Upon start up only wallpaper shows, no icons [Solved/Closed]

Ask a question Challanged - Last answered on Mar 23, 2017 at 02:40 PM by Andrew

Upon start up only my wallpaper shows. There are no icons, no task bar, no start menu, nothing, just a blank screen other than my wallpaper. When I right click just to get into the desktop, I select display and even that gets no response. Can someone please help me.

Thank you
See more 
plus moins
CTL+ALT+DEL then click file and new task. then type explorer.exe and press ok
rafs- Jul 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
nk- Apr 22, 2011 at 07:21 AM
its not working
t- Apr 23, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Thanks man you rock. It worked for me.
HALP- Apr 25, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Your explorer.exe is not running.
Andrew- Mar 23, 2017 at 02:40 PM
Much appreciated you good person
plus moins
Hi regarding about this problem
try this method:
1. Type Regedit on the run task, then located this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Image File Execution Option\Explorer.exe <<<--- Delete this folder if you can see this one or
2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Image File Execution Option\Your Image File Name Here without a path <<<<--- Delete this one if you cannot find the Explorer.exe
3. Restart your PC then its ok.

<<Command Prompt>>
plus moins
Just to let everyone know.... While surfing through the internet I found someone who solved this problem and has a way to fix it. There are 2 registry keys in the registry that are causing the problem. It affects the explorer.exe and iexplorer.exe files.

This is the key that needs to be deleted...

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\iexplorer.exe

Once these keys are deleted the desktop and internet explorer should come back to life.

Thank you whoever found this information and I hope this will be a benefit to someone else out there.
William_Tinou- Apr 6, 2010 at 03:32 AM
did not work for me, I went to the regedit to find the explorer.exe file but nothing and the problem still.What I did is go to Ctrl+Del / taks manager/file /new task / just type explorer.exe and everything was back to normal . William TINOU GOMA
Nicole- Apr 10, 2010 at 03:37 AM
i can't find them I have too many files to search into in which branch is it :S
please help me ASAP
The_Owl- Apr 14, 2010 at 12:42 AM
William TINOU GOMA .... many thanks you are the best... solved :)
ape- Apr 26, 2010 at 07:36 PM
yay it worked thanks William Tinou Goma
Jjye- Jul 11, 2010 at 05:54 PM
Some one Help me I try doing Ctrl+alt+delete but nothing happens im desperate to use my computer again please help me !!!!
plus moins
Well good news for me; I have fixed the problem with my machine. After hours of reading blogs and posts and getting different suggesttions from many people I decided to do what I know. I restarted my computer, upon start up I hit F8 to get into the safe mode options. I selected start in safe mode. I then went into control panel, and did a system restore to a date from last month. Once that happened, the comp restarts itself and lo and behold everything was back to normal.

I would give this option a try.

I did many things from creating a new user account, etc etc. and nothing worked. Try the system restore and that should fix the problem.
ryan- Dec 12, 2008 at 02:35 AM
after start up, I login, and only wallpaper appear. have tried your suggestions, F8 and nothing, tried everything, and still nothing
daisey- Jan 18, 2009 at 06:30 PM

Tried many things. Your safe mode start and system restore corrected problem

pspfan15- Mar 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM
thank you very much u legend
Mines001- Aug 31, 2009 at 04:05 PM
I must thank you!!!! this actually worked!!! I didnt expect it to, because it came off of the internet, but it did!!! Thank You!!!
BSARMA- Dec 15, 2009 at 01:49 AM
Thak you for your quick solution. My VISTA machine had a spyware attack and srating at safe mofe (pressing F8) and then system restore with one day old image fixed the issue!
plus moins
EVERYONE THERE IS A MUCH EASIER SOLUTION!! I found that I did not have explorer.exe in the registry, and I have the same problem. When I log on, I can only see my wall paper. Here's the solution. Do a Ctrl+Alt+Delete and look in the process tab. click image name to organize it in alphabetical order. you will see explorer.exe somewhere in there. Click it and click End Process at the bottom right. If you do not see explorer.exe then skip this step. Now click the Applications tab and you will see 3 buttons at the bottom called End Task, Switch To, and New Task. Click New Task. A small window will open up that says Create New Task. In the white bar type in explorer.exe and you will have your desktop back. Sadly, you will have to do this every time you log on, if you have a system restore point before this desktop problem, then do a system restore.
KIM FROM OHIO- Apr 7, 2010 at 08:51 PM
sandyp- Apr 22, 2010 at 03:02 PM
this might stop working after a few times. it is always better to figure out what process is causing this issue...
Bob- Apr 23, 2010 at 07:51 PM
Works great xD ty
spanishwebguy- Jun 10, 2010 at 02:45 AM
Brilliant - thanks
mkgf- Jul 6, 2010 at 10:31 AM
thanks! that worked!
plus moins
i just had this same problem....NOTHING WORKED UNTIL--AND IT WAS SOO EZ (i too couldnt find explorer.exe, etc) I did what post 205 said..basically force a restore and ur back immed. then do the superantispyware clean. IM BACK!!!!!! AMEN. THANK YOU WHOEVER POSTED 205.
plus moins
You can Ctrl - Alt - Del, and under the Applications tab click "New" and type in "explorer". This will bring up your desktop. You can then try the many suggestions that you have read about.
jolyn- Oct 9, 2008 at 10:57 PM
Thank you so much for ur advise... first thing I tried and it worked.
weatherdog- Jan 14, 2009 at 09:59 PM
Awesome! I messed with this all day unistalling SP3 etc and your "explorer" advice fixed it. Very much appreciated.

MessedPC- Mar 12, 2009 at 12:19 PM
ARTEM- Dec 28, 2009 at 07:27 PM
Laptop does not respond to CTRL+ALT+DEL at all. It only shows the sand watch (or whatever you call it) for one second and that's it.
pensoc- Jan 20, 2010 at 12:21 PM
Hi there, When I cnt alt and del task manager isnt even on there !! help.
plus moins
For Windows 7:Take out the white plug at the back of your PC. (from the monitor) There's a blue and a white one on mine. Take out the white one and your icons, your taskbar and anything else you've clicked comes back! Worked for me..does anyone know why?
plus moins
I had the same problem. It's just some stupid spyware garbage. This is a very simple fix. Just download (HiJackThis)

It only took me 10 sec. to do the scan. It will ask you if you want to delete everything, I clicked yes. Just make sure that there are no other programs (including the internet) running. This just make it easier to delete the files encase there running. MAKE SURE YOU RESTART YOU COMPUTER, when it comes back on you will have you lovely computer computing for you again!!!

I understand that nothing is a guarantee, but all I see is people coming up with these crazy answers to solve this problem and their all over thinking it. It's spyware, just spyware. So try my way out its very fast and easy. Feel free to respond with any question I'll be glad to help. Good Luck!!!
ofas- Mar 26, 2010 at 03:56 PM
i can click the link on this computer, but of course not on the computer which needs it . . . because . . . remember? the problem is that nothing will come up to allow clicking on anything.
Gene- Mar 29, 2010 at 06:13 PM
Perfect fix ... thank you! I've been fighting with my computer for a week now. You're a life saver. The Trend-Micro-HiJackThis did the trick.
Kate- Apr 7, 2010 at 04:28 PM
I have the same problem .. only wallpaper on screen .. no icons what-so-ever so how do I download a solution when nothing available to click on.
Kate- Apr 7, 2010 at 04:47 PM
WOW! I just stumbled onto a very easy solution. Turned on pc when the info window appeared (system, set-up etc) just pressed enter it took a few moments, thought I oops! may have done wrong thing it was just a black screen .. then requested my password .. YEAH!! everything came back .. icons .. update windows, email the lot
Kate- Apr 7, 2010 at 05:05 PM
turned laptop off and back on again everything still there ...
plus moins
replying to seymore,

my computer with the problem no taskbar, no icon, Ctl+Alt+Del disable has been solve, after reading some of the post. here's the solutions:

1. log into safe mode with command prompt.
2. in the command prompt:

to enable Task Manager, type in this in 1 line=>
REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
to enable Registry Edit, type in this in 1 line =>
REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

3. press Ctl+Alt+Del, restart computer
4. to enable explorer autorun, go this web and read =>
Download the fix...=>
open task manager, File > New Task (Run) > type "shellfix.reg" and press ok

5. Restart. the system should be ok.

If not... continue 1 of the below steps:

1. Repair system by download TweakUI. =>
since taskbar is disable, u have to use Ctl+Alt+Del to run "TweakUiPowertoySetup.exe ", click ok to install
Press Ctl+Alt+Del again > File > New Task > Tweakui
at left panal, choose "Repair" at the last, choose "Rebuild Icons", and click "Repair Now", click "Ok" to exit.
Restart computer.

2. Create New User Account: Press Ctl+Alt+Del, File > New Task > explorer. go to control panel > user accounts and create a new user account. Restart Computer. Log in as the new created user.

3. Use System Restore to go back to the previous days which ur computer functions well.

4. Lastly, u may download "Remove Restrictions Tool" which will solve "folder options disable" and others restrictions problems. download here =>

5. install anti-virus product. (ie. AVG, Avira)
plus moins
Ok this is for those of you who can access task manager through the Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Go to the file tab, new task (Run...) and type "explorer.exe" with the quotation marks. If explorer.exe is already there end the process and restart explorer. This should get your desktop and icons back, but keep in mind this is only a temporary fix. I've done research and found that this is a spyware that hijacks your antivirus and uses it to delete files. That means that any other program won't recognize it as a problem. I have at least 10 spyware and antivirus programs, and none have found anything wrong with my computer. I stayed up all night scanning my registry and optimizing my computer until I'm at 100% with everything and that helps allot, but it only last for so long. I would suggest the newest version of Fix-It Utilities. It helps allot, but for those of you who can't access anything I can't help you. Try a system restore or format your hard-drive.
plus moins
Hi, I found the following at a Windows XP Newsgroup at

In short, the proposed action plan that worked for him and seems to be
working for me follows. Jay

I read many posts related to the topic and eventually did the following:

1. booted up to windows
2. ctrl+alt+del to get windows task manager
3. File, new task, typed regedit, clicked ok
4. go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current
Version\Image File Execution Options\
5. In there I had an explorer.exe folder that I deleted (you may have an
entry in the root of the Image File folder as well.. delete them also).
6. Rebooted and everything was back to normal.
7. Breathed a sigh of relief.

You can back up the explorer.exe folder (and files in the Image File
Execution Options root if applicable) by exporting them before the deletion

Hopefully this thread will save many people lots of time in the future.
Thanks to everyone for their help and happy new year!
JR- Jun 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM
Awesome. Worked Great. Thanks.
koolc70- Jun 27, 2010 at 02:29 PM
o man.....this shit was complicated....but thanks to all the ppl who posted advice...very helpful
sjr- Jul 3, 2010 at 03:07 PM
were do itype it?
lol- Jul 3, 2010 at 03:25 PM
i cant find explorer.exe
kay- Jul 3, 2010 at 09:17 PM
My task manager doesn't load up. I tried press ctrl-alt-delete but the task manager doesn't load. Help please.
plus moins
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe

Just went into regedit and removed and I am up and working.


That was the ticket. Thank You. Joe
Andrew- Sep 11, 2008 at 01:48 PM
Removing the explorer.exe key from the windowsnt directory in the registry worked perfect for me as well. Windows starts fine now. Run a system scan with your spyware/virus software to make sure all is well once completed.
avinava89 1Posts Sunday November 4, 2012Registration date November 3, 2012 Last seen - Nov 3, 2012 at 11:29 PM
well dis is a spy/malwre prob...
and I believe dis is d best possible solution...
plus moins
I have the solution. I spent 5 days until I found a solution to this Trojan Virus problem. Each time you boot up and click on one of your software icons ALL the icons and control bar on the bottom of the screen disappear. I tried all the leading anti-virus software and none worked. I got on a Microsoft blog site and kept seeing the same software mentioned as a solution. I used SUPERAntiSpyware 4.21 to clear the Trojan out and then Uniblue "Registry Booster 2" to fix the registry problems caused by the virus.. This Trojan virus is a very difficult virus to kill, but this SUPERAntiSpyware did the trick.

Another unrelated problem that I had on ALL of our computers that Microsoft could not solve, but our staff did.... When we installed SP3 all of our windows xp systems were stuck in a continuous boot-up loop after rebooting. Once we re-booted the system after the SP3 installation the computers were stuck on the "Windows XP graphic" on the screen with a continuous scroll bar. THE SOLUTION: Get rid of all firewire cords on external devices and replace with USB cords if the drive or components can use USB. Windows xp with Service Pack 3 will not boot up completely with firewire cords attached to the computer. Microsoft spent 3 hours trying to solve the problem and finally told me it was a driver problem with WD USB drives. This was not the case.. INCORRECT. Just remove the firewired compents... You do not need any new drivers for you hard drives.

I hope this help someone out there.
plus moins
Thanks, Last Resort! That registry edit did the trick and saved my bacon!
plus moins
The reg edit worked for me, many thanks.

Also, tut tut to the response that suggested "go buy a MAc etc etc." I agree that whilst Macs may suffer from less issues than PCs, this is a forum where people are asking for help with specific problems. "Go buy a Mac" isn't the most constructive advice (isn't really helpful at all!)
Fuckyou- Jul 13, 2010 at 02:05 PM
Macs do not suffer from less issues, there just so bad already they arent worth making viruses for.
plus moins
went to regedit and deleted the following registry

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe

ran hijackthis after and found some nastys, was a variant of the XP 2008 Antivirus software
had to get spyboat and adaware also on the machine to try tidy it up otherwise it would come back
they was a twest.exe file which was making the reg entry to stop explorer running
plus moins
Thank you so much. After trying all different method the regedit method worked for me perfectly. I have got all the icons back and it is working fine.

Thank you very much for this forum.
plus moins
Situation I had

I turned on my computer and a message about explorer having problems came up after that the problem began... all the icons went away , and even though I tryed loging in as a diff user and turning off/on , restarting, etc nothing seemed to work.

I found this page and followed this advice i'm descriving below (which I got from some one here :) ) (thank you so much) hoping that if someone have the same problem they can get help.

At first I saw the "download a free spyware thing" but I usually dont trust those...anyways they are gonna do what I did manually and then stay in your computer. Who knows how "good" or "bad" are they anyways.

Well.... once I restarted my computer and while the machine was in the process of doing so I pressed F8 and ran windows in save mode, then press ctrl shift delete to get task manager and then the following:

solution that worked for me: (from the ones listed here)

File>New Task
type in: regedit
this will bring up the registry window
Follow the route:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe

ONce I did that I saw two items and I was able to erase one of them. the other one I was not. but after I finished my machined worked , then I restarted it again and it was running as usual. at some point you are asked if you want to reset it some days back to which you say yes.
plus moins
how can change time format 24 to 12 bcoz taskbar showing 24 hr and time properties show ed 12 hre
1 2 3 4 Next

Member requests are more likely to be responded to.

Members can monitor the statuses of their requests from their account pages.

A CCM membership gives you access to additional options.

Not a member yet?

Sign up now. It takes less than a minute and is completely free!