Windows 10 Not Showing Desktop – Quick Fix


If Windows 10 is not showing the traditional desktop with your normal icons and programs, this tutorial will be for you.

Are you facing and issue, where you find that your desktop icons are not working or showing in Windows 10/8/7? Usually, this happens if the file associations are messed up. Before telling you how to fix it, I will in brief, talk about File Associations. If you have been working on computers for long, you can identify the applications needed to open certain files just by looking at their extensions.

Desktop icons not working

By default, file extensions are not shown in Windows Explorer. You have to go to Folder Options and uncheck Hide Extensions for Known File Types. The last two words of the option explain it all. File extensions are used to recognize file types. That is, if a file has.txt as its extension, you know it would open using Notepad, Word or even Microsoft WordPad/Write.

However, I recommend turning the visibility of extensions off, as many users might not be able to deal with them. There is always a possibility that you rename a file and overwrite the file extension – thereby, leaving it with no extension. In this case, Windows will present you with a dialog box when you double-click the file. The dialog box will ask you to select a program to open the file. The overwriting of file extensions is actually disassociating the file from regular applications and somewhat similar to the problem of desktop links not working in Windows 8 | 7.

Desktop Icons and File Associations
The desktop icons are shortcuts to respective applications. If you right-click any desktop icon and click on Properties, you will get a Properties dialog box with the Shortcut tab selected. If it is not, select the Shortcut tab to see the program it is associated with.

Most of the shortcuts, whether on the desktop or elsewhere, have the extension “.lnk”r. Do not confuse it with the capital case of alphabet “i”. It is – in fact – the lowercase of the alphabet “L”. That is supposed to mean ‘link’ without the ‘i’. This is where many get confused when setting up file associations as the characters look similar.

This tutorial will apply for computers, laptops, desktops, and tablets running the Windows 10 operating system (Home, Professional, Enterprise, Education) from all supported hardware manufactures, like Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, and Samsung).

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