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Restore the Show Desktop icon to Quick Launch bar in Windows XP and Windows Vista

Published: Jan 10, 2004
Updated  : Mar 27, 2008
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I accidentally deleted the Show Desktop icon which sits normally on the bottom left hand corner of the Taskbar. How do I restore the icon?


For Windows Vista

Download and save to Desktop. Unzip the archive and move the file Shows Desktop.lnk to the Quick Launch folder which is located here:

%Appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

To quickly access the Quick Launch folder, type shell:Quick Launch in Start, Search box and press {ENTER}.

For Windows XP

The Show Desktop icon can be restored using any of these methods:

Method 1: Using Guided Help to re-create the Show Desktop icon

Here are the screenshots of Guided Help.

Method 2: Manually re-create the Show Desktop icon

Click Start, Run, and type Notepad.exe. Copy the following contents to Notepad.


Save the file as "Show Desktop.scf" (with quotes, in order to prevent Notepad from appending .txt extension). Now, drag the file to the Quick Launch Toolbar.

Method 3: Using the Regsvr32 command

Click Start, Run and type the following command:

regsvr32 /n /i:U shell32.dll

The Show Desktop icon file should be available now.

Method 4: Copy the file from another user account

Every user account will have a copy of Show Desktop.scf file. Search for the file named Show Desktop.scf in your computer by logging in as administrator. Copy it to your user profile path here:

%Appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

(Type the above path in Start, Run dialog)

Related links

How to restore missing Flip 3D icon to the Quick Launch toolbar in Windows Vista

How to restore missing Mail Recipient entry to the Send To menu in Windows Vista

Restore missing Desktop (create shortcut) link to your SendTo folder in Windows Vista