Hidden Desktop Icons


Dear Computer Lady,

I am new at computer stuff and love reading your news letters. You have helped to so much.  Well I have a problem and I hope you can help me. 

I have Windows XP home edition and in my random clicking to explore my computer I have somehow clicked on something that has removed all the icons from my desk top. I can get to my desk top by first going to the “start” and then to “my documents” and on the left is a column called other places that has desk top. I can open it there and I have tried to just click on them and drag them to my desk top but a box come up that says ” Cannot move (any icon I choose). Destination folder is the same as the source folder.” I don’t understand the comment. 

Can you help me get my icons back on my desk top?

Thank you very much,



Dear Rosemary,

Yes, I can help you get your icons back on your desktop! First, let me explain, that they are actually on your desktop (or in the desktop folder, which is the same thing). That is why when you try to drag them from the desktop folder, to your desktop, it says you can’t move them to your desktop because they are already there.

You have, however, hidden your desktop icons. Here is how you can un-hide them, and hide them again if you want to.

1. Right click on a blank spot on your desktop.

2. In the menu that appears, point to “Arrange Icons By” and a sub-menu will appear.

3. In that sub-menu, find the item that says “Show Desktop Icons” (in your case, there will not be a check mark in front of “Show Desktop Icons” because it has been turned off) and click on it to turn it back on.

It was that simple!




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