How to restore Show Desktop icon in quick launch bar?

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I think many of you might accidentally deleted the Show Desktop icon in the quick launch bar. I also did accidentally deleted the Show Desktop icon at quick launch bar. Finally i found the solution to re create or restore this Show Desktop icon in quick launch bar again.

Just follow the steps below and you will restore Show Desktop icon back in your quick launch bar:-


  • Click Start -> Run -> type Notepad and enter
  • Copy the contents below to your Notepad and save as Show Desktop.scf


  • Once the file created, drag the file to the Quick Launch bar.
    show desktop, win xp, icon
    You will see the icon above if you restore the Show Desktop successfully
  • Done! You just restore Show Desktop icon.

Note: By default Notepad save all document as txt file. To save your file as .scf file extension, type the full file name together with the extension and simply select the “Save as type” from txt to “All files” and click “Save”

There are another way to restore show desktop icon in quick launch bar:-

  • Click Start -> Run and type regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll and enter
  • Done! You just restore your Show Desktop icon

[tags]restore show desktop, restore desktop, window xp, win xp, show desktop icon, show desktop, windows xp, ms win xp, microsoft win xp, windows hack, window tweak, win hack, win tweak, regedit, registry edit[/tags]

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138 Responses to “How to restore Show Desktop icon in quick launch bar?”

  1. Sudhansu says:

    Thank You! The technique worked! 🙂

  2. ES says:

    doesn’t work

  3. disgruntled goat says:

    Does not work 🙁

  4. Mani says:

    Superb man.

  5. Nancy Patula says:

    Thank you! worked great!

  6. Vamsi says:

    Simply Superb
    Thanks a Lot

  7. Waseem says:

    Wonderful. Thank you for the brief & descriptive method.

  8. kat says:

    excellent most helpful.

  9. Dave Beedon says:

    Thank you for posting this information. I looked in Windows 7 Help for this but could not find anything about restoring the button. A Web search led me to your page. My Show Desktop button is back!

  10. Mloh says:

    thanks!! 🙂

  11. lapiz says:

    thank you! it was helpful

    regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll

  12. Polly says:

    THANK YOU for helping me restore my desktop icon for the quick launch bar. I have accidently deleted it a couple of different times and I REALLY HATE IT. You are wonderfula and thanks for sharing.

  13. placebo says:

    Thanks a lot!!! Very helpful indeed!!!!

  14. Aly Shahbaz says:

    Thank-you so much!!!! Great help 🙂

  15. Faiz says:

    thank you much, i really needed the way and u provided.worked like a charm. thanx mate

  16. Erika says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  17. OS says:

    Much appreciated!


    Thanks a lot.Good Work

  19. Jahangir Javed says:

    Thanks alot it really works

  20. JonnoK says:

    This works beautifully and so quick and simple.

    Thanks heaps!

  21. freddy says:

    sweet! thanks dude

  22. Sahil says:

    Worked…..Thanks alotttttttttttttttt…………..

  23. JoMac says:

    It worked wonderfully. Brilliant! At first it didn’t because it was saved as Show Desktop.scf. Should be ShowDesktop.scf. Thank you.

  24. Leroy says:

    Cool Beans!

  25. The Dude that got help :P says:

    Dude your awsome!!!

    Its so stupid thO, that you can’t only like create one like that but wat ever THANKS!!!

  26. Rangers Champions 2010 says:

    Brilliant – used the notepad one and worked like a dream.

  27. Zootie says:

    Thank you finally something that works.

  28. Ashita says:


    Its working PERFECT!!! Thanks a lot for your timely help!!! I was going bonkers!!!

  29. Guddanti says:

    Nice Information..Thanks a lot

  30. Cori says:

    Awesome…thanks, so easy!

  31. Jason Yap says:

    million thanks for this information…

  32. Liliya says:

    Thank you so much!!!

  33. MEGAN says:

    THANK YOU!! This was driving me crazy and now I have my button back!!

  34. Peter says:

    Awesome. Thank you.

  35. Adort says:

    Thank you for your help, worked fine and fast !

  36. ian says:

    it worked! thanks a lot!

  37. Lina says:

    xD This worked! It was screaming at my OCD for so long. Thanks!

  38. joyce says:

    try pressing ( Windows Button + M ) on your keyboard.

    this will bring you back to desktop
    🙂 Hope this helps.

  39. prdvtv says:

    Great solution dude. Tried the run command and worked fine.

  40. jing says:

    Thank you so much! You save me a lot of headache.

  41. Wg says:

    that was awesome! Help me get it back!

  42. Not So Tech-y says:

    Nice job! Thanks for the help!

  43. chua says:

    This tutorial will create the button Show Desktop to show your desktop (wallpaper). i havent come to any way that it show the desktop folder. Anyone have the same problem?

  44. Cindy says:

    Thank you for the EASY directions to get the icon back. I have it on my taskbar, but it is a shortcut to the desktop “folder” only – containing the icons, folders, shortcuts etc. on my desktop. How can I get the “wallpaper” desktop??? (the monitor as it appears when no programs or files are open)

    Thank you again, and have a great day.

  45. Thomas says:

    Thanks buddy….

  46. marvin says:

    good stuff man!!;0

  47. bronagh says:

    thanks so much! huge help! you rock!

  48. Base says:

    Thanks man…Good Code

  49. Jadius says:

    Dang, For some reason when i made a new user, the quick launch for show desktop wouldn’t work at all.. Thanks to your greeaat help 🙂 it saved me and a heap of people a lot of time 😀

  50. Julia says:

    heyy…… i had the same problem like sumtime bk… searchd. tried ur steps… and ther u go… its working now…!! 🙂 thanx a million…!

  51. Chris says:

    the smallest thing makes my day! Thanks a million!

  52. Dipinder says:

    Works !! Awsome.

    For some reason, I was reading “.scf” as “.csf” again and again ….
    “.scf” works. cheers !!

  53. Slippy says:

    Thanks so much! i just misplaced this by accidently dropping it on my desktop then i deleted it xD
    So thanks alot! This is my favorite button!

  54. Karthik says:

    For those whom this does not work, check the spelling in the file.
    I did the same mistake and then corrected.

  55. Martin says:

    All good, but, only seems to work if you leave a copy of it on the desktop as well as on the quick launch bar?

  56. Dave says:

    w00t! Thank you, chua!

  57. Arslan Ali says:

    Thanks , i have use the first option and it works

    Thanks again

  58. KS says:

    lol thanks for posting

  59. David says:

    Javad from Iran- THANKS!!!

  60. JP says:

    The fix worked great! Thanks for posting!

  61. DanielQuinde says:

    It works! thanks men.

  62. Tangaloo says:

    Thanks, worked like a charm!

  63. abhishek says:

    thanks man..the second one worked.

  64. SteveI says:

    Both methods worked a treat

  65. OptoGuy says:

    That has been bothering me for close to a year now. This worked perfectly. Thank you.

  66. Paul says:

    Windows Logo+D keystroke is just as effective.

    Others that are handy to know;

    * Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
    * Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
    * Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
    * Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)
    * Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)
    * Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
    * Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
    * CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
    * Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
    * Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
    * Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
    * Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

  67. Bobby says:

    Thank you on helping me get my desktop icon back in my taskbar,and working perfectly.Even a rookie can do it,thank you.

  68. Tim Weber says:

    Well done – excellent & easy fix… many thanks

  69. Nadine says:

    Wow, my friend lost ALL of my quick launch icons. Thanks to you I could reset the last one…. the desktop icon! Just keineig!

  70. ryan says:

    The second option on your,”HOW TO RESTORE DESKTOP”,worked perfect.
    You made it very easy,thank you so much.

  71. Syed Muzamil says:

    Thx the 2nd option worked .

    regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll

    Thanks again…

  72. EP says:

    Thanks. It worked fine for me.

  73. Sunday G says:

    thanks ! you really helped me.

  74. Mike in Oregon says:

    As soon as I read this from Javad from Iran, “Javad from Iran Says:

    December 22nd, 2008 at 5:37 pm
    I had this problem, however the icon was there but not working, I didn’t know the second method, I used the first one but it did not work for me. Then I found out that I should this also:

    Go to My Computer->Tools->Folder Options->File Types
    click New
    type “SCF” (no quotes)
    Click Advanced
    For @ssociated File Type type “Windows Explorer Command” (no quotes)”, …….

    I followed his lead and discovered that my SCF files were mis-associated with a Sims sound file from a game that had been installed. I fixed that easily and typed the “Run” command, – regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll and presto! Everything was correct and working. Javad, I thank you.

  75. Javad from Iran says:

    for gina
    try running explorer.exe from new task

  76. Javad from Iran says:

    I had this problem, however the icon was there but not working, I didn’t know the second method, I used the first one but it did not work for me. Then I found out that I should this also:

    Go to My Computer->Tools->Folder Options->File Types
    click New
    type “SCF” (no quotes)
    Click Advanced
    For @ssociated File Type type “Windows Explorer Command” (no quotes)

  77. mohammad says:

    thank u very much, u r amazing

  78. Robert says:

    Second fix doesn’t work in XP x86-64.. just an fyi, but thanks for the 1st tip!

  79. Leo says:

    It worked just as u said. Thank you so much.

  80. Sireeshna says:

    Thank you soo much… It worked perfectly.. but I am not sure about the second method.. it didnt work for me..

  81. Tully says:

    Cheers – When my office switched servers my quick launch folder vanished and would come up with an error when I tried to get it back. Desktop icon was gone, and when having to minimise 6 windows everytime I wanted to get to the desktop finally started annoying the hell out of me, this little trick solved the prob. Thanks again.

  82. Jason says:

    Thanks alot for this little fix. been wanting my icon back for a few days now but to lazy to look up on the net for it. hehe. ty again.

  83. emad says:

    why troubling yourselves too much just copy it from any other computer and drag it to your quick launch
    i did it before

  84. Raghu says:

    Thank U

  85. Gina says:

    I have also lost my taskbar and desktop icons. I have tried all that was said to try to fix it and it still has not appeared. Any suggestions? The only operable function I have it ctrl+alt+delete then click on new task. Please help!! Thanks

  86. Angelo says:

    I have the exact same problem as “john m”

    When I click on the “show desktop” button, Spybot scans it and finds nothing wrong with it!

    Does anyone know why this would be happening, and is there any fix for this?

  87. Minnie says:

    Thank you soooo much! Your directions were so clear cut that even a pc-illiterate such as myself can understood, so thanks!

  88. john m says:

    I ran the registry command and the icon apeared in my quick launch bar but doesn’t execute. Instead when I click on it, my Spybot scans it and doesn’t find anything and that’s it. How do I get rid of the Spybot execution and let it execute itself?

  89. Peter S says:

    Fantastic! I ran the registry command and the little icon just mysteriously appeared in my quick launch bar again. No more using a dumb shortcut – wohoo!

    Thanks for the help!

  90. Deborah F. says:

    WOW! I was skeptical, thinking something could damage my PC here, but it actually worked! I used the ‘resvr32’ suggestion and the icon just popped up. The best advice was from Morten P. – his notes helped me get thru the process. And I’m an accountant, not a techie! I spent hours trying to fix this last week, took me 2 minutes today … thanks for the help.

  91. Stef says:

    Worked like a charm, thanks for the info

  92. Robert says:

    thanks so much u made it so simple & easy

  93. Morten P says:

    After I had run the “regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll” and pressed Enter I went to the C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR-USERNAME\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and I found the ShowDesktop ShortCut and dragged it to the taskbar! AND IT WORKS.


  94. John says:

    I’ve tried these two techniques and nothing works. I used to enjoy this feature but one day it sopped working and is still dead. Any ideas?


  95. Zebra says:

    I LOVE you!!!

  96. Will Alverson says:

    ive created the .scf file, dragged it to the quick launch and that didnt work, tried double clicking, that didnt work!

  97. celine says:

    i finally restored my icon..
    thanks ya!!!

  98. JB says:

    Go to Start and click search
    Choose All files and folders
    Type in – show desktop
    Wait for results
    Choose file
    When Icon comes to desktop drag to quick launch.

  99. TJ says:

    Dude thanks for the tip just like u said i acedently deleted mine dont ask how but i just did, BUT thanks man for the lesson i learned sumthing new today

  100. yulonda says:


  101. eneccar says:

    thank you

  102. Nemanja says:


  103. dani says:

    WOW that was amazing!
    ur a god
    thanks so much

  104. Caroline says:


  105. Obaid says:

    Thanx man it worked real good.

  106. Buhril says:

    thanks a lot ! lo my show desktop is restored.

  107. Bethany says:

    thanks soooooo much, i deleted mine by accident ages ago and it has been bugging me ever since. I owe you a huge thank you!

  108. Bruce says:

    Thank you, this was a quick and easy fix for my windows XP system. I had it back within 3 minutes!!

  109. Tom Ashforth says:

    Dear Chris and Al,

    When creating your txt file, save as and make sure the file extension is .scf

    It may be worth trying the following after saving as well:

    My computer
    Folder options
    Untick the box “Hide extensions for known file types”

    Know check the .scf file you have created. it may look something like this

    “Show Desktop.scf.txt”

    Try renaming the file “Show Desktop.scf” making sure once applied the .txt extension is not showing.

    Hope this helps!

  110. Heather says:

    I tried the second option and it restored the icon, but after rebooting it restored all of my XP settings to their defaults. It even tried to restore Office again and started asking for disks. Is there any way to reverse the registry change without harming the system?? I used the restore function and it brought me back to my original screen (without the desktop icon) and then the next time I rebooted it reverted back to the defaults again and I had to restore again….Help!

  111. Nibha says:

    Thanks for the tip. It worked well for me. I am glad to have the icon back. Thanks.

  112. hwystar says:

    thanks the icon came back but the function that is suppose to do is still not working.
    How do u make it work again?

  113. Mike says:


    been looking for this for a while now..

    took less than 10 seconds, thanks a lot.

  114. Chitra says:

    Great Job..I restored my Desktop Icon..I am so happy too…
    Thank you/

  115. piyush chandra says:

    that was gr8 solution…
    i had been lookin for it..
    that was easy but couldn’t find out myself… 🙁

    thats the same when you open the “show desktop” in notepad,
    just drag it to notepad, and u’ll see…..

    and more u can change the icons by changing the values…
    giving various values for x… dats fun… 🙂

  116. segaran says:

    I had just tried it and its really works,a great advance solution tips to share with. Thanks for the help

  117. Heath says:

    I lost me Show Desktop icon after deleting files from a user acccount that I didn’t want no more, This solution is quick and easy and it works.

  118. Dave says:

    Worked, THANK YOU!!

  119. MRJ says:

    It worked! I tried Option 2 & then followed Riad’s advice. Thank you both for the assistance! =0)

  120. al says:

    dear chris, am facing the same problem.. clicking the icon just opens a dialog bax with open & save options.
    i cant say just how frustrating this is, but i have just spent more than 5 hours trying to resolve the issue. if u have done omething to correct the problem, pls o,

  121. AB says:

    Worked well for me once I carefully followed the instructions and right-clicked on the Windows toolbar then selected “Toolbars” and clicked on Quicklaunch which had been previously hidden.

    Thanks for the help!

  122. McMoo says:

    You rock dude, thanks!

  123. Basty says:

    regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32

    does the same thing

  124. Riad says:

    I have just tried it and it worked very well, if it doesnt at the first time just desactivate your quick launch icons then lauch them again it’s gonna work.thanks for the help

  125. Chris says:

    Failure. Both of your suggested methods bring back the ICON, but not the functionality. When I click the show desktop icon now, I get a security warning asking if I want to open or save the file. (Name: Show Desktop.scf Type: Windows Explorer Command, 79 bytes) Choosing save makes a new copy of the file; choosing open returns to the same dialog box again. Opening the file through Notepad confirms that the commands are correct. Hitting the windows key + D properly minimizes all my windows and shows the desktop. Do you have any idea what is going wrong?

  126. chen says:

    My show desktop icon come back! Thank’s for the steps.

  127. angelo says:

    to Robert..
    in order to clear your desktop from programs, press windows icon + D
    to bring it again do the same

  128. Keith Smith says:

    I am no technocrat. This was easy and took me less than 3 minutes. It does what it says it will do. I used to press (alt option – M) to do the same thing. Thanks…

  129. Paul says:

    I get the icon back. Thank you so much!

  130. Timothy says:

    It worked and the icon automatically appeared. Thanks so much. I accidently deleted my whole computer using logmein. I had all my files in a 45GB folder i was trying to backup. I used some recovery program to recover the folder. I still have no way to backup to reinstall windows.

  131. Boris Becker says:

    Great stuff! Got the icon back on the quick launch bar and it’s working. This is a much better solution than what those idiots have on the official Microsoft website!

    Congrats and thanks!

  132. Cruiser says:

    Thanks for the hint and the lesson. I guess you call that a “batch file” from the old DOS days. Most excellent !! Thanks

  133. Robert says:

    VERY NICE, Perfect and now I don’t have to minimize 20 programs to find my icons.

    Thank you.

  134. Pradeep says:

    Thank you so much. I got my icon back. It was really a great stuff.

  135. kannan says:

    THanks for ur help i restored my show desktop button thank you very much

  136. Screwed says:

    My 12 year old daughter lost the whole registry setting to make show desktop icon to function. I got the icon back but the .scf defaulted to a Sims 2 mod. I tried to restore all the reg settings, but with no avail. WOW! I couldn’t even make such a mess, but my daughter did. Google and MS searches show how to get the icon…but what about how the .scf functions!! HOw do I tried restor .scf reg settings by referencing my othe pc’s. How do you reset explorer to even dafault to execute the .sfc commands??

  137. chua says:

    Did u click it on your desktop?
    if yes, then it wont have any effect cuz you already in the desktop.

    Remember to drag that icon to your Quick Launch Bar and open few program,
    then you click on it, you will see the difference.

  138. Mark says:

    I followed the directions to recreate the show desktop icon on the quick lauch bar, but both methods end with the same results. An icon is recreated and the hoverover text is “show desktop” but nothing happens when it is clicked.

    What am I missing?

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