I'm using Windows 8 and have managed to lose the Desktop tile.

How do I put it back?


7 Answers 7

  1. From the Start screen Win+D will take you to Desktop.

  2. To get its tile back on Start you can do the following:

    1. Whilst on the Start screen type Desktop. The screen will change and two items will appear.

    2. Right click on Desktop, do not click on Remote Desktop; at the bottom of the screen, a bar appears where you can select Pin to Start, thus putting its tile (back) on the Start Screen.


  • @TomWijsman What I do is move the desktop tile to the upper left position, then just hit enter key when the start screen loads, and it loads the desktop, about as easy as it gets without hacking.
    – Moab
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 16:42
  • The answer by Graham Wager solved this issue for me, but the above did not help, so keep reading, dear visitors, keep reading.
    – Warren P
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 1:24

From the Start Screen, type Desktop and you'll find it again.
You can right-click it in the search results and click Pin to Start to bring it back permanently.

Search for Desktop

Pin to Start


In certain circumstances, the Desktop tile can disappear without being removed by the user. The other solutions to this question do not work, as the Desktop entry disappears completely from both search and the All Apps screens.

A further symptom of this scenario is that the Store tile will also disappear.

This is due to a corrupted or replaced system file. In this case:

  • open a Command Prompt as an Administrator:
    • press Windows
    • type cmd
    • press Control+Enterto launch as an Administrator
    • if prompted, select Yes to confirm running as an Adminsitrator
  • type sfc /scannow and press Enter

SFC will then scan your system files and replace the problem file. The Desktop and Store tiles should then become available.


If it fails to replace the files, you may have to perform the scan at next boot by using sfc /scanboot then rebooting the machine. Once completed use sfc /revert to return the tool to normal operation, or it'll scan on every future reboot.

  • Both of these happened to me on the same computer, about a month apart.
    – Warren P
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 1:23

In the Modern UI, search for Desktop, right-click on the result and then click 'Pin to start'


You can type Desktop on the Start Screen and right-click on the Desktop icon that appears and select Pin to start

You can use the old school shortcut Win + D to go to your desktop

You can also use Alt + Shift + Esc to go to your desktop I have not tried this one in windows 8 but I guess it should work -> Win + M minimizes all windows and shows your desktop.


In some cases what happen is that you delete the Desktop.lnk file located in C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs or from here: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

In that particular case you need to add the shortcut link file back, I got it from here thanks to this discussion Lost "Desktop" shortcut/tile in Metro UI at www.eightforums.com


Follow these simple steps to fix the problem:

  1. Press "Win+R" keys together to open RUN dialog box. Now copy following string in text box and press Enter:
    %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    It'll open "Programs" folder containing various shortcuts which are shown at Start Screen or "All Apps" page.

  2. Now download Desktop tile shortcut using following Link : Its a ZIP file, extract it and you'll find a file "Desktop" in the extracted folder.

  3. Copy "Desktop" file from the extracted folder and paste it in the "Programs" folder which you opened using step 1.

  4. That's it. As soon as you copy the shortcut, Desktop tile will be re-added automatically to Start Screen. If you still don't see the tile, you can re-pin it using "All Apps" page. Now it'll appear on that page.


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