How to Restore a Missing Windows Desktop

  • September 5, 2017
  • Read 5,045 times

When using Windows, under certain circumstances the Windows Desktop will not be shown. When this happens, when you login to Windows instead of seeing the desktop, start menu, or your normal icons, you are shown a blank screen instead.

This type of behavior is usually caused by malware or misconfigured programs that block the Explorer.exe process from executing. Since the explorer process cannot be launched, the Windows desktop is not displayed when you login.

The guide below will walk you through restoring the Windows desktop when it is not visible.

How to restore the Windows Desktop when it is not displayed:

  1. If you are unable to see the Windows desktop or your start menu after a program runs or when you login to Windows, you need to manually launch the explorer.exe process from Task Manager. To do this, press the CTRL+ALT+DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time to display the Windows Security Screen as shown below.

    Start Task Manager

  2. At the above screen, click on the Task Manager option as indicated by the red arrow. This will launch the Task Manager as seen below.

    More Details

    We now need to click on the More details option, as indicated by the arrow above, in order to give us the ability to launch a task.
  3. Task Manager will now display a more detailed screen, including a menu at the top.

    More Detailed Screen

    At this screen click on the Run new task to open a create new task dialog box as shown above.
  4. In the create new task field that is opened, type explorer and then click on the OK button as show below.

    Start Explorer.exe

  5. After pressing the OK button, the the explorer.exe process will start and you will see the desktop and start menu again.

    Desktop Shown

Your desktop and start menu will now be visible and you can begin diagnosing what caused it to not appear.

Users who read this also read:

  • Understanding Command Line Arguments and How to Use Them Image
    Understanding Command Line Arguments and How to Use Them

    Command line arguments are extra commands you can use when launching a  program so that the program's functionality will change.  Depending on the program, these arguments can be used to add more features that include specifiying a file that output should be logged to, specifying a default document to launch, or to enable features that may be a bit buggy at the moment.

  • How to turn on Night Mode in Twitter Image
    How to turn on Night Mode in Twitter

    Twitter offers a Night Mode that causes the site to display darker colors in both the Twitter Mobile app and on Twitter Desktop, which is when you use  a desktop browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Android to access Twitter. These darker colors produce less light and thus do not bother other people in the room, are easier on the eyes when viewing Twitter in the dark, and arguably look ...

  • How to open a Windows 10 Elevated Command Prompt Image
    How to open a Windows 10 Elevated Command Prompt

    This tutorial will explain how to open an Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 10. You can use this Command Prompt to type commands that will be executed with Administrative privileges.

  • How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware Image
    How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware

    If you use a computer, read the newspaper, or watch the news, you will know about computer viruses or other malware. These are those malicious programs that once they infect your machine will start causing havoc on your computer. What many people do not know is that there are many different types of infections that are categorized in the general category of Malware.

  • How to start Windows in Safe Mode Image
    How to start Windows in Safe Mode

    Windows Safe Mode is a way of booting up your Windows operating system in order to run administrative and diagnostic tasks on your installation. When you boot into Safe Mode the operating system only loads the bare minimum of software that is required for the operating system to work. This mode of operating is designed to let you troubleshoot and run diagnostics on your computer. Windows Safe Mode ...



blog comments powered by Disqus


Remember Me
Sign in anonymously