Windows 10: Desktop disappears after boot

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  1.    24 May 2017 #1

    Desktop disappears after boot

    I've look and can't properly find a solution.

    My desktop shortcuts appear upon boot but disappear a few seconds later. I need to then right click on View and check show desktop icons (twice for some reason) to get them back. The positions are not affected.

    Advice much appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    25 May 2017 #2

    Hi, suggests something loading after the desktop appears is having that effect.

    1. Confirm that doesn't happen in Safe Mode
    2. Then do a clean boot - does it happen then?
    Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 10 to Troubleshoot Software Conflicts Windows 10 Performance Maintenance Tutorials

    If so, post back

    If not, progressively enable the services you disabled, then the startups, checking your symptom each time.

    Hopefully you will identify the culprit.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    25 May 2017 #3


    Are you able to open task manager by clicking Ctrl+Shift+Escape?

    If so go to the processes tab and see if you can locate Explorer.exe

    If Explorer.exe is not viable you need to right click and select new process and type Explorer.exe
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    25 May 2017 #4

    @DeclanT - just wondering- how exactly will that help, or help identify the problem?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    25 May 2017 #5

    Explorer.exe manages the "Windows Graphical Shell" which if disabled shortcuts will not appear. This is unlikely the issue as Doc is able to right click and select View Desktop Icons, however, it is worth checking.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    26 May 2017 #6

    Desktop disappears after boot

    1. The issue did not occur in safe mode.
    2. I performed a clean start (verbatim, as per the tutorial). The issue did occur with all services and start up items disabled. Because of this I saw no value in selectively testing each item. I performed the clean start twice to make sure I was following the instructions accurately and achieved the same result.
    3. Explorer.exe is visible running as a process.
    4. Malwarebytes does not detect any anomalies.
    5. SFC scannow did not report any errors.
    6. Rebuilding the icon cache did nor resolve the issue.

    I would concur that the issue seems likely in start up but disabling all services and task items did not identify the problem.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    26 May 2017 #7

    Ok, good.. gives a basis to work with.

    So you're looking for sthg that starts up but isn't disabled by doing a clean boot.

    Please download Sysinternals Autoruns (by MS these days) - free.
    Before using it (and it's a convenient idea before setting up a clean boot too) make a backup of your registry.
    You could create a system restore point, but that failing (esp. with the Creator's Update until recently) has been- well- a sore point.

    Run it as admin.
    Then it's up to you to choose things to disable. Choose carefully.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    26 May 2017 #8

    Okay - thanks. That software is way beyond my humble skills and I suspect the damage I could accidentally create is far greater than the annoyance of a hidden desktop issue [emoji848]
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    26 May 2017 #9

    If you're concerned, here are are ways to protect yourself- which you should use anyway.

    1. Disk Imaging.
    All regular contributors here use disk imaging. We strongly and repeatedly recommend people use it routinely.

    If you had been using this, you could have restore your PC to a working state before this started to occur- without technical help or arcane programs.

    1. Macrium Reflect (free) + its boot disk + external storage for images.

    You can then recover from (e.g.)
    - viruses/ransomware
    - failed disk (you restore your image(s) to a new one.
    - user error
    - unbootable and unrecoverable PC

    Applies to all your disks and partitions including data, and acts as a full backup - you can recover files.

    2. System Restore- restores your registry to a previous state (and other system files, drivers, installed programs).

    3. A registry backup.
    In this case you're making registry changes. This is the most basic precautionary measure of the 3.
    It means you can restore your registry if things go wrong.

    So, you save yuor current state.
    You tweak away with Autoruns and find the offending item.

    You restore your current state and do what's necessary to what you've found.

    Or yuo could ask your neighbourhood geek to help....(!)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    26 May 2017 #10

    Used to be able to step through a boot sequence one process at a time to trap a troublesome driver rather then guess at permutations...but I guess that was many OS's ago [emoji46]
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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