Windows XP desktop is blank

How to fix: No icons on the Windows XP Desktop. Blank Desktop. Desktop Icons Missing.

If you start up your computer and notice that all your Desktop Icons are Missing and you can only see the Wallpaper – do not panic.

This is how you can fix this problem:

NO ICONS ON DESKTOP, BUT START BUTTON AND TASKBAR ARE VISIBLE:

  • Right click anywhere on the desktop – Select Arrange Icons by and make sure the option Show Desktop Icons is Checked.
  • Right click anywhere on the desktop – Select Properties – Select the Desktop Tab – Click on Customize desktop – Click on the Web Tab and make sure that the option Lock Desktop Items is not checked.

NO ICONS ON DESKTOP. NO START BUTTON AND NO TASKBAR:

This is due to the corruption of Explorer.exe

TO FIX THIS PROBLEM:

  • Hit Control+Alt+Del and start up the Windows XP Task Manager.
  • Click on File and select New Task (Run) and type in Explorer and hit <<Enter>> or click on OK

If that does not work, try this:

  • Hit Control+Alt+Del on your keyboard and start up the Windows Task Manager
  • Click on File and select New Task and click on the Browse button
  • Browse over to C:\WINDOWS folder and
  • Right-click on the file explorer.exe and rename it to explorer1.exe
  • Check if that fixes your problem. If it still doesn’t then continue with the steps listed below:
  • Now Click on the Cancel button and get back to the Task Manager.
  • In the Task Manager, click on File -> New Task (Run) and type in regedit and click on OK or hit <<Enter>>. This will open the Windows registry:

Here, locate the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  • Select Winlogon and in the right pane, you will see a value called SHELL
  • Double-click on Shell
  • In the Value databox, you should see Explorer.exe
  • Rename it to Explorer1.exe
  • Click OK
  • Exit the Registry
  • Restart your computer

This problem could be due to a number of reasons, but it usually happens due to virus activity in your computer. That’s why, once your computer restarts, make sure you scan your computer with a good anti-virus program. There are many freewares available on the web. Malwarebytes, Spybot-Search & Destroy, Superantispyware are a few of them.

If this does not fix the problem or if you think your computer is not working as it was before it happened, the next option would be to Repair the Windows installation in your computer.

Having done that, it goes without saying that it is vital that you have a valid anti-virus/anti-spyware application running in your computer.

If nothing works, you do not have much of an option except doing a Clean Installation of Windows XP.

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