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Blank desktop, no start button

We have our background picture but no icons, no task bar. Safe mode doesn't bring up icons either. Cntrl/Esc doesn't bring up start button in normal or safemode. We can get to files through task manager. Right click on desktop does nothing.

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Re: blank desktop, no start button

Open task manger > applicatiins tab > selct new task> type explorer then ok then the desktop will coome uo

Posted on Dec 23, 2007

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No start task bar in safe mode

It sounds like explorer.exe is being turned off. When you log in to Safe Mode hit Ctl+Alt+Del to bring the Task Manager and see if explorer.exe is running under Processes. If not, you can go to the Applications tab in Task Manager and click the New Task button and simply type in explorer.exe.
If this does not give you your Start Menu and Task Bar then you need to take your computer back to the repair service and have them fix it properly this time. Otherwise, you'll have to reinstall the operating system.

Jul 06, 2012 | Dell OptiPlex GX260 PC Desktop


No start menu or destop icons on startup?

This is due to an error on your explorer.exe file. Follow the following steps to restore your desktop:

1) When you boot up into Windows you get something that looks like this:

No icons or Start menu toolbar.

2) What you need to do is hold down CTRL + ALT + Delete on your keyboard to bring up the Task Manager, it looks like this:

3) Then click on New Task... as circled in red in the above picture.
4) The Create New Task window should appear.

5) All you have to do is type explorer.exe into the field next to Open and your dektop should be restored, icons and all.


NOTE: If you get a blank desktop every time you start up Windows then it normally is a problem with some third-party driver or process - either something from the Registry or maybe even the Windows Startup group. To check this, restart your PC in Safe Mode (as your PC is booting up, press and hold the F8 key). If Safe Mode loads correctly with your desktop as it should be then you have diagnosed the problem to be a driver issue. If you have System Restore enabled, use it to roll back to a time when your PC booted up correctly. If not then you will have to manually uninstall any software or device drivers that you added recently until you get to the stage before the problem.

There is a program called Driver Scanner that scans and checks to see if your PC is using the most recent and official drivers.

If all else fails you may need to perform a clean re-install of Windows.

on Nov 13, 2010 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

I have a Compac computer that has Windows XP installed (SP2), when I start up the computer, the Windows XP will not run correctly. Once it seems to be opening Windows, my computer screen just looks blank...

When you are on the blank screen try to press CTRL+ALT+DEL on your keyboard at the same time. it should bring up the task manager window. now, click on FILE > New Task Run > Type in EXPLORER.EXE and press Ok. it should show you your Taskbar, desktop wallpaper, desktop icons

Oct 01, 2010 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

Lost icons and start button desktop

mcdevito75 here, You can try to simply use your mouse arrow anywhere on the screen to bring back the icons and start task bar. You can also try to press the Alt key and F4 key together to bring them back.

Jul 14, 2010 | Dell Dimension 4600 PC Desktop

1 Answer

When switching on PC it does not boot up fully

Hi Craig

From what you are descrbing one of the background services is preventing start up from completing

Please try the following

1) Switch on PC
2) Continuoulsy press the F8 key until a start menu is presented, choose safe mode from this menu
3) Once safe mode has loaded up go to Start>Programs>Systems Tools>System Restore
4) From the system restore menu choose 'restore my computer to a earlier time'
5) From the calendar presented choose a date in bold when this fault wasnt happening and then click on next and follow the screen through
6) Let the system restore complete and it will automatically reboot and take you back to the mains windows screen
7) This should hopefully let the hung service be able to run

I hope this has been useful

Mar 10, 2010 | Dell Dimension 2300 PC Desktop

1 Answer


the icons and the bar(task bar) at the bottom of the screen are enabled by the explorer.exe file

it starts automatically but in your case it is not starting

to start it when your computer starts and comes at the desktop, press alt+ctrl+delete button at the same time to bring up the task manager

when you do this a task manager shows up in a window

in task manager window click on file, it will be located on the top left portion on task manager

now click on "new task(run)"

this opens another window, in that window type
without the quotes "" and press enter
this will bring you icons and task bar at the bottom of the screen

Sep 29, 2009 | PC Desktops

3 Answers

Starts but cant get to icons .when i turn on i get sound after my welcome come up then i get my screen picture and my curser andit stays like this forever----------- thank you ps is it a virus

Possibly have you tried to start in safe mode? Are you running Windows 7, Vista, or XP? If you can try to boot into safe mode to see if you can access your desktop from their. Once in Windows try to perform a system restore going back to the point to which you last could start your machine normally.

Sep 23, 2009 | HP PC Desktops

1 Answer


try pressing control, alt, delete buttons to bring up the task manager............then close it......i had a similar problem before and i dont know what the cause was but it helped when i did this. good luck

Apr 17, 2009 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

Blank screen, can only start programms by task manager

Try to boot Vista into Safe Mode. Tap the F8 Key right after you turn on the computer until you get the Advanced Boot Up Menu
and use the keyboard arrow keys to select Safe Mode. The next screen may ask you to select your operating systm. Select Vista, not the Recovery Console.

Does your task bar and icons appear in safe mode? If so, it might be one of your start up programs that is failing and causing explorer.exe to fail during normal boot-up into Windows and not allowing your taskbar and icons to appear. Click Start and type in msconfig and hit enter then click the Start Up tab and look at all the programs that start up when Vista is starting up. Do Not uncheck anything in the list that you do not recognize as you may uncheck drivers or Vista starting programs that you computer needs to start up Vista properly. Google anything you don't recognize and uncheck any Start Up programs you do not need to start when Vista boots up, like Quicktime player or Adobe Reader for example. (This would also help your boot up time into Vista)

Sounds like explorer.exe crashed. Try opening up the Task Manager again, and Click File > New Task and type in explorer.exe. See if the task bar and your desktop icons appear.

If they appear for a brief moment then disappear again, the Windows explorer.exe is corrupted. Explorer.exe will try to start and then fail again. You may need to use System Restore to bring your computer back to a date and time when the computer was working properly, before the Vista update.

Jan 31, 2009 | PC Desktops

1 Answer

The desktop is empty

First a question; you say you only have the background and cursor does that mean literally everything else is gone including the start button in the lower left and the task manager in the lower right? Or do you mean that all your icons, shortcuts, folders and files you had on your desktop are gone?

Feb 02, 2007 | Sony VIAO P4 PCV-RS712 3.0GHz 512MB 200GB...

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