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
Thank you

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated. Add comment

CCM 2821 users have said thank you to us this month

I too had this kind of prob...
while ON ur lap press crtl+shft+del
this finally moves to refresh the full system. it will not erase any data from ur lap.
try this it works for me... hope this will work for u too

i suggest not to shut down without closing the file or only i got such problem
Thanks a ton !
Helped many of us having the same problem.

Great! It worked! THANKS!
After doing loads of other crap, this actually works!! Thank you!
Very thankful

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.

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
i can't find them I have too many files to search into in which branch is it :S
please help me ASAP
William TINOU GOMA .... many thanks you are the best... solved :)
yay it worked thanks William Tinou Goma
Some one Help me I try doing Ctrl+alt+delete but nothing happens im desperate to use my computer again please help me !!!!
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.
after start up, I login, and only wallpaper appear. have tried your suggestions, F8 and nothing, tried everything, and still nothing

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

thank you very much u legend
I must thank you!!!! this actually worked!!! I didnt expect it to, because it came off of the internet, but it did!!! Thank You!!!
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!
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.

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
thanks! that worked!
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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
turned laptop off and back on again everything still there ...
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.
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)
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.
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!
Awesome. Worked Great. Thanks.
o man.....this shit was complicated....but thanks to all the ppl who posted advice...very helpful
were do itype it?
i cant find explorer.exe
My task manager doesn't load up. I tried press ctrl-alt-delete but the task manager doesn't load. Help please.

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.
I still can't get task manager to come up. I've tried everything!!! HELP!
i have same problem...., I deleted some files.. reload computer !!!!!!!!!!! and it says "select "R" at the first screen to start repair...

nothing workeeed !!!!!!!!!!11
just go to task manager(cntrl+alt+del) -1 new task
-2browse to c-windows -exporer & delete it
same. In my case after the login screen which seems to work fine, the task manager button is gray (can't be pushed).... is there a way to access the PC wthout the task manager and exporer starting up?
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.