Recreating the Show Desktop icon if you lose it

The Show desktop icon can be a time saver when you need to quickly access your desktop icons and you have lots of Windows opened that you need to minimize or close before seeing the desktop.

The Show desktop icon is part of the Quick Launch bar. The Quick Launch bar can be enabled and disabled by right clicking on the task bar, selecting Properties  and clicking the Show Quick Launch check box

There may be times where your “Show desktop” icon is deleted by mistake or by design by the person or dept, or manufacturer that configured your Windows XP. You can check if the Show Desktop icon is available by going to the following folder:

%userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

If not:

“To re-create the Show desktop icon yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type notepad in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Carefully copy and then paste the following text into the Notepad window:
  3. On the File menu, click Save As, and then save the file to your desktop as “Show desktop.scf”. The Show desktop icon is created on your desktop.
  4. Click and then drag the Show desktop icon to your Quick Launch toolbar.”

(source:  or KB190355)


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