Windows 10 Icons not Working [Fix]

By: Ujjwal Kumar
3 minute read

Windows 10 might be a brand new operating system, and it might have gotten above the design flaws that Windows 8 brought with it – it is not a perfect operating system, and it still has to carry the burden of all the issues Windows has accumulated over the past decades. This problem is not common to Windows 10, so some solutions made for previous versions of Windows might or might not work – however today we are going to show you some solutions for Windows 10 specifically.

Method #1: Run explorer.exe

But first here is a temporary patch rather than a solution, it should get your icons back but it’s not going to permanently fix the reason causing them to disappear. Here it goes:

  • On your keyboard, press Control + Alt + Delete keys and then click on Task Manager.
  • Open the Process tab and locate “explorer.exe”, then click on it and then click the “End task” button on bottom.
  • In the Task Manager, click on File at the top left and click “Run new task”.
  • Type “explorer.exe” in the box, and then proceed to click “OK”.

Your icons and taskbar should now pop back up, and you should be able to operate your computer for the time being. For a more permanent solution we first need to learn some of the causes for this problem – it could be a corruption of Windows files, or maybe a malware you might have caught from the internet, or maybe even some random software that is behaving badly.

Method #2: Maybe it is something you installed?

Try to remember what software you installed recently – it could be a photo editor, or even a brand new antivirus – anything can cause this absurd issue. If you match this criteria you must try and uninstall this software and see if that fixes the problem. You could also run a full PC virus scan with the AntiVirus you have installed while you are at it, just in case it is a malware.

One last option you could try would be do a System Restore – this basically turns the clock back on your PC and restore your primary Windows files back to how they were when the given restore point was created. To do this, simply follow these instructions:

    • Open your Start Menu and type “rstrui.exe”, then open the first result – this should open the Windows System Restore utility.

  • Now follow the onscreen instructions until you see a page with all of your existing restore points.
  • Pick the restore point on or before the date you started facing the issue – and then start the restoration process.
  • Once done, restart your computer.

This should restore your Windows installation to the time it was working fine – note that this might result in losing some files as Windows rolls back to a previous time, however Windows will attempt its best to not affect your files as much as it can.

If none of this ends up helping you then perhaps the problem is due to a virus or malware – in which case you should install and scan your computer with some of the good Antivirus softwares available – there is an abundance of choice here – or you could simply use Windows Defender and run a full scan, the Windows Defender utility comes pre-installed with every Windows copy.

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If you find no viruses and everything with your computer seems to be in order except this issue, then perhaps you should consider reinstalling Windows as that tends to clean up any issues with the operating system – however you do have to go through the inconvenience of setting up your operating system once again.

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