I am using Windows 10 Pro ver 22H2 (build 190045.3208). It was an upgrade from Windows 7 Pro.

Background & info: My Lenovo T520 was bricked during an unsuccessful attempt at updating the BIOS. Since repaired with replacement motherboard and Windows 10 re-activated. When I next booted, most (but not all) of the Desktop icons disappeared from screen! I found that almost entire Desktop folder contents had been deleted on Onedrive. I found them in the Onedrive recycle bin and was able to recover them. They were deleted at about the same time my BIOS was bricked. Funnily enough, other Onedrive folders like Documents etc were still there!

Inspecting current setup with File Explorer shows the Desktop folder in various, but perhaps wrong locations. Although functioning as-is, I would like to get Desktop back in correct locations in a way that Onedrive will sync properly. Right now I am not sure if it is.

On opening File Explorer, there are two items - Quick access and Desktop. Quick Access has recently used files and folders. No problem there.

Desktop has folders: Dropbox, Onedrive-Personal, Myusername, This PC, Libraries, Network, Control Panel, Recycle Bin, PLUS all the files and folders that are on the Desktop.

Q1: should the entire Desktop folder and files show up here?

Onedrive-Personal folder contains correct Desktop/Documents/Pictures etc.

Myusername folder contains correct contents EXCEPT for the Desktop folder which is empty.

This PC folder has correct contents EXCEPT for the Desktop folder which is empty.

Desktop is also in C:/users/public/public desktop

In order to make sure that my cloud Onedrive account is synced with this laptop, in which locations should Desktop folder be and where should it not be?

And how can I best relocate and delete to correct situation? (without causing more problems!)

  • These are my specific questions: Should the folder/links/etc that display on the desktop be in the main File Explorer folder also called Desktop? Or just in the myusername folder? Myusername Desktop folder is empty. Should I add same contents as Onedrive currently has? 'This PC' desktop folder is empty - Should it's contents be same as Myusername Desktop folder? What if anything should be in C:/users/public/public desktop
    – Graham
    Aug 9, 2023 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


The Desktop is just what you put there. There is nothing automatic about it.

Apparently, in the hardware repair and upgrade to Windows 10, the old placement of the Desktop folders was lost.

I suggest you take some time and put any folders back in the Desktop folder as you want them.

The Desktop folder includes your actual Desktop icons. Make sure these icons are what your want.

If OneDrive is on the Desktop, it will also go in the Desktop folder. That has nothing to do whether it syncs or not. Syncing is a separate setting in OneDrive.

Then determine if you want folders on your desktop, put them there and these will also appear in your Desktop folder

Take care if you are moving folders / files or making shortcuts. If you need to, you can copy a Desktop Icon and paste it into the Desktop Folder.

Here is a representative screen shot.

Some icons are in Personalization, Themes, Desktop Icon Settings. This is how you add PC, Control Panel, Recycle Bin, Network and like icons.

Desktop and Folder


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