Hardware

Recover missing desktop icons in Windows 2000 Pro

When a user comes to you and says that all of her desktop icons have vanished on her Windows 2000 Professional machine, the first place you'll likely check will be group or local policy. If that isn't the culprit, you should reconfigure Active Desktop settings to get the icons to reappear.

Want more Win2K tips and tricks? Automatically sign up for our free Windows 2000 Professional newsletter, delivered each Tuesday!

Group and local policy settings enable users and administrators to control the way the computer functions and appears, including which items appear on the desktop. Application of group or local policy can sometimes be the cause of unexpected changes to the desktop, such as the disappearance of all icons.

If all icons on a desktop are missing and group or local policy does not seem to be the cause, check the computer's Active Desktop settings. If Active Desktop is enabled but no active content is selected for display, the desktop will be blank. To redisplay the default desktop icons, right-click the desktop, choose Active Desktop, and click Show Web Content if there is a check beside the command. Turning off Active Desktop in this way should cause the default desktop icons to reappear.

To configure additional Active Desktop properties, right-click the desktop and choose Properties, and then click the Web tab. This is where you can enable/disable Active Desktop content and add or remove active items.

Editor's Picks