Fix Desktop Folder Missing from User Profile with Proven Solutions

This post gathers fixes to address the Desktop folder missing from User Profile issue. Check it out to get your missing desktop folder back to your User profile.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Why is my desktop folder missing?

Users easily access their frequently used apps, files, and folders on their computer desktops. Users can manage their app’s layout as they like and prefer.

Sometimes, they will organize the files or other items on the desktop via File Explorer. The desktop folder is under the User Profile folder;

Users can visit this directory and check their desktop items when they meet issues, e.g., desktop icons missing.


What's worse, there seem to be more problems that are nagging users – some users discover that the desktop folder missing from User profile.


Desktop is missing


Desktop is not visible or accessible from any Explorer window. How could I fix this?


- Question from Windows10Forums


Desktop folder disappear (C:\Users\Temp\Desktop) with all my material


After upgrading to windows 10 (from 8), I notice that my "active" desktop folder is C:\Users\Temp\Desktop –I restart my computer, and now my desktop is C:\Users"myUser"\Desktop

The problem is - that the C:\Users\Temp\Desktop folder with all of my sub-folders is completely gone. What can I do? Are those folders are hides anywhere?


- Question from Windows10Forum


You may have a problem getting back your desktop folder as well. Rest assured; this post gathers a bunch of methods to help you fix it. Before that, let’s walk through the possible causes.


Why does the desktop folder missing from the Users folder?

These factors are the possible causes to blame for the folder loss.

Changed location. If the location of the desktop folder in the personal folder has been changed, the original directory will be invalid. 
Folder name conflict. If the desktop folder was mistakenly named the same as other folders, you could not visit it as usual. 
Wrong user account. You may have signed in with a temporary profile. Then when you sign out, all changes you made to your desktop will be lost. 
The folder was hidden. The Desktop folder might get hidden by viruses or misoperation. 
Malfunctioned update. Updates bring problems sometimes. Files missing after Windows 10 update have been reported. 

How to fix the Desktop folder missing from User profile?

Now choose the following solutions accordingly.

Fix 1. See if there is a folder name conflict

If you find the desktop folder invisible from File Explorer, you first need to check if there is a folder name conflict.

Hopefully, your Desktop folder was just named as another name, so you cannot access it as usual.

Step 1. Go to C:\Users\UserName > right-click > New > Folder > name it “Desktop”.

Then the system will warn you that there is already a folder that works as a Desktop folder and ask if you want to merge them.

Step 2. The Confirm Folder Replace windows will give the current name of the Desktop folder. Check if there are two folders with the same name > locate the real Desktop folder > rename it back to “Desktop”.


Step 3. Restart your computer and see if the missing desktop folder issue has been fixed.

Fix 2. Try to show hidden files and folders

It might be invisible but not lost if you still cannot find the Desktop folder. Try to show hidden files and folders in Folders Options.

Windows 7 users can seek help from the guide to show hidden files in Windows 7.

>> Go to C:\Users\UserName > click View > Options > View > scroll down and tick Show hidden files, folders, and drives.


Then see if the Desktop folder is visible now.

Fix 3. Remove the malfunctioned update files

As has been discussed, upgrading leads to some problems as well at times. If the Desktop folder missing from User Profile issue arises after installing an update, it might be the case.

You could delete Windows update files safely by following the method below.

Step 1. Start menu > Windows Settings > Update & Security.


Step 2. Windows Update > View update history.


Step 3. Click Uninstall updates.


Step 4. Locate the update recently installed > right-click it > Uninstall.


What to do if files or folders are lost from the desktop?

The missing Desktop folder is not the only problem users will meet. A more frequent one is file loss. Numerous users have suffered from data loss from desktops and are in need of desktop data recovery methods.

To address this issue, a professional data recovery app for Windows is preferable for efficiency and safety.

One of the options you should consider is MyRecover. With its cutting-edge capabilities, it can help Windows users with data recovery easily.

MyRecover - efficient Windows data recovery
  • Restore 200+ different sorts of data, such as documents, zip files, movies, and images.
  • Recover data from internal and external HDDs, SSDs, USB drives, SD cards, etc.
  • Keep the original filenames, formats, and locations when the deleted files are recovered.
  • Selectively decide which data to recover when scanning to save time.
  • Compatible with Server and Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run the software > hover the mouse over the C: drive > click Scan.


Step 2. Use filters like Type, Size, Path, etc., to sort the scanned files. Filenames and extensions can help you target them quickly as well.


Step 3. Choose Deleted files > go to the Desktop folder > select the files deleted or lost > click Recover x files.


With the help of this tool, you can not only perform file recovery from local drives but also recover files from external hard drives in Windows 10.

Stay away from data loss in the future

Windows users can check the methods in this post to address the Desktop folder missing from User Profile problem.

For future data security, some suggestions are ready.

  • Remember to save your changes or files when signing in with a temporary user account before logging out.
  • Use antivirus regularly to scan and protect your computer.
  • Back up your files before updating. Using efficient data backup software for Windows will be preferable.
Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.