Fixed: Shortcuts Disappearing from Desktop | 6 Ways

On this page, you will know 6 efficient solutions to “shortcuts disappearing from desktop”. Detailed and clear guidelines are also introduced here.


By Zoey / Updated on April 2, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

How do I get my shortcuts back on my desktop?


I have thousands of files on my computer, they are in different locations and it takes a long time to find them when I need to use them. So I created shortcuts for some common files or programs on my desktop. But I found that shortcuts disappearing from desktop, which made it hard for me to find and run the files and programs I needed to use quickly. Is there a way to get my shortcuts back

Shortcut is a convenient way for you to locate and launch your files or programs. Once you create a shortcut on desktop, you can open your file or program just by clicking on the shortcut on desktop directly.

While you may encounter an accidental issue like shortcuts on desktop icons missing, which make it not easy to find your original file or program. How to recover your shortcuts back on desktop? Read on and you can learn how to get back something you accidentally deleted without any effort.

Why do my desktop shortcuts disappear Windows 10, 11, 7?

Before learning how to recover your shortcuts back to your desktop, you may want to know why the shortcuts disappear in Windows 10, or in other versions of Windows systems.

There are generally two cases: your source file disappears, or your source file still exists but the shortcut disappears. For them, there are different useful solutions. If your source file still exists, you may need to change some settings to let your shortcuts show on desktop. If your source file is lost or deleted, you may need to find a way to recover lost files first.

How to recover shortcuts from desktop

To fix the shortcuts desktop icons disappeared issue, you can start by figuring out if your source file still exists. Then, choose a suitable way to get your shortcuts back in the following content.

Way 1. Turn on Show desktop icons in Windows 11, 10, 7

It is possible that your shortcuts disappear because of the desktop icon visibility settings. It may be a human error, or caused by a new application you just installed recently. This method can solve desktop files missing after update  as well. You can enable the setting again by following the step below:

1. On the desktop of your computer, right-click on an empty part.

2. Click on the View option on the pop-up window.

3. Then, tick the Show desktop icons and you will see your shortcuts desktop icons appear on desktop again.

Show Desktop Icons

Way 2. Turn off the Tablet mode in Windows 10

If your desktop shortcuts disappear in Windows 10, it may be because of the Tablet mode, which will bring some changes to your computer. For this, you can disable Tablet mode in Windows Settings and here are the detailed guideline:

1. Open the Windows menu by clicking on the Windows icon at the bottom of your screen and choose Settings.

2. Go to the System section. Then click on the Tablet mode option on the left menu.

3. Please choose Use desktop mode under When I sign in. And select Always ask me before switching under When this device automatically switches tablet mode on or off.

4. After configuration, just reboot your computer to see if your shortcuts icon appears on desktop again.

Tablet Mode

Way 3. Recover shortcuts icon with CMD in Windows 11, 10, 7

Command Prompt can also solve the “shortcuts disappear from desktop” problem. It can help you to rebuild the icon cache so that your shortcuts icon will be recovered to desktop. Maybe using Command Prompt is complex for you. You can try by following the steps below:

1. Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to launch the Run utility.

2. Input cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter on your keyboard to run as an administrator.

3. Input the command and remember to press Enter after each new line:

taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe

cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local

attrib -h IconCache.db

del IconCache.db

start explorer.exe

4. At last, restart your computer to check if your shortcuts icon reappears. 

Note: You can also recover your files using CMD on your computer.

Recover Shortcuts Cmd

Way 4. Restart Windows Explorer in Windows 11, 10, 7

When your shortcuts desktop icons missing, you can go to restart Windows Explorer because the desktop icon is a part of Windows Explorer. To do this, please follow the steps below:

1. Run Task Manager in the Windows menu.

2. Locate Windows Explorer and choose it, then press the Restart button. Then it will be restarted and your shortcuts icon will show on desktop.

Restart Windows Explorer

Way 5. Delete all but 4 broken shortcuts from desktop in Windows 7

There is a useful way to recover your shortcuts in Windows 7 system. If you are using a computer based on Windows 7, you can try it to find your disappeared shortcuts.

In this way, if your broken shortcuts on desktop are more than 4, please remove them and keep the number less than 4. You can create a folder to save extra shortcuts.

Way 6. Recover shortcuts via a data recovery tool in Windows 11, 10, 7

If all the methods above cannot solve the shortcuts disappear from desktop problem, maybe you should consider if your source files or programs are lost or deleted. To fix it, you can try an easy data recovery tool called MyRecover.

MyRecover is a reliable data recovery tool, providing professional recovery features. No matter why your files or programs are lost, MyRecover can help you recover them to original location successfully.

Besides, MyRecover has many outstanding points:

Recover data from SSD, USB, HDD, SD cards, and more.
● Support 200+ types of data recovery.
● High recovery rate and speed.
● Simple and clear graphical user interface.
● Compatible perfectly with NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.

Now, you can download and install the MyRecover application on your computer, and here is the easy 3-step guideline to recover your lost files in Windows 11, 10, 7:

1. In MyRecover, hover the mouse over the partition or disk where your files are lost. Then click Scan.

Select Location To Scan

2. MyRecover will run Quick Scan and Quick Scan automatically. After that, you can see your deleted files and other missing files. You can type your filename in the search box or use the Filter feature to find your lost files quickly.

Scanning Drive

3. Next, choose the Recover x files button to recover your lost files. Then create a shortcut for it on desktop again.

Recover Download Folder

Written in the end

In this post, 6 effective solutions to “shortcuts disappearing from desktop” are introduced step by step. You can get your shortcuts icon back by changing settings, using CMD, and restarting Windows Explorer. However, if your source file is lost or deleted, please try an easy data recovery software to get them back first.

Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.