“Restore” Show desktop

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Restore “Show desktop” shortcut to the taskbar

If the Show Desktop shortcut was accidentally deleted, it can be restored.

Show desktop for Windows 8.x and Windows 10: We describe how to restore the “Show desktop” function in Windows 8.x and Windows 10 in a recent tip.

To restore the “Show desktop” function up to Windows 7, you create the following folder for

Windows 98/ME in the folder

C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
or for Windows XP in the folder

C:\Documents and Settings[USERNAME]\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
and for Windows Vista in the folder

C:\Users[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
“Application Data” and “AppData” are hidden, protected system folders and have to be shown first.
In the Folder Options – View
Disable Hide protected system files,
Enable Show all files and folders.

A new text file with the content:


Then save the file as Show Desktop.SCF. After that the shortcut is again in the quick launch bar.

It is easier with the script “Desktop_anzeigen.vbs” (for Windows XP and Vista). Download, unzip and then double click on the script “Desktop_anzeigen.vbs”. Under Win9x/ME the script does not work.

For Windows 7

Here it gets a bit more difficult for 2 reasons:

  1. Windows 7 has no Quick-Launch (but you can restore the Quick-Launch in a roundabout way, see tip Show Quick-Launch Bar (with “Show Desktop”) under Windows 7 and then you will automatically have the Quick-Launch again).
  2. the “normal” taskbar (superbar) of Windows 7 only allows shortcuts to exe-files.

Here is the way how to get Show Desktop into the new taskbar (Superbar) of Windows 7.

In the Folder Options – View
Disable hiding extensions for known file types
Show hidden files, folders and drives.

First create the text file with the content (identical to Windows Vista):


and save it e.g. as “Show Desktop.txt” on the desktop or in the user profile. After that you have to rename the text file to an exe for Windows 7, because only executable files and no shortcuts can be pinned to the taskbar under Windows 7.

The warning can be ignored

It is best to leave the created exe file on the desktop or put it into the user profile and pin this exe file to the taskbar via the context menu.

After right-clicking on “Show Desktop”, right-clicking again on “Properties

click on the “Other icon…” button in the “Shortcut” tab. The message “The file …. does not contain any icons. Select an icon from the list …” is simply confirmed with [OK]. The path “%SystemRoot%\system32\Shell32.dll” opens – there you can find the typical Windows Vista icon for “Show desktop”.

Windows Vista Icons

If you prefer the classic XP icon, you have to search for the icon in the file “C:\Windows\explorer.exe” (change to the path).

Windows XP Icons

Finally, rename the text file created at the beginning and then renamed to exe, which is still on the desktop or in user profile, with the extension scf.

The warning can also be ignored here.

So that the file in the taskbar is also correct, this must be changed over the “Properties” (right click – “Show desktop” again right click – “Properties”) – “Shortcuts” – “Target” also still to the scf file, like with us in the example the path to the desktop or to the user profile.

In Windows 7, the “old” desktop display was deliberately omitted and Aero Peek was introduced instead. At the very bottom right of the clock is the successor to Show Desktop (an inconspicuous rectangular standing icon) and if you leave the mouse on it or click on it, the desktop is displayed in the German Windows 7 version.

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