Disappearing icons, start menu

hutchins888 - Jul 7, 2008 at 05:40 PM
 Me - May 17, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Hello,toolbar, startup menu icons missing after starting I e 7 can't retrieve back to windows. Works fine in safe mode. Can you help? Please email.

20 replies

When you open Task Manager, the top-level menus and the tabs may be missing, as in Figure 1 . This is because Task Manager is running in tiny foot-print mode. To change to default view and get the menu options back, double-click the border of the Task Manager (where the red-mark is present
I too have been recently havn problems with this and if this helps in any way i'm glad cuz I jus wanna help out others as I want to bre helped ....

Intended For
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Windows 2003
Windows 2000

From time to time, Explorer (the application responsible for the taskbar, desktop, and Start Menu) will crash, and the taskbar and all your desktop icons will disappear. Now, there's a built-in safeguard for this that relaunches Explorer automatically if such a crash is detected, but it doesn't always work as it's designed. For example, if you have a separate Windows Explorer window open and the Launch folder windows in a separate process option (in Control Panel -> Folder Options -> View tab) is enabled, and the taskbar disappears, Windows will mistakenly open another Windows Explorer window instead of reinstating your taskbar and desktop. Here's how to get your taskbar and desktop back:

Close all visible Windows Explorer windows. Other running applications can be left alone.

Press Ctrl-Alt-Del, and then click Task Manager.

In the Windows Task Manager application that appears, select New Task (Run) from the File menu.

Type Explorer and click Ok.
thnx so much for advice on restoring taskbar and start menu using task manager. I was so frustrated. your a champ.
Yours helped. thank you so much.
Thanks so much renjiomega. I did exactly what you said and it worked perfectly.
thanks lllllooooooooooooooot
grt man ,thanks , it really worked ...
Ok, my laptop froze earlier this morning so I ctrl alt del and hit log off (I didn't remember which to pick) and the computer turned off. I turned it back on, and when I did the wall paper came up. Just the wall paper; no icons, no start menu, no anything. So I tried ctrl alt del again, and nothing happened. The computer didn't restart, shutdown, or give any options whatsoever. I let the battery run out and tried to turn it on again, and it did turn on, but once again, just the wall paper. Tried ctrl alt del again and no success, I really don't know how to fix it, anyone have any ideas?
hellow in my computer icon & start button all of sudon disapear . itry ctrl+alt+del-task bar,run antivirus restore but all atempt in vain
thanks so much, helped alot
Jill Torgerson
Dec 14, 2009 at 09:24 AM
You, (or possibly your cat), may have hit the F11 key to go to 'Full Screen View'. Try hitting F11 again.

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My menu bar keeps disappearing. My format menu hidden also toolbar.
hey my computer crashed also and it went into safe mode and I have no icons start menu or any thing. But what I do to still accsess my documents is ctrol alt del and then once your task manager pops up go to new task: browse: then you can accsess any thing you want. But go to desktop to see what you still have. hope this helps let me know :)
We are having the same problem and have tried every solution posted

problem: no task bar, no icons
1. task manager - turning off all other explorers (there are none showing up)
2. task manager, new task, explorer.exe, ok - shows "windows explorer has encountered an error and needs to close"

My task bar and icons gone and for some reason and explorer.exe doesn't work... not to mention my internet doesn't work on my computer, but works for my mother's..... What should I do? It doesn't work in processes if that helps in anyway.....
Dec 24, 2009 at 09:17 AM

I have a Windows 7 Pro computer with a Dell 24" monitor. It has two connections (won't work without both connected) to my new ASUS computer and Wiindows 7 thinks there are two monitors. I just lost all my windows explorer windwos off the right side of the screen when using the windows key and the right arrow to jump the window to the right side. I rebooted and the windows remained open. I went to Task Manager and closed them. I tried to open another windows explorer window and it also opensed off to the right side.

So I went into Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display\Screen Resolution and changed the multiple displays option to show desktop only on 1. This brought the windows back to my screen so I could close them. It also prevents my cursor from getting lost on the second phantom monitor to the right.

I came to this forum and did not find my answer...so here it is for those like me.
well, I dont know if you fully know, but im going to just explain a littel more,
the virus is w3.silly (something like that) is just make high risks, saying lock you out your computer i.e. start bar ect not working, when I tryed to download my i.e was not working, I could not transfer files, to install and when I did get the file on the computer it dident let me install.... DAM... seems, broke now, I was like, FULL REBOOT?
then I see my files and I dident want to get rid of them so I did this...
after some time on working the problem seem's easy now tho...
do this...
Start Task Manager.
click "FILE" on task manager..
In the box Type "explorer.exe" then wait 30 sec's if that..
theirs you task bar before next robot,
so you still can not install to get rid of the virus...
i had "norton 360" and face it thats WACK softwere...
so im sure you AV will show up this virus, when you load it now, do a FULL scan not a quick one.
it should pick it up..
then reboot your system. (on and off)
most stuff still wont work after it gone? think it still their nope, it turned all your windows exe off...
Control Panel\
System and Maintenance\
Administrative Tools\
system configuration.
then click start up tab on system configuration
then click enable all, go out it will say reboot system.
you made need to do it 4 times max to get it all working, I did it two times and it working PERFECT!
This is ONLY for windows VISTA!
thanks for your time reading, and I hope it helped...

Thx guys the cntrl alt delete then task manager then new task explorer works fine but I hvae problem I have to do it evrytime I start the laptop up is there any way to stop this ?
thank you=]
thanks a lot!!!I was really panicking until I found your message...I just ran task manager and typed in explorer.exe and it worked....is it necessary to do the other steps??i tried to but the enable box wasn't working so I guess it was already all enabled?thanks a lot!
my task manager has been diabled
THANK YOU SOO MUCH you fixed my problem!!!!!!! thank you!!!
Ive recently had this problem, if ur task manager says its blocked by admin, click start,

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
i cant click start.. it's missing.. what will I do ?
Registration date
Thursday February 21, 2008
Last seen
August 20, 2008
Jul 8, 2008 at 04:25 AM
i think that you have got a virus on your pc

Please scan your pc on safe boot and try booting again ,if the problem continue make all backup on safe mode and then format your drive.

The virus has infected your system files.
how do u get 2 safe mode on windows xp
WizKid > imadude
May 25, 2009 at 09:03 AM
push F9 or F10 and it will go to a screen saying run in normal or safe
thank you sooo much this really helped
My start up icons are gone like even my call. icon. can someone plz help me
hi sir
i have got a problem that there are no icons start menu on desktop. I can reforum my computer
Registration date
Monday January 25, 2010
Last seen
January 27, 2010

Jan 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM
hello in my computer icon & menu disapear after ctrl+alt+del-new task [explorer.exe] o.k.-endtask-o.k. irecover but after restart problem is on & back icon not working. help me.
hiii I had similar experience after I downloaded IE8. after installation computer restarted and ikons were disappearing!..When I do ctr+alt+del task bar will come.i tried all the ways to restore it, nothing happened.
So I decided to do this job and it's worked...i am happy now.,.
CTRL+ALT+DEL and press restart from task bar menu. while restarting press CTrl+ALT+F8, then select safemode with command prompt, then typr cd c:\windows\system32\restore, write rstrui.exe, then restore your computer to a last worked configuration. then download regscrubxp from majorgeeks.com (under registry) and do a registry clean..if u r happy email me at bobythomsa@gmail.com
And suppose if you want to do urgent things like surfing the net etc.. while you are on task bar properties(if explorer fails!)
1. click new task, browse desktop and find out your present internet connection ikon and connect internet.... if connected
2- click new task. browse internet explorer under program files on the c drive and browse net...
Hey, my start menu and icons wont appear, ive tried system restore (through task manager) but the next button in that wont respond, Ive tried unplugging the battery, but nothing happened, i've also tried this run windows explorer trick, but it opens the start menu for less than a second then closes it again.... any tips would be useful
I'Ve got the exact same thing, nasty lil bugger isn't it.

All the same symptoms you have, the crt/alt/del disabled. And having half of my start menu options disabled. Along with some popups and other things.

I did a scan in safe mode with AVG and Spybot S+D both found some things but it keeps coming back.

Ill post if I find a solution, but it doesn't look good.

This helped my problem too

I did not have my desktop or toolbar. I just got a Mac and I run VM fusion ware which is great. But when it updated windows xp service pack and rebooted the desktop and toolbar went missing.

I tried the above direction

c alt del

then run task


That it self did not work

then I went to tasks and shut down one of the explorers. Then it worked.
So if above does not work then try to shut down one of the task.

nice that worked, thanks!!!

from time to time my laptop will just poweroff on its own. so i'll reboot the machine only to find, after the blue windows screen is displayed, that a blank screen shows up with only my cursor. what to do is this:

hit ctrl, alt delete. click processes tab and select any Explorer running. hit end task and yes to end process. once there's no more of those on the list, go to Tasks or Programs tab and hti the new task button. type Explorer, and hit okay. alternately you could browse to firefox.exe's location or iexplorer.exe if you want to access the internet for help (which amazingly, works without the taskbar or desktop behind it)
exDiller > mooglepie
Dec 6, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Sounds like your laptop may be overheating and shutting down to save the CPU. Could get expensive if this is the case and you fry your cpu. Unless you need a good reason to get a new one :-P

Make sure the fans on the bottom are not blocked!

Gord.G > exDiller
Dec 10, 2008 at 02:13 AM
Apparently I dont seem to be going anywhere with all the solutions. I can access my task manager even when booting from safe mode. What can I do.
Plz help
watt > exDiller
Apr 19, 2009 at 11:37 AM
i am aggre with him .many time we faced and solve this problem
mlf > mooglepie
Dec 8, 2008 at 03:00 PM
I was so mad and every one I called wanted $200 to fix it, But you are the best I did what you said.

hit ctrl, alt delete. click processes tab and select any Explorer running. hit end task and yes to end process.

As soon as I deleted one of them my computer was back. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!
before my pc got sick I used it a night before and I was watching a video which turns out fine,,,,
im using pentium 3 and its settings is kinda different from the usual and im not so familiar on it unlike those pc I used in net shops.......
i found out the problem after my mom open the pc a day after I used it, and found it that the desktop icon and the start menu disappear after she turns it on for about a minute!!!
i read some of the advice here but the prob is when I click del+ctrl+alt I wasnt able to find new task menu....
all I can see is date, time settings, pci, advanced and etc....
i cant access my pc!!! what should I do, can I fix it online....
i used the links given and downloaded some of the virus cleaner and it works temporarily....
my desktop icons and start menu doesnt disappear but when I turn the pc off and turns it on it disappears again!!!
please I need some help desperately.....
thanks for these!! hope someone can help me!!!
i need to keep my pc on condition cause its the only means that we can communicate to my dad and sis abroad!!!