enabled can cause errors with the display of desktop icons. This mode aims to help touch-enabled devices function, however, it can cause unwanted changes for many people.

Below are the steps on how you can easily disable Tablet mode in Windows 10.

  1. Open the Start menu by clicking on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen. You can also press this key on your keyboard to bring the menu up.
  2. Click on Settings from the left side of the pop-up menu. It’s indicated with a gear icon. For faster access, simply use the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  3. You’ll see a new window displaying many system options. Click on the System tile.
  4. Use the left-side panel to switch to the “Tablet mode” tab.
  5. Depending on what you see displayed, follow the next instructions:
    • If you see the “Make Windows more touch-friendly using your device as a tablet” option, make sure that the toggle is set to off.
    • Otherwise, change your tablet mode settings to “When I sign in use desktop mode” and “Always ask me before switching.”
  6. Restart your computer and check if your desktop icons are back.

Solution 3: Use the Command Prompt to rebuild your icon cache


The Command Prompt allows you to reach a deeper level of system configuration, making it simple to restore settings. All you have to do is follow the steps below — make sure not to make any other changes, as poorly inputting commands can cause more issues on your device!

Simply rebuilding your icon cache may be the right thing to do if your desktop icons disappeared. This will ensure that Windows 10 has a clean canvas to render your icons, restoring any previous issues with the cache files.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys the on-screen keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. Doing so, you’re launching the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
  3. If prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Prompt to make changes on your device.
  4. Input the following commands, pressing the Enter key in-between each new line. This is going to restore your icon cache one step at a time:
  5. Restart your device. You should be able to check immediately whether or not your desktop icons reappeared.

Solution 4: Run the System File Checker


The System File Checker is a tool available in Windows 10 by default. It’s also called an “SFC scan,” and it’s your quickest way to automatically fix corrupted system files and other issues.

Running this scan has proven to get rid of issues with the Windows 10 icons missing. Here’s what you need to do to run it.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. Doing so, you’re launching the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
  3. If prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Prompt to make changes on your device.
  4. Once in the Command Prompt, type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: sfc /scannow
  5. Wait for the SFC scan to finish scanning your computer and repairing corrupt files. This may take a long time; ensure that you don’t close the Command Prompt or shut your computer down.
  6. Restart your device after the scan is complete.

Solution 5: Update Windows 10 to the latest release

Upgrading to the newest Windows 10 release may be able to restore some system issues on your device. Many users report that an update was able to resolve known bugs, and it also brings you new and exciting features, patches up security holes, and much more.

Here are the steps to guide you when updating Windows 10.

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose “Settings.” You can alternatively use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut as well.
  2. Click on the “Update & security” tile.
  3. Make sure to stay on the default “Windows Update” tab.
  4. Click on the “Check for updates” button.
  5. When an update is found, click on the “Install” button and wait for Windows 10 to download and apply the update.

Solution 6: Reset your Windows 10

While this is the least desirable option, it can certainly help when dealing with serious system issues. Many users turn to reset Windows 10 in an attempt to get a clean start and fix messy problems that otherwise would require hours and hours of troubleshooting.

Here are the steps to reset Windows 10. You have the option of keeping all of your personal data, but you may also choose to entirely wipe all data and start with a fresh system.

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose “Settings.” You can alternatively use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut as well.
  2. Click on the “Update & security” tile.
  3. Switch to the  “Recovery” tab.
  4. You should see a header that says “Reset this PC.” Simply click on the “Get started” button under it.
  5. Choose whether or not you want to keep personal files. Both options mean that your applications will be removed, but you can easily keep personal documents safe.
  6. Proceed with the on-screen prompts and reset your PC.

We hope that this guide was helpful when restoring your missing or disappeared desktop icons on Windows 10. You should have quick and easy access to your most important shortcuts and folders again.

If you notice in the future that your system is experiencing similar issues, feel free to return to our article and apply some other fixes. If nothing works, we recommend turning to either Microsoft’s customer support team or looking for an IT specialist in regards to your PC’s health.

— Update: 19-03-2023 — us.suanoncolosence.com found an additional article Desktop icons disappeared in Windows 10 [SOLVED] from the website www.drivereasy.com for the keyword desktop icons not working in windows.

If your desktop icons somehow disappear on your Windows 10 computer, don’t worry, you can try the tips below to fix the issue. Quickly and easily.

Try these tips

You don’t have to try them all; just work your way down the list until you find the one that works for you.

  1. Enable Show desktop icons
  2. Check your desktop icon settings
  3. Rebuild icon cache
  4. Perform a system restore
  5. Reset your computer
  6. Bonus tip

Tip 1: Enable Show desktop icons

Make sure you have enabled the “Show desktop icon” feature on Windows 10:

  1. Right-click your desktop, click View, and check Show desktop icons.
  2. Check to see if your desktop icons are back. If not, try Tip 2, below.

Tip 2: Check your desktop icon settings

  1. Right-click your desktop and click Personalize.
  2. Click Themes > Desktop icon settings.
  3. Select the icons you want to show on desktop, then click OK.
  4. Check if your “desktop icons missing” problem is resolved. If not, try Tip 3, below.

Tip 3: Rebuild icon cache

You can also try these steps to rebuild the icon cache:

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Copy-paste the following commands one at a time and press Enter after each command.
    taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe cd /d %userprofile%AppDataLocal attrib –h IconCache.db del IconCache.db start explorer.exe
  3. Check if it helps restore your desktop icons. If not, try Tip 4, below.

Tip 4: Perform a system restore

If your desktop icons still don’t show up, you can perform a system restore to return your system to a date when the icons appeared normally on the desktop. Here’s how to perform a system restore to help fix your “desktop icons disappeared in Windows 10” issue:

  1. Type recovery in the Windows search box, then press Enter.
  2. At Recovery, click Open System Restore.
  3. Select Choose a different restore point, and click Next.
  4. Check the box beside Show more restore points. You should see a list of ‘restore points’. These are like backups of your computer, as it was at that particular date and time. Think back to a date when your desktop icons showed up, and select a restore point from that date or slightly earlier (but no later).
  5. Click Next > Finish.
  6. Check to see if your desktop icons are now restored on Windows 10. If not, try Tip 5, below.

Tip 5: Reset your computer

If the steps above didn’t work for you. Resetting your computer is worth a try. It fixed the desktop icon issue for some users.

  1. Click the Start button > the Settings icon.
  2. Click Update & security > Recovery.
  3. In the Reset this PC area, click the Get started button. Then follow the on-screen instructions to reset your PC.

Bonus tip

A missing or outdated graphics driver may also stop items from appearing properly on PC. You should make sure your graphics card driver is up to date. There are two ways to update your graphics driver: manually and automatically.

Update your graphics driver manually — You can update your driver manually by going to the hardware manufacturer’s website, and searching for the latest driver for your graphics card. But if you take this approach, be sure to choose the driver that’s compatible with the exact model number of your hardware, and your version of Windows.


Update your graphics driver automatically — If you don’t have the time, patience, or computer skills to update your driver manually, you can, instead, do it automatically with Driver Easy. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. Driver Easy handles it all.

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click Scan Now. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
  3. Click Update next to any flagged devices to automatically download the correct version of their drivers, then you can install them manually. Or click Update All to automatically download and install them all automatically. (This requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All. You get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee.)

Hopefully this can help you out.

If you have any other suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment below.

  • Windows 10

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/windows-10-fix-blank-icons/

Article post on: us.suanoncolosence.com

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