After start up only wallpaper shows, no icons

 Jvvug -

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

66 replies

CTL+ALT+DEL then click file and new task. then type
and press ok
it worked...... thanks a million.
none of the others above worked - this one did - thanks heaps !!
thanks, this worked for me
i had the same problem and I restored my system and it worked.
Thank u!! Worked!

I am able to get to my Regedit.

When I get as far as "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options" there is no "explorer.exe" nor is there "iexplorer.exe"!

Does anyone know where these folders/files are? I only have 2 folders in the "Image File Execution Options" namely "DIINXOptions" and "IEInstal.exe" and they have some files (.dll) in them...

Any advice would be really really appreciated. I hope all of you get your pcs up and running soon!

Is this work for you? Set the below registry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

What if you don't have Shell either? I don't have any of the three and I have the same problem as the original person.
thanks its worked for me,,, yeahhh now I see my icons and taskbar and start menu....
Thanks this worked for me

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>>
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.
Thanks so much!! Delete registry key really works for me.

By Alt-Ctrl-Dele on the wallpaper screen, enter "regedit" in the new task, click ok, bring you to registry window. Follow the route:
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

Great!, I am back. Really appreciate!! Alan
> hber08
Thanx a lot. this "regedit" thing worked for me as well. Thaannks a lot again. I suggest this solution to everyone having similar problems. I had tried a lot of other things but only this worked
> hber08
The regedit worked for me, tried HJT no joy but deleting the explorer thing in registry restored all back, Well done sir!!!
> hber08
Hi there,
i try the :

By Alt-Ctrl-Dele on the wallpaper screen, enter "regedit" in the new task, click ok, bring you to registry window. Follow the route:
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

its not works,

I try Hijack this, also not working.
I try key in explorer.exe in new run command, also not working.

any idea, Pls
> hber08
i read all these "fixes" and none of them worked till I got to the deleting of the reg file.. you guys rawk
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.
Dear administrators..
iam using windows vista home Edition
Upon start up only my wallpaper shows. There are no icons, no task bar, no start menu, nothing, just a blank screen .
desktop icons and start menu recent program icons dont display!. Can someone please help me.

how can I recover it
> shivakumar
Press button alt+ctrl+Delete. then click on new task button & write in box "explorer.exe" then click on Ok Button Ur PC will be start.
> Pratibha
I don't even see explorer.exe in Task Manager/Processes. When I typed in explorer.exe and try running it, it said that could not find/locate the file. However, the explorer.exe file is in C:\WINDOWS\

Please advise. I have tried reparing Window twice already, and have restore it to all my previous settings, but still my desktop just don't show up. Oh, I even tried using Uniblue to run registry cleanup.

Really hopeless now because I don't want to spend my whole weekends reinstalling softwares =(
> Pratibha
typiing in "explorer.exe" fixed my windoze 2000... thanks
> Pratibha
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.
wohoo worked like a charm thanks you so much !!

this might stop working after a few times. it is always better to figure out what process is causing this issue...
Works great xD ty

Brilliant - thanks
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.
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?
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!!!
how can I run this spyware if no icons show up, icons dont even show up in safe mode??
> RayRay
press ctl + shif + esc and click on new task type in explorer

if that dont work just reinstall windows and alos I would like to know how your doing this with out a computer
your an angel!!! explorer thingy worked! But Can Some1 Tell Me What Made This Happen???? Isit Spyware?
ur an idiot first off he is using a diffrent comp and second you cant install anything without your exploere window working.
Actually, if you use ctrl alt dlt you can still use internet and heaps of other programs, it doesn't stop your computer working entirely.
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.
Thank you so much for ur advise... first thing I tried and it worked.
Awesome! I messed with this all day unistalling SP3 etc and your "explorer" advice fixed it. Very much appreciated.

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.
Hi there, When I cnt alt and del task manager isnt even on there !! help.
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!
Worked Great , thanks !!
that not work there is no explorer.exe
there is also no explorer.exe folder in my registry or iexplorer folder so is there another option besides sys recovery ... also don't have a previous restore point plz help
I am having the same problem I looked up this problem on many sites and forums and have found many solutions like using ctrl+alt+del which at first was working for me now when I log on it wont even open task manager anymore I opened the regedit but found no explorer.exe nor a iexplore.exe. I also seen that it could be from deleting a spyware which changed the userinit.exe which is not my problem either. I operate a windows xp. if you can help please email me!!
That worked like a charm. I was having the same problem with Windows XP. When I booted up I would get to the desktop screen, but there were no icons. The mouse moved fine but nothing to click. When I pressed ctl-alt-del and deleted the explorer folder and rebooted everything worked fine. Thank you thank you thank you.

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
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.
Registration date
Sunday November 4, 2012
Last seen
November 3, 2012

well dis is a spy/malwre prob...
and I believe dis is d best possible solution...
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.
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!)
Macs do not suffer from less issues, there just so bad already they arent worth making viruses for.
Thanks, Last Resort! That registry edit did the trick and saved my bacon!
I've had a similar problem, if your computer is windows xp then there is a simple fix.
If your computer fails to show icons and start bar this is because windows explorer has not started for some reason or other. to simply turn this on hit "ctrl+alt+del" to bring up the task manager.

Select file in the top left corner and new task.

Type into the box "explorer" without the quotation marks and you should have your precious icons back, I would then do a scan to see if a virus has caused this.
Ctrl+Alt+Delete does nothing for me. nothing shows up. Safe modejust shows a black screen. Anyone have any ideas??
i tried but no result. When type Explorer in new task box then answered "Make sure the type in box" if wnat to search then click the start menu and then search.
> Milky
Same here.
> The bob
just for alll those people who say ctrl+alt+del doesn't work do this to alternately pull up task manager ctrl+shift+esc
then try new task explorer.exe
Hello....I Found your answer to a problem that I am having and tried it a few times and nothings seems to be working.
Do you have any other advise, I am about to throw my computer out the window....just kidding but I am very frustrated now. Been sitting here for about 5 hrs and nothing seems to work.
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

The reedit fix is brilliant - in my case after system restores, chkdsk, safe mode fixes and checks and endless diagnostics using msconfig deleted debugger value in the right hand pane of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe
then restarted.

Thanks saved a complete rebuild on an otherwise two month old machine.
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.
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.