How Do I Regain 'Show Desktop'?

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

The Show Desktop icon disappeared from Rusparadox's Quick Launch toolbar. He asked the Answer Line Forum how to get it back.

Once again, I have different directions for XP and Vista.

For Windows XP:

Select Start, Run. Type regsvr32 /n /i:u shell32.dll, and then press Enter. A little dialog box will tell you that the process succeeded.

Unfortunately, the icon still won't be in the toolbar. To put it back there, either reboot or perform the following simple steps: Select Start, Run, type "%appdata%\microsoft\internet explorer\quick launch" (include the quotes), and press Enter. This will bring up the contents of the Quick Launch bar as a folder. Drag the Show Desktop icon (which was re-created from that first command you tried) to the actual Quick Launch bar.

For Windows Vista:

Download from (and thank you to those good geeks for showing me this trick). Open the zip file, and drag the only file in it to the Quick Launch bar.

Read the original forum discussion at

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon