Windows 10: Where Are My Icons?

I’ve answered this question before, but I know a lot of you have recently switched to Windows 10. I had several questions about missing icons, like this one: “I AM STILL TRYING TO FIND HOW TO PUT ICONS ON THE DESKTOP.”

Here’s how you do it:

Say your desktop looks like this. Well, not precisely like this, since you probably don’t have this photo I took at the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium’s coral reef exhibit as your background. But it’s a blank desktop with nary an icon in sight.


Some folks like this look. You hit the start menu to find any app or program that you wish to open and your desktop view is always pristine. But some of you like to see your icons right there where you can click on them immediately.  Right-click on a blank area of that desktop. Choose View from the menu.


Then choose Show desktop icons.


Notice that you also have options for the size of the icons and whether or not they are arranged in a grid pattern. This is also where you choose if you want Windows to auto-arrange them or you’d like to do it manually.


Just under the View option when you right-click, you’ll also see the Sort by option. This lets you sort items on your desktop by Name, Size, Type or Date Modified.


To add a new icon for a program to the desktop you can single-click the program in the start menu.


Then hold and drag it to the desired position on the desktop.


And you’ll have a shortcut in place.


If you find you’re missing common icons like Recycle Bin, here’s how to get those back:

Type “Show common desktop icons” into the search box and click on the result. Typing “Recycle Bin” will also pull up this result.


The Desktop Icons Settings window will open. Just check the icons you’d like to see on the desktop. You can choose Computer, User Files, Network and displaying your Recycle bin all of the time or only when it is full. Then choose OK.


~ Cynthia


One thought on “Windows 10: Where Are My Icons?

  1. Have you tried sorting icons on the desktop?
    I have a couple of dozen icons on desktop. But the name sort order is “funky”. What ever it is, it is NOT primarily alphabetical. Even ignoring that in Explorer folders are listed first, that is not the criteria used on the desktop.

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