How to Restore a Windows Desktop

When using Windows, in some cases, Windows Desktop will not be displayed. When this happens, when you log into Windows instead of seeing your Desktop, start menu, or your usual icons, you’ll be shown a blank screen instead.

This type of behavior is often caused by malware or misconfigured programs that prevent the Explorer.exe process from executing. Since the explorer cannot launch, the Windows Desktop will not show up when you log on.

The following guide will guide you to restore the Windows desktop when it is not visible.

How to restore Windows Desktop when it is not displayed:

  1. If you can’t see your Windows desktop or start menu after a program runs or when you log into Windows, you need to manually start the explorer.exe process from Task Manager. To do this, press CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on the keyboard at the same time to display the Windows security screen as shown below.

  2. On the screen above, click on Task Manager as indicated by the red arrow. This will launch the Task Manager as shown below.

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    Now we need to click on the More details option, as indicated by the arrow above, 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.

    At this screen, click on Run new task to open a new task creation dialog box as shown above.

  4. In the newly opened task creation field, type explorer and then click the OK button as shown below.

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

Now your desktop and Start menu will show up and you can start diagnosing what was causing it to not appear.